Southeast Iowa received an inch and a half of rain Friday night into Saturday. The wind came up and really howled Saturday night into Sunday. We missed every bit of snow however and we are thankful for that. It is cold today and all the way thru next weekend, but we will take it over the 7 to 10-foot drifts that hit across eastern Nebraska and northwest Iowa into Minnesota. March is almost here and with it will be a spring like warm up. Well not the first week of March but maybe the second week!
The rain didn’t slow down folks coming to the sale with livestock or hay on Saturday. Nearly 400 hogs, 500 sheep & goats, 725 big bales of hay and a few cattle to round out the sale. There was a very large crowd around as you can imagine with that much stock.
Hog sale had fat hogs selling from $35 to 42 and sows were up to $46 this week. Feeder pigs were flat with one set of 76-pound pigs reaching $54 for the top. Big Hereford boar garnered big support bringing 47¢ a lb., they rarely are over 10¢.
The sheep and goat market was very active on the bigger run. The better boer kids averaging 40 to 60 pounds would get up to $3 a lb. Nannies held right up to $1 or just over and the big billies ranged from $185 to 300 for the heavier kind. The top 60-pound lambs sold at $2.65 and fat lambs were at $1.35 to 1.38. Ewes sold at 65 to 80¢ a lb.
The outside sale was loaded with a record number of big bales. Small square bale numbers were shortened up by the rain but still sold up to $8. The big bales of net wrapped hay have suffered from the weather. The wrap is froze down and folks are having trouble getting it moved without the bales coming apart bad. We are fighting it in the bale yard as well. It’s a dang mess around the parking lot where wrap has ripped off after it froze in the ice and to the ground. The hay is froze down or falls apart as you try to load those bales. Even the small squares were freezing down, and we had to get the loader to dig them loose from the ground. The market seemed a bit lower as folks analyzed the possibility that there was a chance of loosing some hay before they got home! Big rounds topped at $130 on some 2nd crop alfalfa grass hay that had been stored inside. Most of the better bales sold from $80 to 100 per b ale. The big squares of nice hay sold from $70 to 85 a bale. Big bales of straw sold at $55.
We had several piles of firewood selling from $9 to 15 a pile. Hedge posts ranged from $4 to 15 on lines and $10 to 26 on corners. The portable shed sold at $1850.
The cattle sale had baby calves selling $275 to 350 for beef type calves and $35 to 75 for Holsteins. Bred cows and heifers are finally showing signs of improvement with better interest in all the run. The Hereford bred heifers topped the market at $2100. The black bred heifers brough$1600. The crowd was engaged in buying those third period bred cows of all ages. Weigh cows were up a buck or two again which remains encouraging.
Sunday, I got to spend in the loader loading hay. When you have a run of over 700 bales folks take advantage of free DOT Sunday to move as much as they can. Guys hauling to Missouri were having to drive around water over the roads in many places. I loaded most of the day and they started again early Monday morning. Hereford calving is down to two at Ted’s and 6 here at home. Treating a little scour once in a while but otherwise calves are doing well.
A feeder special sale coming up this week. Hope the cold weather doesn’t bother to much.
Have a Dandy Week!
February is more than half over now. I hope that is a really good thing as spring gets closer every day. We warmed up and had rain, then ice and some snow. We warmed up again and got rid of most of our ice on Thursday. It froze up again down to zero on Friday and we missed the most of the snow, so we are not to bad considering what it has been like for many not to far away. Today was really pretty with bright blue skies, not much wind and a high to 28°. It was about as nice a day as we have had in several weeks. The forecast is calling for another snow event on Wednesday then warmer temperatures into next weekend.
The past week the Iowa Beef Expo was held in Des Moines. The whole week showcases the Midwest’s best breeding cattle with shows and sales of the major breeds of bee cattle. I went up Wednesday morning and served on a committee that makes the sale order for the Angus Sale. We evaluated the heifers and bulls as they came the show ring and put a dollar value on every animal related to what we thought they were worth. It was interesting to study the animals and the pedigrees and data to assign values to every individual. We finished shortly after noon and then I went to the barn to look thru the Hereford cattle. I did check back on the Angus sale results and saw that the bull I had as the top selling Angus bull ended up being the high seller at $11, 000. My top selling heifer ended up the second-high seller in the sale!
The Hereford sale was on Thursday also and our entries sold to repeat buyers. The Herefords averaged $3265 to end up second high selling breed for the week. Becky rode up Thursday morning with Curt & Lauren. After the sale was over, we helped Heath load the trailer and we headed for home. It’s always enjoyable to see the cattle and all the folks at the Expo. The most popular conversation was defiantly the weather! Cattle folks have sure had enough weather this year. Most people have plenty of feed but sure are tired of the snow and cold temperatures.
Saturday’s sale had a very nice day for producers to get out and move hay and livestock. We had a big hog sale with nearly 300. The sow market held steady with a $54 top. Fat hogs also sold mostly steady ranging from $44 to 49.50. A very short number of feeder pigs again this week.
The sheep and goat run totaled 450 head. A few baby kids sold as high as $75. The top 53-pound kids brought $152.50. Big billies in the 170 pound range sold for $300 to 310 per head. 55-pound lambs sold for $257.50 per cwt and 105-pound lambs sold for $157. A darn nice group of whiteface ewes due to lamb in early March sold for $110 per head.
The outside sale had the biggest offering of hay we have seen all winter. In just over an hour we sold 2286 small squares and 556 big bales along with firewood and some misc. items. It was a blast out there this week with the crowd taking advantage of the fair weather to get some hay home. The small squares sold from $5.50 to 7.50 and a nice run of nice straw sold from $6 to 7.50. One stack of small corn stalk bales brought $7.00 a bale. Big round bales of hay sold for $40 to 75 on rough hay and $85 to 160 on the better kind. Big squares of hay sold for $75 to 90. Big square cornstalk bales brought $65 and a few loosely wrapped rounds sold at $45. Wood remained steady with hedge commanding the highest price. The nice portable shed sold for $1900. We were finished up and headed in for the cattle sale at 12:15.
Baby calves sold from $225 to 400 for the beef calves and $50 to 75 for the Holsteins. The feeder cattle market held steady on 1560 head. There was good interest on all weights and classes. Light weight steers sold up to $1.81 on some weighing 385 pounds. The top 650 weight steers brought $157.50 and those loads of steers at 900 pounds brought $133 to 134. 375-pound heifers hit $1.69 and some weighing 535 pounds were up to $153.50. A fancy group of red heifers at 809 pounds sold for $134.25. The weigh cow market was $2 to 3 higher with many cows in the upper $50’s. It is sure good to finally have a little packer demand for those cows.
Calving is down to the last few at home and Ted’s. Luke is over half done at his place. The calves are growing and were bucking and playing in the sun today!
Looking for some fancy bred heifers this week, be sure to see the listings.
Have a Dandy Week!
Well the forecast was right again, calling for freezing rain and ice developing last Wednesday and Thursday. Sure, enough we got ICE! Gravel roads, barn lots, driveways, cow paths everything is slick with ice until we get another warm up. To make it even more tricky, we received a dusting of snow this morning that made it hard to see where ice is underneath. The temperatures made it to about 30° this afternoon and the ice is as slick as its been all week! A little warm up mid-week hopes to get rid of most of the ice if we are lucky. I usually don’t look forward to March very much, but I guess I’m expecting March to be warm and mild and usher in an early spring!
Saturday’s sale was shortened up some by the ice on the country roads. The highways were ok, but gravel was really bad. The hog sale had a sow top up to $56 on some 550-pound sows and butchers up to $47. One group of pigs with a few belly ruptures sold at $48 for 80-pound pigs to the roaster market.
The sheep and goat market featured the two groups of bred ewes this week. The speckle faced ewes due to lamb the end of the month sold for $200 to 240 per head. The group of older white face ewes due in late March brought $140. Lambs sold fairly steady except bottle lambs and they couldn’t get over $20 this week.
Goats sold steady also with a large run of nannies and just a few kids. There were a couple of packages of puppies that no one had any interest in. I think they were able to get part of them traded off even though we didn’t have any luck at the auction.
The outside sale had a big crowd in the chilly weather. Small squares of hay sold mostly $6 to 8 per bale and straw was up to $8 on two piles of pretty wheat straw. Big round bales were in high demand again as well. Mostly grass hay, net wrapped sold from $90 to 130 per bale. Big squares of alfalfa mix hay brought $75 to 85. Only four round bales of corn stalks and they brought $65. Firewood sold pretty well on the piles of black locust and only $5 a pile for the small mulberry piles. There was some good red oak that sold up to $20 per pile. The outside sale lasted right at an hour and we were headed in to sell cattle.
Baby beef calves sold from $300 to 350 and the Holsteins sold at $20 to 50 per head. Bred cows are almost as unpopular as puppies this week! There was very limited interest in cows to go back to the farm. We didn’t have a fancy set of young bred cows in the sale. I’m not really sure they would have brought much over $1000 if we would have had a package. Old cows in the 3rd stage would bring their weight times $50 to 55. 6 to 8-year-old 3rd period cows ranged from $700 to 900. Some had some attitude and others were a bit thin. Longhorn cows sold from $450 to 600 for all ages. Weigh cows sold steady with most in the $50’s and a $65 top.
Calving is still moving right along the past week. Nearly all the Hereford AI calves are on the ground at home and at Ted & Rachelle’s at Troy. I had the first bull bred calf today and the last 16 cows here will take 3 weeks to finish up. Calves are growing well and sure buck and play if they get a chance in the sunshine.
This is the week of the Iowa Beef Expo. I will be in Des Moines on Wednesday and Thursday for the sales. It looks like those will be the two best weather days this week. I’m sure I will see some of you there.
A good feeder special coming up this Saturday.
Have a Dandy Week!
Well I’m tickled to death to get thru last week with all my fingers and toes not getting froze off! Our part of the country was included in a large part of the United States that endured the polar freeze last week. We had morning temperatures at -20 with biting winds that drove the wind chills to -50. It was challenging for the crew to keep machinery and waters running as well as keeping new born calves in good shape. We are thankful it let up and we made it thru in good shape. On Saturday and Sunday, we went to 50°! A 70° change in temperatures in three days. I was thinking if we had a 70° change in June or July what kind of havoc that would cause! Imagine going from 95° to 25° in the summer! I hope I never see that! We got thru this in good shape, but that much change would be way more drastic. Well anyways, 50° over the weekend got rid of all our snow and we are freezing up again, that is good! The forecast looks like snow and ice possible this week with temperatures more normal for February. The really good news is the ground hog did not see his shadow, so spring will be here in four weeks! Yee Haw!
Friday and Saturday were really nice and let everyone have a chance to move livestock and hay in for the sale. The hog sale set the pace for the day with all buyers needing big sows. The market jumped from $52 to 63 just while the sale was going on as buyers worked to buy sows to fill orders. Fat hogs were steady to $2 higher and ranged from $40 to 42. Not much for feeder pigs again this week.
The sheep & goat sale was active on all weights and classes. 40 to 50-pound kid goats sold up to $135 to 140 per head and 70-pound lambs sold in the $2.30 to 2.50 per lb. range. A few bottle goats ranging from $5 to 15 on the dairy kids and $35 to 70 on the boer kids. One bottle lamb hit $100 per head! There is a very top set of bred ewes consigned for this coming sale on Feb 9th. It sure would be an opportunity to invest in some darn nice bred ewes. Details are in the early listings under Sheep Sale.
The outside sale was full of big bales and over 1000 small bales this week. Little square bales sold from $5 to 8 with most at the $6.50 to 7 range. Straw held steady at $5.50 to 7 per bale. Big rounds bales cooled off from last week’s steamy highs. Most of the net wrapped bales sold from $85 to 110 per bale. Smaller bales and string tied hay $70 to 85 per bale. A couple piles of big square bales brought $60 to 80 each. Some smaller straw bales brought $45. Firewood and post sold to active bidders. Wood piles were $10 to 15 a pile, taking 8 to 10 piles to make a decent truck load.
The cattle sale had 1475 head this week. Once again some of the area’s really top cattle were in town for the sale. Baby calves sold much higher as folks tried to graft calves on the younger cows that lost their own calves thru the dang cold weather. The top calves were $400 to 450 per head. Just a handful of bred cows and still no one interested in taking them home! Most are going for just pound price.
The feeder market was solid on the good cattle. Upper 4 and low 5 weight steers sold from $1.70 to 1.75 with a top of $1.80 on some 475-pound steers. Six weight steers were mostly $1.58 to 1.65. a fancy string of 830-pound steers sold for $1.42. The better five weight heifers sold up to $1.55 and six weight heifers were mostly in the lower $1.30s. The pound cow market was steady to just another dollar higher.
The crew has had a very busy week. Chores take longer thru the deep cold weather. We have been heavy calving at Luke’s, Ted’s and here at home. We were able to partner up and put two in every site at night so everyone could get some sleep. Cody Corry came to our house and checked cows at midnight and 2 a.m. I got them at 4 and 6 a.m. and then the rest of the day. Colby helped Luke with the heifers and Ted has Rachelle to help him. We really got along well. I had one set of twins. Ted has had two sets and Luke had one set. Calves have come a little early and are for the most part unassisted. It is amazing how those new calves can be bucking and playing when they are two or three days old in -20° weather. I will finish up with AI calves later this week and just have a few bull bred cows left. I am already digging around trying to figure out what bulls I want to use for this spring. The cycle continues!
A few bred cows this week as well as that fancy set of bred ewes!
Have a Dandy Week!