April 2020 04/07/20 5:29:00 PM
Boy, we have hit a stretch of awful pretty spring weather this week. It has been up to 70° a couple of days and more clear than cloudy. Planters are running all across our area. Oats are coming up and look nice and even. Flowers are blooming and our grass is starting to get over the week of 20° weather and snow we had. There is a chance of rain tonight into tomorrow and then warm and sunny into next weekend. It sure feels good to have these beautiful spring days.
Saturday’s sale had 350 hogs, 725 sheep and goats and 275 cattle. The hog sale had a larger run of feeder pigs and demand was moderate with folks buying small groups to finish and shippers buying bigger groups to ship out. The majority of the pigs sold from 50 to 65 cents a pound for all the weights under 100 pounds. Fat hogs had a wide range of $21 to 38 this week. The top handful of sows brought $23. This is a really good time to put some pork in the freezers!
The sheep and goat market was fairly steady with last week’s strong sale. Kid goats sold over $3 a lb. weighting 50 pounds. Nannies and billies were also strong with nannies at $1.40 to 1.50 a pound and billies over $2 a pound. Lambs weighing from 50 to 70 pounds ranged from $2.20 to 2.50 a lb. Fat lambs topped at $1.48 and ewes were mostly $65 to 75 a lb.
The hay sale was not as lively as last week. Apparently warmer weather and green grass has taken the edge off the hay market. Small squares sold from $3.50 to 7.50. Big rounds were from $30 on string tied smaller bales up to $60 on the top net wrapped mixed hay out of the barn. Big squares of alfalfa sold from $45 to 65 per bale.
The cattle sale had a handful of baby calves bringing from $300 to 400 for beef calves and $60 to 150 for dairy calves. Eight head of 5-8 year old black cows in the third period brought $1300. Just had some odd feeders in the run without much test of a feeder market. Weigh cows number were over 100 head and were off just a little with most cows in the lower to mid $50’s. The top cows were at $63 to 68. Bulls ranged from $75 to 90. I am looking for cows to drop back a bit more as cow plants struggle to stay open this week.
As producers continue working at putting in a crop and taking care of livestock, they are very resilient to these trying times. Markets have stabilized to a less volatile trading range every day however values are much lower than they should be at this time. Beef and pork values have hit record highs nearly everyday over the past five days. Box beef was at $3.07 before noon today. There is no doubt that will impact beef movement in a negative way. As packers get back online and turn chain speed up, we should expect those box beef prices to get more in line. The packer is some kind of brutal with that price and never lowers it as fast or as fair as it does going up! We need a new entity in the packing business to balance up competition for live cattle as well as balancing up the competition for boxed beef! Small lockers and processors are doing a booming business now as consumers look to find a quality local source of product. Not a big volume yet, but every little bit helps, and it might open the door for more!
We finished up AI breeding on the Hereford heifers and have started on the cows at Ted’s The crew gave lutelyse at my house today so they should be coming in on 48 hours. Every week is busy from here until the middle of May as we get the Big Bend heifers thru in three separate groups and send them to summer pastures.
We have a darn good run of feeder cattle coming this week expecting well over 1000 head. We are also going to start back selling hedge posts along with the hay outside.
Have A Dandy Week!!
A major April snow event came thru overnight Thursday and dropped 8 inches of wet snow around here! It took some serious scooping to get feed bunks cleaned out to feed everything Friday morning. By Friday afternoon the most of it had melted off and it was 50° and sunny. Saturday and Sunday were also really nice, getting up to 60° and very pleasant. This week calls for a few scattered showers but mostly warmer as we get to next weekend.
Saturday’s sale led off with a strong hog market. Fat hogs were steady at $35 to 39 on nearly 100 head. Feeder pigs sold mostly at 60 cents and sows were steady at $23 to 25 for heavier sows Boars over 350 pounds are still very unpopular and are near oil values of today that we may have to pay you to take them! $1 to 2 was the range.
The sheep and goat sale was very active with better 50-pound kids selling at $175 per head. 60-pound lambs jumped back to pre Easter values of $2.50 to 2.75 a pound. Weigh ewes sold at 70 to 90 cents and pound bucks as high as $1.12 a lb.
The hay sale was also higher this week with big bales averaging $50 and a $60 top. Cornstalks were steady at $25. Small square bales of hay were in the $4 to 5 range for most. Some of the rough hay was at $2 and a top on good hay of $7. We continue to see 350 big bales and 1400 small square in our hay sale.
The cattle sale had baby calves selling at $75 to 175 for Holsteins and $250 to 425 for beef calves. Not much around for breeding stock this week. Feeder cattle sale had 900 this week and our market was fully $10 to 12 a hundred higher than two weeks ago. Light weight steers were in very strong demand as folks were working on stocking postures this spring. We also had higher values paid on a load of 738-pound steers at $1.36. A fancy load of 991-pound steers sold at $1.09. It was good to have strong values paid for these feeder cattle as feeders look to reload pens to have inventory on hand when fat cattle prices rebound.
The boys spent Sunday working pairs at Luke and Cody’s. They gather up a crew and put the cows thru the chute to get their vaccine, wormed and poured. The calves however still get caught by the back feet and pulled to the crew that gives shots, cuts the bulls and worms them. They had a big day working together and enjoying the sunshine and the cattle business the old-fashioned way!
We worked Hereford pairs at home today putting CIDRs in and getting set to breed next week. You could sure tell it was Monday morning! I started getting things around before the crew arrived and was ready to bring the first group of pairs up from the pasture. I have my Dad’s Honda Rancher that saves me a lot of steps and one of his last border collie dogs that is supposed to save me even more steps! Well this morning as I cut Dan loose and went to the pasture, I had Becky move my ole feed truck into position to help. As Dan and I circled the pairs up and worked towards the gate the dang 4-wheeler started missing and cutting out on me. We made it thru the pasture gate, and I shut it, the cows went around the pond and were just eating grass. The feed truck was just thru the next gate and in between the gate and the cows was our trusty 15-year-old border collie named Cale. Cale has had a stroke and doesn’t track very well off his rear legs. He hears nothing anymore either, but still wants to help with the gather. The ole turd is always in the way and you can’t holler load enough to get him out of the way. Becky was the closest to him, (that was very good for Cale!) and she went toward him to get him to move out of the way so the cows would get thru. As Cale is wallowing around to get out of the way he falls off into the pond. He made it slowly out on shore and eased his way back out of the way and the pairs went scooting thru the gateway. They went all the way out of our driveway to the gravel road! All of them went out, except for two that went thru a gate that I forgot to shut and got mixed with 40 yearling heifers who look off on the run across the pasture. My Honda Rancher, Dan and I speed out the driveway to get around the herd. Usually they will come right back knowing they have messed up! Not this bunch, these girls were out for a Monday morning run! They went north a quarter and into the fields on both sides of the gravel. Dan has it in high gear trying to round them up and we head back towards the driveway. They dirty rips overshot the driveway and went a quarter south as Dan and the Honda screamed around the mob to turn them. I didn’t get Dan down quick enough and he crowded a calf thru the fence into the pen where those yearling heifers were! Well son of a gun, is all I could say and took a deep breath and worked at getting the rest back in the driveway. They had been out long enough by now and were wearing down to the point that they were looking for the driveway. We mastered getting them penned and I let Dan and the Honda cool down some before I set after the next bunch! We got the strays out of the yearlings without any trouble and worked thru all the rest without much trouble. It was an awful nice morning to be working cows again.
We are so thankful to be our here in the country and do our everyday work. We may not make much money at it, but we are so fortunate and blessed to have our family working together at what we love to do!
We are expecting a few pairs and bred cows Saturday as well as the usual morning run.
Have A Dandy Week!!
This week’s weather has been as crazy as the cattle market! We started out mild and warm with highs in the 60’s to as much as 70 on Sunday. Then it changed Sunday afternoon and rained, there was some hail around, some snowflakes overnight and the wind howled strong all night! It was 26° here Monday morning. Wow that is a big switch in about 14 hours. The sun was out today, and the water was drying up some by this afternoon. Our forecast is to be pretty cold the next couple of nights then it warms by Thursday and into the weekend.
Saturday’s sale had a normal run of hogs and pigs. The market was up on sows to $25 to 27 o heavier sows and $38 to 40 on the better fat hogs. Feeder pigs sold from 50 to 75 cents a lb. for all weights.
The sheep and goat run was down on head count to only 250 head but the market held pretty steady. Lambs in the 60 to 80-pound weight range sold from $1.70 to 1.90. The bred ewes sold up to $220 and the weigh up ewes topped at $75 cwt. The goat market was also steady with 50 to 60-pound kids brought $2 per pound. Day old boer babies brought up to $70 and older does sold at just over a dollar a pound.
The hay sale had a very good run of small squares and 400 big bales. The market was fairly steady this week. Small squares of straw sold at $3.50. hay ranged from $3 to a top of $7 this week. Big bales of net wrapped hay sold from $27.50 to 57.50, most of it sold at $35 to 45. Big square bales ranged from $35 to 70. Corn stalk bales were running from $25 to 30. It was a nice day to be our front and in 45 minutes we were finished p. With no misc. items we get done in a hurry!
The cattle sale had baby beef calves selling from $250 to 400 and dairy calves brought $50 to 100. The week was a bred cow and pairs sale and interest was really good. We had a couple of heifer pairs selling at $2050 and several middle-aged pairs from $1500 to 1750. A nice five head package of fall bred 3 & 4-year olds sold at $1450. Feeders were not tested this week. Weigh cows sold $10 higher than last week with most at $55 to 60 and a $63.50 top.
Easter Sunday morning was awfully nice. I fed hay to all the cows at home and the went to the barn to load. Hay and cattle trailers hauled out much of the morning and by about 3, I went home before the rain settled in. The boys were all enjoying Easter with family or at their homes, so it was quiet at our house. I have been working at getting this year’s calf crop registered so I worked on some more of them Sunday afternoon while it was raining. I finished them today, yee haw, I hate paperwork!
I took a run this morning looking at some cow calf pairs and a few feeder calves for sales coming up. I am going again tomorrow to look at reds with Kyle for our up coming Reds at the Big Bend sale on May 13th. I hope to deliver bulls later this week.
There is a special feeder cattle sale coming up this week.
Have A Dandy Week!!
The first week of April has arrived with very pleasant weather. We have been in the 60’s a couple of times and clouds have given way to sunshine for more than half of the week. We were expected to get some rain a couple of times this week and missed everything that you could measure. The forecast this week is for warmer temperatures up into the upper 70’s and late in the week a slight chance of rain. We are drying out enough there is some manure hauling, fertilizer spreading, seeding and some anhydrous all going on this week. I heard there may be some corn planted pretty close to us also! If it continues to be dry this week there will be a lot of field work started!
Saturday’s sale came at the end of a very uncomfortable week in the market. Hog and cattle futures crashed lower faster than the Titanic went down. Cash market had been very resilient to futures up until this week and cash headed more towards the futures rather than vis versa!
The hog sale lead off the day’s sale with fat hogs bringing $39 to 43.50. Sows fell into the very low $20’s for over 5 weight sows and into the teens on light sows Big boars fell to only 2 cents a lb. and we were lucky to find someone to take them! The pigs sold mostly at 60 to 70 cents with a couple of packages bringing over $70 for some 85-pound pigs. The hog sale had 375 head.
This sale is our traditional week for an Easter lamb special. With the market moving lower several lambs were held back by producers hoping to hang on until the market gains some strength again. The feature consignment was the bred ewes due to lamb here in April. The large group of them sold for $310 per head as several people bid on them hoping to add to their flocks. The 50 to 60-pound lamb market was pretty much from $1.65 to 2.05 with most at $1.75 to 1.85. Fat kid goats weighing 40 to 60 pounds brought $80 to 125 or about $2 a lb. Nannies and billies were lower but seemed to bring from a $1 to 1.25 a lb. for nearly all weights. Baby kid goats were $178 to 35 for dairy billies.
The outside sale was loaded with over 800 big bales and 1250 small square bales. The demand for small squares was good. The better quality hay sold from $5 to 7 and the lower end was at $3 to 3.50. We didn’t have any straw. Big round bales were $30 to 55 with a large quantity in the $40 to 45 range. Big squares sold from $40 to 75 and corn stalk round bales brought $20 to 32.50. It takes 45 minutes to sell that amount of hay and with nothing else outside to work on we were ready to sell cattle before the sheep and goat sale was over.
We had a 1000 plus cattle this week with most customers deciding to let their calves go rather than try to outrun the market in the coming weeks. It was really a very active sale as people were active on grass cattle and big yearlings going to the feed yards. Five weight steers were solid from $1.60 to 1.70 and six weight steers topped at $1.49. A fancy group of 755-pound steers brought $1.23. Light heifers averaging in the 400’s were from $1.45 to 1.55 and some low 5 weight heifers would get into the $1.40’s. Six and seven weight heifers sold from $1.15 to 1.30. Weigh cows took a direct hit with some packers out of the market and the balance backing off the numbers they can process per day. The majority of the cows sold from $45 to 50. We had a $57 top. Bulls were in the $60 and 70’s with an $80 top.
As plants slow down because of a labor shortage, cash markets will stay soft over the next couple of weeks. As chain speed starts up again, cash will move up as well. It is hard to be patient in times like this when the market is moving so violently. We may not see a recovery this week, but we are going to a recovery in the market over the next few weeks. Keep taking care of your stock and yourselves and we will get thru this challenge.
Have A Dandy Week!!