Keosauqua Sales Co. Inc

March 2020  03/03/20 2:49:00 PM

            The wind blew thru here on Sunday and with the strong sunshine we dried out a whole bunch.  It rained here Saturday morning for about 20 minutes at 10 o’clock but by 11 it was sunny and bright when we went outside to sell hay.  The forecast looks darn good for us until Friday with highs in the 60’s and dry until at least Thursday.    A few more of these nice drying days and fellas will be starting to think about planting some corn!
            Saturday, we had a large run of livestock and hay, but no misc. items.    We sold over 500 head of hogs to an active market on all weights.   Feeder pigs sold from $50 to 70 on the pigs weighing 60 to 90 pounds and some that weighed 32 pounds brought $26.   Fat hogs sold at $47 to 52 and heavy sows were $42 to 45 this week.  Hogs shipped into six separate states out of this sale!
            The sheep and goat sale had a large run again with almost 600 head.  The market was off some on meat goats of all classes due to an extra-large run of sheep and goats being sold across the country last week.   Light lambs weighing 50 to 80 pounds sold mostly from $2.00 to 2.05 per lb.   90-pound lambs brought $1.97 and 130 pound lambs were at $1.60.  The better kid goats weighing from 40 to 70 pounds held right at $3 a lb.   Nannies over 100 pounds brought from $150 to 175.  The top billy weighed 135 and brought $275 per head.   Next weeks’ sale on April 4th will have a big run of light lambs and a fancy group of hamp ewes just ready to lamb.  
            The hay sale was loaded with 1400 small squares and 500 big bales.   The straw market was steady at $2.50 to 5 and small squares of hay were mostly at $3.50 to 5.   Big round bales topped at $65 with several bales in the $45 to 50 range.   Corn stalk bales sold for $30 to 32.50.  One fancy pile of big square bales brought $105 to 115 per bale on 3x3x8 alfalfa bales.  It was really odd not having any misc. items or posts out there!   We got lucky and the rain was gone, and it was really sunny when we got started out there!
            The cattle sale had baby calves in the range of $200 to 350 for beef calves and $25 to 100 on dairy calves.  A light offering of bred cows that saw a group of 5 & 6-year-old 3rd period cows bring $1275.   Feeders had steady interest on a couple hundred of them and weigh cows were fairly steady on a very large run of cows and bulls.  
            Attendance at the sale was more in line with what is expected of us to do in regard to social distancing!  Folks inside were engaged in buying and bidding on livestock and were spread out all over.   The folks outside were much more conscious of keeping apart than the previous week and line up outside the office with 6-foot distance between them and two at a time in the office.   Folks in Agriculture are getting along remarkably well when compared to some of the rest of the country.  We sincerely hope that we can continue to do what is necessary to keep the market open and move livestock into the nation’s food channel.   We truly thank all of you for making this possible!
            Next Saturday we will have a special feeder sale featuring some of the area’s very reputation cattle.
Have A Dandy Week!!

            Our weather has turned into very normal March weather, cloudy and light showers. It snowed most all day Sunday and made it sloppy and muddy around everywhere.  It gets just a little better than we get some added moisture and its really bad again.   The forecast looks about the same thru the weekend so we may need a moon change to see any significant change in weather conditions.
            The days leading up to last Saturday’s sale were very challenging to everyone.  We were not 100% sure at the market we would be able to operate until late Friday evening when the Governor & the IA Dept of Ag gave the ok to hold a sale but needing to control the crowd.   So, we put the word out as to our operation standards and went to work continuing to market animals into the nation’s food chain.
            The hog sale was big with 300 head of all classes.   Everything in the market was higher with fat hogs at $52 and sows jumped up to $46 to 48 on the over 5 weight sows   Pigs were also higher with most at 65 to 85 cents a lb.
            The sheep and goat sale had over 700 head this week.  The market was higher across all classes.   Light lambs from 50 to 65 pounds ranged from $2.50 to 2.65.   Heavier lambs from 75 to 90 pounds also sold from $2.35 to 2.55.   Fat lambs topped at $1.79.   Kid goats sold over $3 a lb.  with the top 52-pound kids at $190 per head. 
            The hay market was up on a pretty good offering.   Small squares led off with a high of $13 and half a dozen piles were over $10.   Straw brought from $3.50 to 4.50 per bale.  Big round bales of net wrapped grass hay were mostly $50 to 60 with a $75 top.   There were no big square bales.   Cornstalk bales were $30 to 40.  
            The cattle sale had 350 head.   Baby calves sold from $150 to 450 on the beef calves and $35 to 60 for dairy.   Feeder cattle were very strong for the environment we were in.  A package of 702-pound cross bred steers sold at $138.50 and small groups of 7 weight heifers were from $120 to 124. Light calves were also sold to active bidders.   550-pound steers were at $1.50 to 1.56 and 450 heifers sold from $1.42 to 1.50.   Weigh cows were in high demand with grocery meat cases being cleaned off daily.   The top cows were at $80 and more brought over $70 than under $70 this week.   The top bull weighed 2410 pound and bought $1.00 a lb.   We sold over 90 head.
            Sunday, we caught up on some chores and I slipped over to Tom Heidt’s bull sale.  It was snowing all the way over and all afternoon.   Cattle were in great shape and buyers on the seats and on the internet made for an active sale for the conditions.   Congratulations to Tom and all the K7 crew!
            Monday, we put CIDRs in the first group of heifers to begin our cycle all over again.   It felt good to be doing a normal activity again with the worry of the world on our minds.   The Hereford heifers were first on the list to get set up.  This is one of the best groups I have ever had!   I am pretty excited to see how they develop as the year goes by.   We moved some pairs around at home and have everything kicked out to get out of the mud as best we can for now.
            As we look towards next Saturday’s sale, we will be making some modifications to the auction.  We will be holding our crowd down to buyers only.   There will be no spectators allowed inside.   The buyers that are inside need to respect the 6-foot social distancing rules.  We are limiting the office hallway to only two people at a time.  There will only be hay, straw and cornstalks sold outside.   We will not be selling posts or anything else outside for a couple of weeks.   If you come to the hay auction to buy hay, we will start at 11 a.m. on small bales.   Only one family member is requested to be out on the property or in the pavilion.  No children should be on the premise.  
            Although our market has been and will again be a place for large numbers of folks to gather, visit and participate the next couple of weeks is not the time.  We want to protect the health of our buyers, staff and all of our great customers.   These rules are only temporary but will be enforced so that we can continue our role in the business of moving livestock into the food chain!   Thanks for your patience and understanding as we move forward.


Have A Dandy Week and keep yourself healthy!!


            Well this week will stick in our memories for a long time!  Not because of a little snow on Saturday either!   We have witnessed another extreme market move down from Wall Street thru most commodity markets because of the fear around the Covid 19 virus.  All commodities traded and the stock market traded downward all week long as traders scrambled to get position in the market.    After all that news some states are closing restaurants, bars & all kinds of places.   The good thing is people still need to eat and we are still producing food for the consumers.   As the officials put together recommendations, we are focused on keep a competitive market for our customers and keeping food in the supply chain.  As we move forward, we will continue to do everything we can to ensure that our producers can continue to have a place to do business and provide a means for them to generate income in these times of concern. 
            The positive news out of the past Saturday’s sale was how strong the livestock markets were at the auction.   Hogs sold steady to higher on all classes.   Pigs were much higher for those weighing 50 to 70 pounds.   It looks like that market should stay strong again this coming week.
            The sheep and goat sale was really good.   A bottle lamb market was strong with a $140 for a nice baby dorper lamb!   The nicer 60-pound lambs sold at $2.70 and even a 90-pound lamb was at $2.50 per lb.   The good 50 to 60-pound kid goats brought from $185 to 230 per head.   The 200 pound billy goats were at $425 to 460 per head. 
            The outside sale was well attended in the falling wet snow.   Small squares of hay sold from $2 to 8 a bale.   Straw was only $1.50 to 2.50 per bale.   Big bales were up slightly as the bale count was less than half of the previous week.  The bulk o f the net wrapped round bales sold from $40 to 50.   A few were at $60 and some string tied smaller bales brought $30 to 35.   The cornstalks sold from $30 to 35.
            All kinds of misc. items were outside again with a high volume of hedge posts.  That market wasn’t quite as good as the past few sales.
            The cattle sale was mostly bred cows and weigh ups with a sample of feeders.  The cow market was mostly $1300-1700 on 3rd period cows that 3-7 years old that weighed 1050 to 1200 pounds and most were in thin body condition.   Weigh cows were very steady with more cows over 60 cents than under.  Big bulls sold for 80 to 90 cents.   
            Sunday was an Iowa Hereford Board meeting, so I went to Ames and left the boys to load out at the barn Sunday.    Calving has wrapped up at our house and the boys are winding up fast as well.   We are laying out schedules to start breeding again and our first group get CIDRs next Monday already!
            Stay tuned to our website and Facebook page for updates on the upcoming sales.   
Have A Dandy Week!   

            March dang sure came in like a gentle baby lamb!  We had a truly awesome past week of weather capped off with 70° Sunday and pretty blue skies.  It was pretty windy on Friday and Sunday afternoon, but was still very nice.   This morning it all changed as I could hear rain on the roof and water going down the eave spout off the corner of our house.  I figured it would not last too long (rain before 7 will quit before 11)   It was still raining at 7:30 tonight!   So much for that old wives tale, I guess!   It looks like a big inch in this area today and the temperature fell to 36 as I came in few minutes ago.   The forecast looks like it will clear out of here and be sunny tomorrow and back up to 50.  A little chance of another rain later this week and colder into next weekend. 
            Saturday was a dandy day for a sale and many people took advantage of it.  The hog sale led off the day as usual and the market was really good for what you would have expected with all the negativity flying around.   Fat hogs sold from $38 to 45 and an extra-large run of very top end heavy sows sold from $29 to 31.50.   A very light test of feeder pigs and as usual I am receiving several calls from folks looking for pigs and not hardly any in the auction!
            The sheep and goat run was strong getting back to 400 head.   This market has not been even slightly affected by any news from around the world.   There must be a direct correlation to those commodities getting their equity drained by the Chicago Board of Trade and commodities not traded on the Board of Trade being unaffected and holding steady value!  Anyway, the sheep and goat market held to a very steady market that’s been rolling along into an exciting Easter time for this market.  Bottle kids were active seeing two Boer cross kids bring $100 per head and dairy billies $30-50 per head.   50-pound fat kids were bringing up to $190 and lambs that size were $2.80 per pound.  Cull ewes were 85 to 90 cents.
            The outside sale continues to amaze me with the volume of hay and everything else we get to sell each week.  Over 800 big bales and close to 2000 small squares, many posts as well as a few garage sale treats and puppies!   The hay market hit a season low in the big bales.   Most of the decent hay was $40 to 45 per bale.   Some plain quality hay and smaller string tied hay fell down to $20.   Big squares ranged from $35 on the average grass to $75 on the best alfalfa orchard grass mix.   Corn stalks were at a solid $25 a bale.   Small squares were steady to slightly better.   Most of the decent hay was $3.50 to 5 with a $6.50 top and a $1.50 low.
            The hedge post market was steady with fancy 9-foot posts at $50.   Lines sold from $8 to 20 and most corners were from $25 to 40.   All kinds of misc. items were in the auction including those nine Aussie pups that brought $25.
            The cattle sale had 850 head.  Baby calves sold from $200 to 400 for beef calves and $50 to 125 for dairy and dairy cross calves. The feeder cattle market saw cattle under 650 pounds pretty steady and over were $5 to 7 softer.   Weigh cows sold to a steady market on 100 head of cows and bulls.  
            The crew finished up the weigh cows sale without me this week.  I had been contacted by the Tama IA Cattlemen to attend their banquet Saturday evening.   When Kyle called and ask if I could come, I hesitated knowing it’s 2 and half hours up to Traer where the banquet was to start at 6:30. We talked about it in December and I decided to commit to go.  Well February had an extra Saturday, so to hopefully take some cattle off of the first of the month special. I scheduled a special for the 29th of Feb and it had over 1000 head.  I was sure we wouldn’t have to many this week that I would be done in plenty of time to get to the banquet.  Well we hurried like crazy all day long and I finally turned it over to Jim to finish the feeder sale and took off to go to Traer at 4:30. I made it by 7 without a speeding ticket!  I greeted the fellas, ate a great prime rib and enjoyed their banquet.   It is a terrific group of young cattlemen involved in this county.   I would guess 60 to 70 percent of the 160 people were under 35 years old!   That is very impressive as we know the average produced in Iowa is 57 years old!
            Sunday was very busy loading hay at the barn.   Lucas and his family traveled to Wickenburg AZ for a horse sale last week after attending Cody’s Grandfather’s funeral.  They returned home Saturday evening from the St. Louis airport.   Ted & Rachelle left Cedar Rapids airport Saturday night to go to Hereford TX to attend Rachelle’s Grandfather’s funeral on Monday.   Colby and Curt have had double duty helping get chores done and keep the barn running (Gabe too!)
            Bred cow and a few pairs coming up next Saturday.  Watch the website for all the early listings.

Have A Dandy Week!   

            It is sure obvious that March has arrived like the sweetest most gentle lamb you can imagine!   We were 60° sunny and calm yesterday and then made it to 47° this afternoon with a whole week of mild temperatures and dry conditions coming up.   It is truly a welcome relief for al the young stock to soak up some sun and be dry underneath!  
            I was in the country today and didn’t see any field work going on however I did see a drill hooked up and ready to go with oats by mid-week.  We can sure hope March behaves itself, but experience could tend to think we will have some uncomfortable days in this month!
            Saturday was a beautiful day and folks converged on Keosauqua to do business!  I have thought the crowd has been big several weeks up to this one, but this week was huge!   We started off the hog sale with a nice winter run of sows, butchers some pigs.  The sows were a few dollars higher getting up to $34 top.   Fat hogs sold from $39 to 46 this week. Pigs sold a little higher with small groups selling from 50 to 60 cents a lb.
            The sheep and goat sale had a couple of Suffolk bottle lambs lead off the sale at $100 a piece!   Bottle dairy kids brought from $20 to 35 per head and the top boer kid baby was at $75.   Light lambs weighing 50 to 60 pounds were at $2.55 a lb.   Goats were very strong again this week with 46-pound kids bringing $167 per head.
            The outside sale had a massive quantity of hay again this week!   The market was a little lower on all the hay and straw with warmer temperatures slowing down livestock consumption.   Big bales sold from $12.50 on some loose string tied rough quality hay to $85 on the best alfalfa big square hay.   Lots of hay sold from $38 to 50 a bale.   Small squares of plain quality hay were down to $1.25 to 2.50 and the top hay was at $6.50 with most bales in the $3 to 4.50 range.   Straw sold from $2.50 to 3.50.  the hedge post market was steady on the good posts as the top 8-foot lines brought $37. There were all kinds of misc. items out there again on the pretty day!   The Ford with the bale bed on it brought $10000.  The NH grinder mixer was in very good condition and sold for $2400. 
            The cattle sale had 1075 head.   After the rhetoric in the market last week seeing contracts lose $10 a hundred, it is a wonder anyone would even sell one!   Rumors and skepticism have become major market movers rather than supply and demand.   Baby calves were in good demand to kick off the cattle sale.   The top baby beef calf hit $600 again this week.   Dairy calves for $60 to 100 and most of the beef calves brought $300 to 400.   A few 4-year-old black cows with two-day old calves brought $1800 and middle aged bred cows sold from $1200 to 1450. 
            The feeder cattle actually sold with darn good interest on all classes except the heavier weights that would go in July and August.   Farmer feeders and backgrounders as well as order buyers were very engaged to purchase inventory.   A draft of 640 steers sold at $154.40 and a top selling set of black heifers were at 556 brought $1.51.   Weigh cows also sold with steady to higher values that were sure not affected by any virus worries!
            Sunday was a gorgeous day to be out.  I chored at home and then spent all day loading out at the barn.   Folks were hauling wood, hay and cattle and all were in really good spirits on the pretty day.    Sunshine is just a good cure for the human spirit!   The boys took the day to open the roping pen for the first time in 2020!   They chored early and caught horses up and really enjoyed a day away from the sale barn!
            A special feeder cattle sale is coming up this week.
Have A Dandy Week!   
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