May 2019 05/07/19 9:42:00 PM
This week has put new meaning to the phrase “keep your powder dry”! Our area has received 7 to 10 inches of rain over the past 7 days. The river is out this morning downtown. Fox river is over the highway north of Cantril and small streams went over the roads in several places last night. Monday there was tornado damage on the south side of Highway 2 south of Keosauqua. West of the Highway 1 & 2 junction a house was directly hit and completely leveled. A hunter’s nice cabin was destroyed on the opposite side of the road at that spot. It then lifted back up for about 4 miles before dropping down on a machine shed and blew it thru the barn lot scattering trees, lumber and tin for nearly a mile across waterlogged crop fields. The tornado skipped another four miles before dropping in on another sight and wiped out a building, trees and throwing a small grain bin into the home. No personal injuries, so we are thankful for that. The forecast looks like we have some days with a 50 percent chance of rain over the next week, but we might miss part of those and get dried out a little. A new moon is coming up June 3rd we will hope that brings drier weather for a while!
Saturday’s sale had 200 plus hogs, 500 sheep & goats, and 375 cattle of all classes. The fat hog market was mostly $55 to 60 this week. Big sows lost demand as a major packer is closing for maintenance. The top was $56, most of the sows were $50 to 54. A few pigs in the market sold from 70¢ on the bigger pigs to $1 a pound on the 40 to 50-pound pigs.
The sheep and goat market are holding pretty steady this week. $1.65 to 1.98 caught the lambs under 90 pounds and fat lambs hit $1.93 weighing 124 pounds this week. The better kid goats were still around $3 a pound while the lower yielding kids were $2 to 2.25 a pound. The cull nanny market was from $1.35 to 1.60 a pound.
The outside sale saw the highest square bales since I’ve been selling hay at Keosauqua! $9.50 to 15 per bale this week as wet conditions have prevented any new hay from being baled. Big bales were also selling strong this week as well. The top big squares of grass were $160 per bale or it would equal $400 per ton! Round bales sold from $90 to 160 per bale. Tomato plants sold up to $15, they had green tomatoes o them already. The top hanging flower basket sold at $47.50 with a welcome sign in it. A big crowd was out front on the holiday weekend.
The cattle sale had pairs selling from $1000 on the older end to $1800 on heifers. Several landed from $1400 to 1600 for middle aged cows with calves at side. Fall calving cows ranged from $110 to 1400 on the better quality. Feeders sold to active interest and good demand with the top four weight black white face steers getting to $1.91. Weigh up cows were steady to higher with the top cows at $70 to 72 and a big portion of the cows in the $60’s.
I spent a day in Des Moines last week for a gathering of livestock industry and veterinaries discussing what happens with a foreign animal disease outbreak in the US. The long and the short is we hope we never have to deal with an outbreak. Endless number of things to discuss in regard to animal movement involving different species, what was learned from the bird flu out break and all kinds of things to contain an outbreak if it occurs again. Because of the way livestock is moved across the country anymore a major out break can potential be a huge challenge to control and contain. At least producers, industry and Vet services are engaged to put strategy in place to make response time as best it can be.
Boys are checking cattle as best they can in the waterlogged conditions. Cows & calves and yearlings are doing okay, but dry weather would sure be a relief to them. A special sale next Saturday for feeder cattle.
Have a Dandy Week!
This week marked the end of the drought! We have missed some of the heavy rains and have received an inch and a half of rain. North of us 40 to 70 miles they have seen over 8 inches, and some received 10 to 12 inches over the past four days. It came hard and fast and has done a lot of major amount of erosion. We had a small shower this evening and a big chance thru tonight into tomorrow. We are seeing several acres of corn up now and a few beans. I would say there would still be over 40 % of the corn to be planted and most of the beans need to be planted yet. Grass and hay have changed a bunch and would expect a lot of hay to be made as soon as we get a break. The forecast sounds wet all week, so we will see if we get an opening after the holiday weekend.
Saturday’s sale had 280 hogs, 730 sheep & goats and nearly 1000 cattle. The hog sale had fat hogs selling at $60 to 65 this week and big sows lower at $55 to 60 for the fancy six weights. Not too many pigs but good interest in what we did have.
The sheep and goat market is softer on old ewes and does. The market is steady on nearly everything else. Fat lambs topped at $1.88 this week. Lighter weight lambs sold from $1.20 to 1.95. Goats around 50 pounds topped at $160 per head for a dandy set of boer kids. Seems like there is a growing number of sheep and goats coming to the market each week. I started a couple of new guys tagging and recording all these animals. USDA has made a rule requiring all goats to be tagged now. Producers can get tags and have them already tagged before coming to the sale and there is a growing number that do carry the tags. The boys still tagged 250 head this week that were unloaded without tags. By the time they finished with all the sows and pigs, sheep & goats they were ready for a break! A great pair of young men that embraced the challenge and went after it in a very energetic manner. It is a great pleasure to work with people like that in anything you are doing.
The outside sale was light this week. I did sell about 30 small squares of freshly baled grass hay this week. It might not have been cured very much, but still brought $6.50 a bale. Big round bales sold for $90 to 120 on the net wrapped hay. Big squares ranged $80 to 110 per bale. There was not much for hedge posts. We did have tomato plants, strawberry plants and hanging flower baskets. We finished up before noon for the first time in probably 8 months!
The cattle market is holding fairly steady right now! There was big news about trade deals getting finished up last week and Japan opening up their market to more US beef, but still fats were lower, and futures were lower. Obviously fake news reporting how much better the market would be with the new trade deal completed, but it didn’t make any difference whatsoever. The baby calf market was in the $300 to 500 range for better calves (more than a few days old also). The Holstein calves were $50 to 100. The five weight steer calves ranged from $160 to 170 while the six weights were more like $145 to 155. Over eight weight cattle were very sluggish as feeders are concerned about fats dropping below a dollar in late summer. Weigh cows were steady to $3 higher with several cows $60 plus and a top yielding cow hit $70!
The breeding barn was in heavy use today as we are working thru the last group of Big Bend heifers. We bred 74 head this morning and have 105 for tonight. With some luck we should have some very nice groups of AI bred heifers for the sale this fall.
This coming sale will feature cow calf pairs, a few bred cows and some fancy breeding bulls
Have a Dandy Week!
We have been thru a chilly damp and rainy kind of a week. Three showers came by dropping ¾ of an inch and Sunday another 3 or 4 tenths fell over the afternoon. Temperatures have fell into the 30’s at night and a couple of days we never made it out of the 40’s for a high. Way more cloudy days than sunny days over the past week. Today was a real pretty day from daylight until dark! The forecast is calling for more sunshine this week and temperatures jumping up to the 80’s, that will get everything in high gear again!
Saturday started right off with a big bang! I got to the barn about 6:20 and
Luke and neighbor Doug were seated at a booth waiting on breakfast. Lauren and Taylor were in high gear preparing breakfast and getting ready for the day. I grabbed a cup of coffee and sat down with Doug and Luke and turned my order in. Lauren motioned me to the kitchen and indicated that half of the grill was not heating. So, I looked under it a little and promptly asked where the lighter was to see if I could get the burner to light. Lauren and Taylor backed up and Lauren says to me, “you might wait a minute I have had the gas on for a while there.” Well, honey, there is a fire going under there already, there can’t be enough gas in there to bother anything and I struck the lighter and stuck it under there to! Whoosh, the fire ball dang sure lit up! Put a fireball out to the ceiling, put a blister on my finger and it is taking three showers to get the burnt hair smell out of my nose! I never did like gas, I’m more of a firewood guy, I’m looking for a wood fired cook stove for the kitchen this week! It didn’t hurt anything, but Lauren and Taylor were thinking if they would have waited five more minutes to summon me, they would have been able to get that new kitchen sooner rather than later.
Saturday turned out very big again this week. The hog sale was good again and the market is steady on fat hogs in the low $60’s. The sows over 500 pounds topped at $67. We didn’t have very many feeder pigs this sale.
The sheep and goat sale had over 500 head. Lambs sold under 60 pounds sold from $1.65 to 1.85. Fat lambs topped at $1.89 a lb. The kid goat market is softening up but, still sold a few up to $3 a lb. most were $2.25 to 2.75 a lb.
Spring is southeastern Iowa brings the return of the morel mushrooms. Folks have been finding them for a couple of weeks and those not finding them have cash they are willing to trade for these springtime delicacies. Some of the boys are doing pretty well getting them merchandised. At least they are gathering enough money to buy tick repellent before they head back to the timber!
The outside sale had a darn big crowd and not a big hay run. The small squares eased up slightly to $5 to 8 a bale. Big rounds also were off ranging from $70 to 120 per bale. Big square bales sold from$75 to 100. We had a couple of pickups out front, a homemade cattle chute, lumber and all kinds of hanging flower basket, pants and some fruit trees. The top flower basket hit $30, Mother’s Day pressure crowded the market up a little, I believe!
The cattle sale had a soft veal calf market with only a $400 top and several nice beef calves sold from $200 to 300 per head. A big crowd in town for the cows and bull sale. The top pairs sold for $2100 on six head of 3-year-old black pairs. We had a lot of pairs selling from $1300 to 1700 that were 4 to 8 years of age. Short solid and aged pairs sold from $850 to 1200. Fall calving cows topped at $1400 and the older cows were selling just over weigh up price. The feeder calves had a better demand than you would think at 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday evening after 500 bred cows and pairs.
Sunday was hectic loading out and taking care of stock around the barn. We had a steady line of trailers until noon and afternoon we loaded some and worked to get the rest comfortable.
The boys are getting some more pairs turned out this week and should get back to hauling some manure to finish up ahead of the corn planter.
Colby was absent today. He spent the day at a roping clinic at Lineville. I am pretty sure he was ready for anything that did not involve the sale barn after the past weekend.
A special feeder cattle sale coming up this Saturday.
Have a Dandy Week!
The calendar flipped over to May this past week, but at times it seemed more like early April! Cooler temperatures and a shower or two moved thru here to make it a little more uncomfortable. We did have a very pretty Saturday and Sunday this week with clear skies and mid 70’s for the highs. The forecast is for some rain over the next couple of days then dry into the weekend and warmer.
Saturday was a really big sale again. 585 hogs, 690 sheep and goats and right at 1685 cattle. I could tell early we were going to be busy, so we started 15 minutes early to try and out run the wave! It didn’t work! The barn was full, the crew was short, and it seemed like we never could get any momentum going. The hog sale had a very large number of sows, butchers and feeder pigs. The market was good on sows again with light sows in the low to mid $50’s and heavy sows mostly $69 to 74. The fat hogs were steady at $58 to 64. Feeder pigs sold from 65 to 85 cents a pound.
The sheep and goat market saw the lamb market gain a little with several 50 to 80-pound lambs over $2 a lb. A real nice pen of fat lambs weighed 135 pounds and brought $1.83 a lb. The good boer kids were still $3 a lb. for 50 pounds kids. Nannies and billies sold steady.
Going outside to sell was really nice this week! The weather was beautiful, the crowd was awesome, and I got away from the struggle inside! The hay market held steady to higher with small squares leading the pace at $7 to 12 per bale, mostly selling $9 to 10. Big rounds were solid from $100 to 150 again this week. Big squares sold from $80 to 105 for mostly grass mix hay. There were several plants, baskets and some fruit trees out there as well as an assortment of misc. items.
The cattle sale started with Holstein calves bringing $25 to 85 per head and a couple of fancy black baby calves bringing $400 to 510. The feeder cattle run was pretty much fall calves. Several strings of 300 to 600-pound home raised calves. After the mercantile exchange took large profits out of the cattle complex, I was expecting a lot lower feeder cattle market. We were sure tickled with the market on the fall calves! Three weight steers topped at $2.10 a lb. the top five weight steers sold at $1.81. A pen of black steers at 607 brought $165.50, some 345-pound heifers sold at $177.50, some 523-pound heifers topped at $1.50 and some weighing 608 pounds sold to a $1.43 top. The weigh cows continue to roll to town and by 10:30 Saturday night we sold the last animal. The skeleton crew was completely worn out, they ate some supper and rested for 30 minutes and then began to get the stock settled in for the night, by 1 a.m. they had finished up until morning.
Sunday morning, I was back to help load out early. The boys got the chores done and went to work gathering pairs at Luke’s. They cut and vaccinated all of them the old way with about nine people. The girls all pitched in and helped by giving shots sand helping throw calves! They were finished by about 3:30, took a short break, then went to give lutelyse to the next group of heifers to breed. They worked together and sure enjoy what we do even thou they are wore out most of the time!
This week’s sale will have an outstanding run of fall bred cows, spring pairs and some very nice breeding bulls. I would imagine the morning sale will be good sized as well!
Have a Dandy Week!