January 2021 01/05/21 10:37:00 AM
The January thaw has been on for the past week. Thankful to get rid of some ice and snow that was making getting around challenging! It is dang sloppy in some places where the cattle are tromping around a lot, but the forecast thinks we will freeze up later this week with lows in the teens. We will be ready for that I’m sure, the cattle don’t like the slop very much! Drier and colder into next weekend will give them a chance to get out of the mud for a little while.
Saturday’s sale was pretty good sized again. We continue to start selling hogs at 9 a.m. and it has sure helped us to stay on schedule the rest of the day. The hog market was steady. Fat hogs sold from $42 to 47 this week. Several heavy sows in this week’s run and the market was from $43 to 48 on the sows over 500 pounds. The light sows sold up to $42 on some weighing 450 pounds that were nice and smooth. Not many pigs in this week’s sale. We had some real small 18-pound pigs that were tough to find interest in. Boars sold from $5 to 10 a lb.
The sheep and goat markets were very strong again this week. 43-pound lambs sold at $3.70 a lb.! Even some 65-pound lambs brought $3.60 on some fat springer (new crop). A nice draft of 96-pound lambs brought $2.29 a lb. Goats ranged from $230 to 275 a head for 60-to-90-pound fat kids. Cull nannies sold up to $255 per head. There were not any big billies in this week’s sale.
It was a dandy day to be outside for the hay sale! Logan sold the small bales and all the misc. this week. Straw was very plentiful and sold from $2 to 3.50. small bales of cornstalks ranged from $2 to 3.50 and the hay sold from $2 to 6. A very large run of big rounds and big squares this week. The market was very sluggish and never did get much action. The top alfalfa rounds were at $60. The top big squares were also $60 I just wasn’t able to get over $60 on anything this week. Many round bales of grass hay sold from $35 to 45. Cornstalk rounds sold from $25 to 35 with the majority at $30. Straw rounds and big squares sold from $20 to 30. I sold 671 big bales in 30 minutes.
The cattle sale had a run of nearly 1600 head. Baby calves sold from $150 to 350 for beef calves and $35 to 75 for Holsteins. There was no test on take home cows. The feeder cattle market was surprisingly strong with all the action in the corn market the past week and a half. Heavier cattle certainly took the most off but cattle under 600 pounds were fairly active. Four weight steers sold up to $1.81 and some five weight steers topped at $1.63. A nice group of 740-pound steers sold at $1.34 and a load of 834 steers brought $127.75 and a load weighing 919 pounds brought $1.25.
Heifers weighing 320 pounds brought $1.72, a set weighing 444 pounds brought $1.54, and some weighing in the five hundreds brought up to $1.45. Eight head of black heifers that weighed 636 brought $1.32. Weigh cows sold fairly steady on just a few less than 100 head. The sale was over by 6:30 and trucks loaded into the night. Colby had one at 1:45 a.m. and Gabe and Pee Wee started right at 7:30 Sunday morning. I made it by 10 Sunday morning. No, I didn’t sleep late, I had a group of fall calving cows I was breeding for a couple of gals getting started I the Hereford business and they came and picked them up this morning.
Sunday was really a beautiful day here in south east Iowa. The sun was out much of the day and not much wind. I capped off a day of loading out at the barn by selling a bull to a young couple!
We are moving cattle around this week to get ready to calves. I would say Ted and I will both be under way by this time next week. The heifers and cows both are heavy and won’t wait too long.
A regular sale next week then two feeder specials cattle sales in a row followed by a darn good cow sale Feb 13th.
Have a Dandy Week!
The weather has softened up to be very pleasant this week. We were in the 30’s on Monday and 40’s yesterday with no wind and clear blue skies. A really awesome January day! The forecast looks to cool off into the weekend, back down in the teens at night but warming up next week to the mid 30’s again. It is sure nice to get a long stretch of good weather here in January.
Saturday’s sale was a dandy. We had a large run of everything this week! The hog market was good with big sows up to $47 and fat hogs sold mostly in the $40’s with a $48 top. Pigs were off from the spirited holiday trade of the past couple of weeks. The top pigs sold weighing 59 pounds at $40 per head.
The sheep and goat market jumped up to a higher gear! Wow this market is amazing what it can maintain! 50-to-60-pound lambs sold at $3.50 to 3.60 per lb., even 70-to-75-pound lambs were bringing $3.20 to 3.30 and some 95-pound lambs sold at $2.52 a lb. The top fat lambs averaged 132 pounds and brought $1.70. The goats kept up the strong pace of the lamb market. 38-pound kids brought $150 per head, some 55-pound kids topped at $215 and 77-pound kids were at $235 per head. Big billies hit $450 and boer nannies over 100 pounds sold at $200 to 285 per head.
The outside sale had the largest offering of hay of the season. Small squares of hay held good demand with most in the $3 to 5 range. A few fancy alfalfa bales were up to $6. Straw sold from $2.50 to 4 and cornstalk bales brought from $3 to 3.50. We had 2533 bales. Big bales sold very steady to higher on cornstalk rounds. Most of the net wrapped grass hay was in the $40 to 50 range. A few bales of inside stored better quality hay sold for $60 to 70. Net wrapped cornstalk round bales sold at $24 to 35 this week. We had 525 big bales this week. It takes just one hour to sell that quantity of hay if you hustle right along! Matt doing the clerking had an extra workout but really did good staying caught up.
Logan sold posts and misc. items again this week. The top post brought $90, it was extra long and perfectly straight. The other good corners brought from $30 to 50. A big load of firewood brought $425.
A cow sale always draws a crowd and this one was sure no different! Baby calves led off the sale with top beef calves selling at $335. Holstein babies are still soft at $35 to 85 for the bull calves. The cow sale had a couple of good quality dispersal as well as some fancy bred heifers. A top set of 3-year-old black cows sold at $2250, some 5- & 6-year-olds brought from $1800 to 2000 from those dispersals. Bred heifers sold from 1350 to 1850 for AI and bull bred red and black heifers. Short term and lighter cows brought $750 to 1000. Weigh cows were mostly steady selling to a $65.50 top and a dozen brought over $60. There were 130 cows in the weigh up sale.
The corn market and skyrocketing feed costs have the feeder cattle market slowing up this week. Cost of gain projections in the $90’s has feeders scrambling to buy feeder with a fair break-even projection. High corn generally makes high cattle, but we are very early in the cycle now. Just keep some inventory so when the packers have to fork over more dough for fats you will have some to sell!
I have the first new calf at home out of a heifer I purchased, and we are due to start calving Herefords about the 25th of January. I hope this good weather stay with us! The cows are in nice shape but sure eating some hay with the ground all snow covered the past couple of weeks!
I had planned on going to Oklahoma City for the Cattleman’s Congress last week, but the weather would not let us fly. Everything I have heard indicated shows and sales were very strong. The facility was outstanding, and some are hoping that the affair will continue there next year!
A good special feeder cattle run is expected this as well as a strong morning and hay sale.
Have a Dandy Week!
Winter started here the past week and has made up some ground on the mild December we had here! Wednesday night we received 6 inches of snow, then some rain on top of it! The cold over night gave us a nasty slick crust on the snow. It was hard to drive in, hard to walk in and had the cattle a little jumpy as they started moving that morning. Friday was another event that saw some freezing rain, fog and another 2 inches of snow. Saturday was nice and the highways opened up pretty well. The side roads were very uncomfortable to drive on and that slowed down the first sale of 2021.
The hog sale had a sow market back up to $45. There were no fat hogs to test the market. A few odd hogs and pigs made up the balance of the hog sale.
The sheep and goat markets were steady, but only had 65 head in the sale.
The hay sale was pretty active with small square bales ranging from $4 to 9. Straw sold from $4 to 5.50 per bale. Big round bales topped at $52.50 with more in the $40 to 45 range than over $50. Cornstalk bales were $17 to 25. A few nice hedge corners hit $50 and lines sold from $6 to 25. A good-looking blue healer pup sold for $25.
The cattle sale ended up with right at 1000 head. The baby calf market was $50 to 75 on the Holsteins and $150 to 300 on beef calves. There were no bred cows this week. The feeder cattle market sure saw very good interest in all weights and classes. Most of the cattle were in the 650-to-900-pound range this sale, a very small number of lighter weight calves. Five weight steers reached $1.70, while the better 650 weight steers sold at $1.56. 750-pound steers topped at $1.45 and a package of fleshy 912-pound steers brought $1.20. Most of the six weight heifers sold from $1.27 and 1.35 while seven weight heifers topped at $1.30 and the 900-pound fleshy heifers brought $1.15. Weigh cows were steady to $2 higher with a $67 top. Most of the lean cows were in the upper $40’s and low $50’s.
The livestock markets have sure been thru a lot in 2020. The challenges we have worked thru have created opportunities for many producers that would find locker space and they could fill consumer needs when supply was short. I believe this is going to stick for 2021. Folks have lived up all the space in lockers around until you may not get in until 2022. Hopefully, we will see more space built to accommodate this growing need to process product locally again.
Producers have been as tough as ever once again. As they have dealt with all kinds of adversity, moving market ready animals into the supply chain and markets erode, they have maintained a food supply to the world. As we walk into 2021, let’s hope that consumers will boost consumption back up and we will see stronger markets into the second and third quarters of 2021. They grains have already jumped dramatically over the past months. I always say high corn makes high cattle.
A bred cow special this week featuring some very fancy bred heifers both red and black and a dispersal of very outstanding quality cows.
Have a Dandy Week!