March 2023 03/09/23 4:45:00 PM
It seems like this week is trying to get away from me! It was pretty cold over last weekend with lows down in the teens on Friday and Saturday night but had moderate temperatures broke out by Monday and Tuesday with 62° in the afternoon. As I start writing this evening a fairly heavy rain is coming thru here at 8:30 Wednesday evening. Chances are strong that the rest of the week may be kinda wet. Boy it was trying to be a lot better the past couple of days and I was hoping we might miss some of this. Only eight days of March left so hopefully the weather moderates as we get to April.
Saturday was sure busy again this week. The hog sale saw over 300 head thru the ring. The fat hog market held between $58 to 68. Heavy sows were lower with the bulk at $60 to 67. It looks like that market maybe on a dive lower over the next couple of weeks. A couple of groups of feeder pigs at 85 pounds sold from $77.50 to 85 per head.
A big run of sheep and goats totaled 800 head this week. Bottle lambs sold at $15 to 55 per head. Light lambs from 45 to 70 pounds were mostly $2.50 to 2.75 a lb. A fancy group of Paul Spiekermeier lambs averaged 94 pounds and brought $2.35 a lb. They sure were an awfully fancy group of white face lambs! 40 to 60 pound kid goats are selling at $3.90 to 4.30 a lb. on the front end kind. Two little nanny kids at 40 pounds even hit $4.90 a lb.!
I am expecting bigger runs of sheep and goats over the next couple of weeks as we work thru the Easter holiday season and a potential up in the market to fill holiday orders. We will see what happens, but I am not convinced we will see any pop in the market.
The outside sale had a higher big bale market. The bulk of the rounds were sure $120 to 150 with some fancy alfalfa mix bales at $165. Corn stalks even got up to $70 and straw was from $45 to 60 per bale. Big squares of alfalfa ranged from $120 to 150 per bale. Grass big squares brought $90 to 120. Small squares of premium alfalfa ranged from $6 to 7.50 and average hay at $4 to 6 a bale. There were very few hedge posts or misc. items, I guess those consignors are hoping Col Philip is back this Saturday!
The cattle sale had 1300 head thru this week. Baby calves were stronger with a couple at $600 to 650! Holstein babies were up to $250 this week. Feeder market was sure active with pen conditions not great and cattle moving thru with noticeable mud on them. The bulk of the run was made of six to eight weight cattle and that was where the action was. 600-pound heifers topped at $1.96; 750 pound heifers topped at $1.77. 641-pound steers topped at $2.20 and 9 head of 757 pound steers brought $1.95 a lb. Weigh cows were sure a couple of dollars better with several cows over a dollar and two big bulls at $1.40 & 1.41 a lb.! This market is going to have to stay good with supplies shrinking and demand very strong.
This week we semen checked bulls on Monday and Wednesday. Bulls checked darn good with only a couple complete flunks! Wednesday afternoon, we put CIDRs in the Hereford heifers to start our spring heifer synchronization. Now every Wednesday for five more weeks we will be working thru each of the groups of our commercial heifers.
I delivered some feeder heifers a couple hours north of here Tuesday and looked at some good yearlings that will be in the sale on April 1st. It sure looked like a lot of tile has been put in the ground since harvest between Agency and I-80!
The Des Moines Co Cattleman’s banquet is coming up this Friday evening in Burlington and Van Buren Co coming next Monday night at the Great Day Café in Keosauqua. Hope I see many of you at those events.
A regular sale this Saturday to end March and then a nice run of feeder cattle coming up for the April 1st special.
We will be celebrating Ellie’s 2nd birthday this Sunday!
Have a Dandy Week!
The weather has been a bit nasty last week. Rain came earlier last week making it seriously muddy again. It got a little better by Saturday however rain and heavy wet snow nailed us Saturday evening into the night. We probably had 4 to 5 inches of that slushy wet mess making it tough on the ole Buick going home Saturday night! Snow all melted off and it even froze up just a little around this morning. It is going down into the teens for a low tonight but will be back to the 50’s by Wednesday afternoon. Keep an eye on those young calves, this is perfect pneumonia and scour kind of weather.
Saturday had 200 hogs, 580 sheep and goats, 400 cattle and a big run of hay. The hog market was good with heavy sows topping at $78 this week. Fat hogs were mostly $65 to 70 and pigs were 70 to 85 cents a pound for nearly all weights.
The sheep and goat market were slightly stronger with kid goats at $4.00 to 4.25 a lb. top and lots of them from $3.00 to 4.00. Nannies with babies at side sold at $100 to 125 count noses. Cull nannies were $1.20 to 1.40 and billies brought $2.10 to 2.30 a lb. Lambs sold at $2.75 to 3.25 for the 70 pound lambs while heavier weights were $.150 to 2.35. Ewes with lambs brought $100 to 130 count noses and cull ewes were $60 to 85 with black face shorn ewes bringing the high end.
The outside sale was crisp, but the sun was up there peeking thru some clouds. The hay market held very strong with small squares from $6 to 9 on alfalfa bales and gras hay $4 to 7 a bale. Straw was mostly $4.00 to 5.50. Big bales were in strong demand as folks gather what they need to get to grass or in cases what they need for this week! Round bales were $100 to 160 a bale. Corn stalk bales were $35 on some two year not in the best shape to $70 on some nice big good looking bales. Straw was $45 to 65 in round bales. Big square bales of grass and alfalfa or clover were $70 to 100 per bale. The hay sold from five states this week including Indiana. Hay was bought by folks within 100 miles of Keosauqua. The hedge post top was $55 while most corners were from $18 to 30 and lines mainly $7 to 15. Misc. items included steel posts, barb wire, used gates, feed bunks, puppies, firewood, tools and random metal and lumber. Philip has really settled into selling the small squares and misc. items! He will be gone this week to a benefit sale, so I could use a volunteer auctioneer to fill in!
The cattle sale drew a good-sized crowd. Baby calves sold from $7 5 to 100 on Holsteins and $300 to 450 on beef type calves. Bred cows had noticeably more interest across young and older cows. Aged cows in the third stage were $1200 to 1500, while the 4–7-year-old cows got up to $2100. A couple of packages of cows with winter calves in average shape brought $1850 to 2050. Late calving cows ranged from $1400 to 1700.
Weigh cows continue to be stronger. Several cows at $1.00 to $1.17 top on a high yielding lean cow. It looked like a Limousine cross cow. A majority of the cows would have been $85 to 95. Big bull values brought $1.35 to 1.38 a lb.! Again, this weigh up market is not near done!
Boys sorted up the 5G heifers last week and with in two weeks will be setting up heifers to begin AI work again. It is hard to believe it is that time of year already.
The grand daughters are growing up way to fast! We are sure thankful for the time we get to spend with all of them! I can’t imagine families that live to far apart they don’t get to see those grand children growing up and share that precious time together. Last week everyone was busy so I kept Miss Lucy for the morning. We went to the country and looked at cattle for about three hours. She finally gave up and slept on the way back to the office. A great time and sure a good travel companion!
This week will be a good run of feeder cattle for a mid-March special. A good run of sheep and goat breeding stock as well.
Have a Dandy Week!
The weather has been a little up and down for the start of March. We have been sunny and mild with highs up to the low 60’s. We have had an East wind, cloudy with snow or rain spits and lows in the upper 20’s. It is muddy in high traffic areas but pastures are sure firming up nice and not near as sloppy as it has been. The forecast is calling for a chance of snow and rain tomorrow and cloudy with mid 40 high and lows in the 20’s. Farther out is not predictable but the forecast appears to remain, very mild thru most of March.
Saturday’s sale was good all the way thru. The hog market started things off steady with butchers holding from $68 to 75 and sows steady at $67 to 70 on the heavy girls. Lighter sows were from the mid $50’s to the low 60’s. Pigs were mostly 70 to 100 pounds were from 55 to 75 cents a lb. The roaster pig interest was very flat.
The sheep and goat sale had another solid run this week. Most of the baby kid goats were dairy cross with a handful of boer cross. The top bottle babies were $75 to 100. Fat kids weighing from 40 to 60 pounds got up to $4.20 a lb. this week. 70-to-80-pound kids would be $2.75 to 3.50 a lb. Nannies sold by the pound at $1.25 to 1.45. Billies were more at $2.20 to 2.40 a lb. for cull billies. Light lambs sold from $2.20 to 2.50 while heavier weights would be more $1.75 to 2.20 a lb. No fat lambs this week. Cull ewe were 70 to 90 cents and no test on big bucks.
The outside sale had another large hay sale. Small squares held strong at $4 to 9. Straw bales sold from $4 to 5.50. Big round bales felt a little higher as we worked the lots. There was some $30 to 50 hay that were very small bale size or poor quality. The good round bales were very solid at $100 to 160 per bale. Big squares were $70 to 110 a bale. Corn stalks were $45 to 55 and straw round bales were $42.50 to 50 a bale. There were new faces picking up hay as well as selling hay. There were several looking for hay that did not get anything. That is a pretty good indication that the market will remain at this level for another few weeks. The hedge post market was average with the top posts being run thru a band saw and having a flat side or two. They brought $50 each. Lines were mostly $7 to 15 and corners brought $18 to 30. A big crowd out front to enjoy the sale this week.
The cattle sale was loaded with quality and strong interest from buyers. From light weights to weigh ups the cattle market has seen a very strong move up in prices. Steers up to 500 pounds brought up to $2.30 to 2.50 a lb.; six weights were up to $2.10 to 2.30 a lb.; seven weights were over $2.00; some weighing 832 pounds at $1.93 and 975 pounds at $1.75 a lb. Heifer were selling just as active with loads ending up in Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Illinois and Iowa out of this sale. Weigh cow quality was off some with not as many good fleshy high yielding cows in the run, but buyers were filling orders with whatever came thru the door! Cows held mostly $80 to 1.00, with a handful on either side. Big bulls were as high as $1.27 again.
Calving has been in full swing for over a month now, the older calves are going really good out in the pastures. It is nice to have solid play areas for all of them to be out romping!
A little bit of distemper going thru the family caught me Friday and Saturday. It caught Luke on Saturday morning and has Colby today. We hope to get thru that by the cow sale this Saturday.
Have a Dandy Week!