February 2020 02/05/20 1:24:00 PM
We had a truly mild past week and a gorgeous warm & sunny weekend. Saturday and Sunday, it was 53° and 63° here! It was awesome to get the extra bright sunshine for a couple of days. Today it has rained off and on for much of the day without too much accumulation. I would guess less than a tenth of an inch all together. The forecast is calling for more of the same with a chance of some snow into Tuesday. I will hope that doesn’t get to carried away! It should be pretty good after that and warming back up to close to 50 by next weekend again.
The nice sunshine made for a big run of everything on Saturday! The hog sale saw fat hogs from $32 to 50 this week. The sows are treading water in the upper $20’s for the best ones. Feeder pigs were terrible with most in the $15 to 35 range. One nice package of fancy 100-pound pigs bought $50 per head. Big boars have fallen from 5 cents to only 2 cents a lb.! That is just disgraceful. A darn bottle baby goat will get to $60 or 70 a head and a ripe old billy goat is at $400 and that 680-pound male hog brought a total value of $13.60! An average 40-pound bag of dog food is 25 bucks. That big boar could feed a pack of dogs for three weeks! It might get a little smelly if it warms up too much! Jeepers it seems like there should be more value in those old boars.
The sheep and goat sale drew a big crowd. Babies were strong in value and so was everything else. Ewes were 70 to 85 cents and three ewes with five new babies brought $122.50 count noses. 60-pound lambs were at $2.20- and 50-pound kid goats were at $140 to 155 per head.
The outside sale was a site to see this week! A huge crowd around and absolutely no place to park anywhere! 1850 small squares of hay and straw. 1026 big bales of hay, straw and stalks! It was a deal! I started on big bales at 11 and finished at 11:45, we were doing business! Jim started on the little bales at 11:30 after the sheep and goat sale. We set into the firewood, posts, and misc. and we were all done outside by 12:20! It was a fun sale in the sunshine for sure this week. The old tractor brought $3000, the new 10X14 building brought $1600 and loads of misc. items had good interest all thru the sale.
The cattle sale set a new season high on a baby calf right off the bat bringing $675 for a few day-old black bull calf! A few Holstein calves sold from $50 to 100. Bred cows sold from $750 to 1300 for all different classes. Feeders were smaller groups and some without any work done. The market was dang sure active for the kind we were selling. Weigh cows were steady with last week. The top was $74, and the bull top was at $92. We had the fattest Holstein heifer I have ever seen! That girl topped the scales at 2150, she was obesely fat now! The yield grade chart goes to 5 and this girl was an 8 or 9! She just shook with ripples of fat when she walked!
Sunday four of us went to St. Louis, MO for a quick visit. It was a pretty day to fly down and back for sure. Most of the water is finally getting dried up along the Mississippi river. There sure wasn’t as much barge traffic moving as I would have guessed for as open as the river is now.
We are still calving at home, Ted’s and Luke’s. the calves are really loving those sunny days. They will be bucking and playing, running with their tails over their backs. By afternoon they are all beached out just soaking up the rays!
I am headed to Ames on Tuesday for a meeting and hope to be in the country on Wednesday and Thursday this week.
A special feeder cattle sale this week and next week.
Have A Dandy Week!
Winter is definitely still around. Last Thursday morning it was 8 below zero and Friday it was 13 below here. It’s a good thing it warmed right up to 20 on Friday and Saturday was back up in the 40’s! The snow is all melted and sloppy conditions are around the lots and high traffic areas. The forecast looks to be back in the single digits Wednesday and Thursday this week and then warmer into next weekend.
Last week I spent Wednesday and Thursday in Des Moines at the Iowa Beef Expo. The Hereford sale was the last of the breed sales this week and ended up the coldest day of the winter the morning of the sale! The crowd did surprise me, about the sa me that got around to be in attendance for this years sale! The sale average was off slightly but sure could have been much lower. Live Auctions had heavy traffic on the internet that really helped the sale along quite a bit. The bulls averaged just over $3000 and the heifers averaged $2750. Our heifer got a great home going way up in north east IA and the bull went to Central Missouri. The sale was over in good time and I was back home in plenty of time to chore. It’s always good to see the buyers and sellers come together for the beef expo and I’m already thinking about getting lined up again for next year!
Saturday’s sale was a pretty normal February kind of sale. The hog market is still stale with sows topping at 30 cents on some fancy girls that averaged 696 pounds! The fat hogs were mostly $38 to 41and there was not much test of the pig market.
The sheep and goat sale had 250 head and the demand is still very good. Baby lambs sold from $35 to 50 per head. Bottle kid goats were $10 to 25 on mostly dairy influenced kids. Fat kids in the 50 to 60-pound area would bring from $150 to 200 per head. Nannies and billies were steady with the past couple of weeks.
The outside sale was full of hay and straw again this week. Small square bales of better mixed hay sold from $6 to 8 and the plain kind brought from $3 to 5. Straw sold from $3.75 to 5 a bale. Big round bales of hay were off $5 on grinding hay and up $5 on the better-quality grass hay. The low end of the grinding type rough hay sold from $30 to 45. The better hay was $60 to 75. Big squares of top-quality alfalfa sold up to $115 per bale this week. The straw round bales brought $40 to 45 and cornstalks were $37.50 to 40.
Hedge posts were getting along at a more normal value than last weeks energized market! The old Ford truck brought $1050 and the barge box brought $200. It was really nice outside at 11 for the sale and with Jim’s help in the hay we were finished outside and started on cattle at nearly 12.
The cattle sale had 800 head this week. A big crowd was on hand to see the start of the cattle sale. Baby calves were up with the top black calf bringing $400. Most beef calves would bring $300 to 350. The Holstein babies were $50 to 75 this week. The sale feature early on was a 4-year-old Jersey cow with her 4-day old black cross calf. Folks looking for a family cow or nurse cow battled to $1300 for that nice pair!
The feeder cattle sale had noticeably stronger interest again this week. Lighter steer calves around 400 to 450 would get to $1.82 while the top heifers that weight sold at $1.50. A top set of Red angus steers that averaged 620 pounds that brought $1.63 and the top 800-pound steers sold at $1.38. Weigh cows sold at the highest values of the winter. Several cows were at $64 to 67 with a top yielding cow at $73. The top bull brought $92.
Sunday morning, I tagged and turned out a few calves and set out some extra hay then went to help load at the barn. The loader was busy most of the morning loading hay. Right after lunch a couple of fellas came to look at bulls. They were running way out in the pasture, so I grabbed Colby’s border collie Roxy and took his ranger and penned the bulls. I don’t know how you gather bulls or cows up like that without a good dog! Roxy just makes it so easy to get them up.
Tomorrow the ultrasound tech will be here to gather carcass data on the bulls and my replacement heifers. We caught the heifers tonight and weighed them to be ready first thing in the morning. They sure look good and will be a top set to bred! They were weighing good; I hope the bulls weigh up as strong in the morning.
Regular sale this Saturday. A special feeder cattle sale on Feb 29th and March 7th. We had an extra day in February the year, so we decided to make good use of it!
Have A Dandy Week!
Warmer temperatures around the past week have melted the most of our snow and made it a little sloppy. It has frozen up again and made it pretty good to feed and chore. The forecast is calling for a cold Thursday with lows under 0 and a high of just 10°! It looks like it would be back to 40° on Saturday, so we look forward to that quick warm up. Saturday was a pretty day and let folks get out to come to the sale again. There was a big crowd around during the middle part of the day for sure!
The hog sale led off the day with sows selling from $25 to 28. Fat hogs sold from $38 to 42. There was no test on the pig market.
The sheep and goat market is lower across the board. Lambs weighing from 60 to 80 pounds sold mostly $1.85 to 2.50 per cwt. Ewes sold from $65 to 98. Fat lambs top at $1.60 for a group that averaged 145 pounds. Goats were active with a lower market. Kids that averaged 50 pounds sold for $160 per head. Does brought $125 to 200 per head and the top billy hit $400. Bottle babies seemed to run $25 to 70 this week.
The outside sale had the largest offering of big round bales that we have seen since we have been selling hay with 840 bales sold. The market was mostly $45 to 60 on net wrapped bales. The top big squares sold to a $115 top on 3X3X8 alfalfa grass mix hay. Grass mix hay was mostly $45 to 60 in a big square bale. It takes about 35 minutes to sell 840 big bales! Small squares were mostly $4 to 6. There was a $10 top and some down to $2. Small cornstalk bales sold from $3.50 to 4.
The hedge post market had a very top set of posts from Bob Heald this week. The corners were from $50 to 97.50 and the lines were $17 to 34. There were several misc. items out front again that had interest from several different folks. Jim got all the puppies sold inside so I didn’t get to sell any outside!
The cattle sale had a few baby calves selling from $300 on the black one and $35 to 60 for the Holsteins. A top group of bred second calf cows sold for $1850 and another group of 3-5-year-old third period cows brought $1600. There was a big crowd watching the cow sale but somewhat sluggish bidders after the first couple of sets. The weigh cow market was a couple of dollars lower on 140 head and 19 bulls. The top cow was at $70.50 and the top bull at $91.
I hurried around and made it to the Henry Co Cattlemen’s banquet last week. A packed crowd in the hall for super and updates on the business. The Henry Co Cattlemen’s donated $5000 to the local FFA chapter that has just been re-established! They also donated four scholarships. This group is moving and shaking and getting big things accomplished in their county. A great job folks and congratulations on all your hard work!
Calving has been rolling right along as we are finished up with what was to calve AI. We all have a few bull bred heifers coming around over the next couple of weeks. This season has sure been a whole bunch better than last year to get them going!
The Iowa Beef Expo is going on now and I am heading up in the morning Hereford sale is Thursday and our banquet is at Diamond Jack’s on the fairgrounds Wednesday evening at 6:30 p.m.
A special feeder cattle sale coming up next Saturday expecting 800 to 1000 head and a bunch of hay again!
Have A Dandy Week!
The warmup across our area the past several days has melted most of our snow. It’s been a little sloppy underfoot and getting chores around a little messy, but 50’s and even 60° one day sure felt good! It looks like it will freeze up again for most of this week. Somewhere the ground hog saw his shadow and some places he did not. I guess that’s no different than another year. Nature will do whatever it’s going to without the engineering of some buck toothed rodent!
Saturday was a gorgeous day for a sale! The sun was bright, and roads had thawed out to let folks move stock in for the sale. The hog sale had 370 head. The market is soft with sows only in the $20’s, feeder pigs weighing 59 pounds sold for $28 per head and fat hogs sold from $38 to 45.
The sheep and goat sale had nice numbers selling near 400 head this week. The market was lower than last week’s very high values. Kid goats brought $2.50 to 3 per pound, while 60-pound lambs brought from $2.20 to 2.50 and cull sheep and goats were still active with the top billy bringing almost $400.
The outside sale was the largest of the new year. We were loaded up with hay and straw this week in both small and large bales. Demand was solid all thru the hay sale. Small squares of hay sold mostly $4 to 6. Straw bales held from $3.75 to 5. Big bales filled the parking lot completely this week. Gabe nearly ran out of room to stack them. 730 bales take up a lot of room! Round bales sold pretty much from $50 to 65. We had a few down to $40 and a few up to $72.50. Big squares ranged from $60 to 82.50 for 3X3X8 bales of good quality hay. Big rounds of cornstalks and straw were solid in the $40 to 50 range. A little fresh mud at calving time really makes for a strong bedding market!
The hedge post market established a new all-time record price of $170 of a 14-foot straight post. I have sold several up to $100 and I did not get to see this one or sell it as Mike was helping with the sale out front and he set the record! Great job hope you are back next week!
The cattle sale was loaded up with feeder cattle from some of the area’s top producers again. Lots of rhetoric in the news has seen a lower trending futures market try to erode cash feeders. The interest in feeders pushed ahead pretty strongly Saturday. The market on 5 and 6 weigh heifers was off $5 to 7 from a week ago. Steers the same weight however held steady to higher. A top set of 608 black white face steers brought $166. Weigh cows were about $2 lower on over 100 head. We finally sold the last bull just after 9 p.m. The crew was sure glad to see it go thru the ring!
We are calving right along at home, Ted’s and at Luke’s. The weather has helped us to be able to get them moved out pretty quick and keep their ears on! Calves have been early on some, while on schedule for the most of them this year.
I made it to two county Cattlemen’s banquets last week and hope to get to another one this week. These events get cattlemen together to visit but also to catch up on industry information. If you get a chance, I encourage you to get out and attend an event in your county or area.
Expecting a big run of hay again this coming week. We also have a bred cow sale this week. Check our early listings for the complete run down.
Have A Dandy Week!