Keosauqua Sales Co. Inc

January 2024  01/04/24 1:05:00 PM

         It’s amazing how quickly the weather changes around here! We have warmed up to a sunny 50 degrees and the bulk of our snow is all gone. The ground is sloppy but improving in places where the traffic isn’t too heavy! We are looking at another 10 days of warmer mild temperatures without a chance of precipitation! Winter sure isn’t over but we are working through it pretty fast for the next couple of weeks.
         Saturday was warmer and roads cleared up giving folks a chance to move stock that needed to go the past couple of weeks. The hog sale had nearly 300 head and was active on all weights and classes. Fat hogs sold mostly for $42.00 to $47.00. Sows topped at $51.00. Lighter sows were mostly #35.00 to $45.00. There were not enough feeder pigs to test the market. Several light boars brought $32.00 to $35.00 and big boards were $3.00 to $7.00.
         The sheep and goat sale had 700 head. Kid goats that weighed 75lb topped at $3.95 a pound. Most of them sold from $3.20 to $3.80. Cull nannies sold from $1.20 to $1.35 a pound. Billies topped at $2.15 a pound. The lambs were steady at $3.20 to $3.60 a pound for 60-75lb. Fat lambs topped at $2.15 a pound. Cull ewes sold for $0.90 to $1.20 a pound. Big bucks ranged from $0.97 to $1.30 a pound.
         The outside sale had a very large crowd for hay. Small squares of hay sold from $6 to $8 and small squares of straw brought $4 to $5. Big round bales sold from $120 to $160 for better kind in a full size bale. Wet wrapped alfalfa brought $110 and wet wrapped rye brought $80. Big round bales of straw ranged form $50 to $55. Corn stalk bales sold at $45  to $53. Big square bales of higher quality hay was $100 to $130 per bale. A handful of big square bales of straw brought $35.00 a bale. It was a pretty large run of hay again, with 656 big bales! Hedge posts ranged from $10 to $35.
         The cattle sale had baby calves selling for $250 for Holsteins and $500 on beef calves. A handful of 1000lb bred heifers sold at $2050 a head and older cows brought $1400 to $1800. We had a wide variety in the feeder sale! We had bulls, dexters, longhorns, as well as a few nice cattle. Weigh cows sold higher reaching $1.21 on the top high yielding, fleshy cows. Most cows sold from $1.00 to $1.10 a pound. Weigh bulls topped at $1.30 a pound.
         We are getting a good start calving now. I don’t have those fancy barn cameras at home, so I have to run home and check mine a couple times a day. I got stalled a little at the barn the barn last week and jumped in quick to go and check them. I didn’t make it to 16 west til I had the Iowa Highway Patrol stop me and tell me I was going 78 mph. I settled with him and went on home. I found a new one and one started that I put in the calving pen. I went ahead and jumped on the 4wheeler to check the ones out back. I was mostly done and the phone rang, I answered it and went right on driving and buried the darn thing in the deep snow! I walked to the house to get my loader and stopped to check the heifer that I had shut up and she hadn’t made any progress. It was kind of odd because the front feet were out to the knee when I had shut her up. So I went to check to see if there might be a head back and found a calf upside down and backwards! I grabbed the grabbed the chain and puller to assist her. The heifer was quiet and easy to handle. I got started pulling and she laid down hamming the pullers in the corner, where I couldn’t get any leverage. I grabbed her tail and went to trying to scoot her away from the corner. I finally got her over and finished pulling the calf, but it never took a breath. Dad always said trouble in the barn is better than the house, but it sure can be frustrating when you are going through it.
         Luke and the girls have had a couple of sets of twins and Ted’s crew have had a couple of sets already. Calves that out in the sunshine are bouncing around, loving life and that is rewarding part of this time of year.
         It will be a great run of feeders coming this week for a special feeder cattle sale.
Have a dandy week!!

         Ole’ man winter has left for the short term. We have warmed up to the mid 30’s and snow is leaving pretty fast. It’s not freezing over night this week, so it’s shrinking really fast for what I figured might happen. The forecast is calling for mild temps for at least 10 days, so will se how that goes but we will surely be to mostly bare ground by then.
         Saturday was cold but we were able to have a sale. It was 14 below zero early Saturday morning and made it up to 6 degrees Saturday afternoon! The hog sale was short but demand was very solid. Fat hogs sold for $42.00 to $52.00 and sows at$25.00 to $32.00.
         The sheep and goat market featured the dispersal of the Melvin Carr flock. The bred ewes were ages 2 to 8 years old and were sorted by black face and white face and due to starting lambing on Saturday. They went to several different buyers and topped at $350 per head. The volume buyer that took 41 head home. The ewes went into 3 different states with several 5-10 head groups going home as starter flocks. It was a great set ewes from a long time neighbor, friend and consignor Melvin Carr. We wish him all the best in the coming years and appreciate his business for all these years!
         The lamb market was on fire with 50-60lb lambs at $3.50 to $3.90 a pound Fat lambs sold  at $2.90 and a set of 99lb white face lambs at $3.20. Kid goats were very active as well, with $4.50 to $4.75 a pound paid for 50-60lb kids. Even some fat 83lb brought $3.65 a pound! Cull nannies sold from $1.00 to $1.60 a pound The highs in the market seldom hold for any length of time!
         The outside market was good for a cold day. Small square bales of hay ranged for $7 to $11 on a majority of the hay. Straw sold for $4 to $5.50. Big round bales were in good demand. They sold for $120 to $170 for nicer quality hay and $100 to $130 on the plain quality hay. Big squares of alfalfa/grass mix brought $90 to $120. Big round bales of straw sold from $50 to $80 and cornstalks sold for $37.50 on small ones up to $50 on the nice tight bales. Wet wrapped rye bales brought $80 and alfalfa wet bales were $100. Hedge posts that were 9-10ft brought $30 to $75 a piece.
         The cattle sale had baby calves selling at $250 to $500 for beef calves and $125 to $200 on dairy. A single black heifer with a newborn calf brought $2200 and the extra twin heifer calf that was with her brought $400. Black/white face calves weight 544lb topped at $3.06 a pound. A package of 590lb heifers topped at $2.33 a pound.
         Weigh cows were strong on the lighter run with several cows over$1.00 a pound this week. Look for this market to hold good as we move into the coming weeks.
         Luke and Cody started calving Saturday and my fist one came yesterday, so we are under way! We are thankful for some warmer temps to get them started. Now we just need to keep them dry!
         We have some bred cows and feeders coming this Saturday the 27th. They wanted to come sooner, but weather held them back until this week.
Have a dandy week!!

         I think this is only the second time in nearly 40 years that we had to cancel the sale because the snow was bad enough, we couldn’t get to the sale barn from home. We were in Keosauqua all day on Friday cleaning snow and getting ready to operate on Saturday. Then at about 3:30pm, Melvin called and said he probably wouldn’t be able to get the ewes out, so that put an end to the sale. We helped Lucas out until dark, then headed home and we were busting through some pretty nasty drifts. With some pretty, strong prayers we made it home! The wind blew and we had some more snow overnight, so we were not going to go anywhere until the plows came through. We id chores at home and hunkered down as the temp dropped all day Saturday. The snow quit for the most part and the wind let up some Sunday, but the temperature was still -18 degrees. I cleared the driveway and chored Sunday morning, then about noon the county snow plows came by and opened up the road. Becky went to Fairfield to check on her mom and I went to Keosauqua. To help Luke and Cody with feeding and checking waterers. The roads were cleared, but the cold made it hard to get the cattle fed. The snow is knee deep, if you didn’t have a track to follow. This old, chubby, short legged fella don’t care for that junk at all! The worst part of all these storms is still the nasty mud underneath! Before we get to the other side of this winter the mud will be harder on us, livestock and machinery, than any of the snow and cold temperatures!
         Today warmed up to 2 degrees and it felt pretty good. Luke got the pay loader started for the first time in 2 days. Ted ran the feed tractor again, which helped a bunch. Colby helped move snow and worked on some waterers. I cleaned snow this morning and then watched 4 little girls this afternoon for a couple of hours. We had a blast! These little girls sure can have a mind of their own already! They can make plans of their own and follow through. If we don’t follow through, I hear about it. They are all about sneaking off with Grandpa to do something, where mom and dad can’t see us! Grandchildren are truly one of good Lord’s greatest gifts! We are planning to get all cleaned up and expect to have a large sale this Saturday the 20th. Melvin is bringing his ewes this week. We are looking for a large run of hay and a good run of cattle!
         Stay strong and resilient, warmer weather is in the forecast already. Have a dandy week!

         Well, mother nature has decided that we will finally have winter! It has been a really good fall and early winter with mild temperatures and not much for snow.  We have been getting some precipitation but when it did snow or rain it warmed up and melted.  So, we have been battling the mud for about 4 weeks. With the incoming snow forecast our mud may stick around the rest of the winter! It is snowing here Monday evening and is forecasted to continue through tomorrow. The ground will not get froze. The temperature is forecasted to get down to zero by next weekend, so if we can get traffic areas cleaned it, then it will certainly get hard! We’re hoping it doesn’t snow too much and melts off quickly, then it will be fine if it gets cold!
         I spent a couple of days last week in Oklahoma. It was beautiful taking off early Wednesday morning and going through the clouds just as the sun was coming up! We had the prettiest sun dog off to the west with the shadow of the airplane in it. It was sure something we don’t see very often. Fog and heavy clouds on the ground stopped us from landing in Kansas, where I wanted to visit a cattle yard. So we landed about 30 miles south and drove back up to the cattle. It dang sure was a good, big grow yard and its looking to expand some more! I was sure glad we were able to work in that stop.
         We went on south of Oklahoma City for a Hereford herd visit with the Birdwell’s. We spent about 3 hours looking at fall calves, bred heifers and their bulls coming up for sale. It was a great visit on a beautiful afternoon! We got back to the hotel, then I took Ben to supper at the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Café in the OKC Stockyards area. The steak was great and the service was quick!
         Thursday we went to the Cattlemen’s Congress to look through the cattle and watch the pen show. We visited with a lot of people and saw some awesome cattle while we were there! We left Oklahoma City by 5 and I was home by 8:30 that night. It was a great little outing before we get covered up again!
         The first Saturday of the new year proved to be an awesome sale day here. The weather was good, folks brought out large consignments and buyers rewarded them greatly.
         However, the hog market was not as spunky to start things off. Fat hogs ranged mostly from $47.00 to $52.00. Sows were $25.00 to $32.00 for all weights. We sold pigs by the dozen to be able to get them moved. We had a couple hundred that were tiny. With the coming weather and it not warming up any, we were lucky to even find someone to take them home.
         The sheep and goat market held strong to start 2024. Kids at 55lb topped at $3.45 a pound.  The bulk of them sold at $2.50 to $3.00. Nannies were around a dollar and big billies sold at $2.50 to $2.70 a pound. Lambs made up a large part of the run this week. The 60-90lb lambs topped at $2.60 to $2.70. Fat lambs were $1.93 to $2.15. Cull ewes ranged from $0.87to $1.10 and big bucks were from $1.25 to $1.45. Don’t forget the outstanding consignment set of bred ewes from Melvin Carr this Saturday the 13th. This is a once in lifetime opportunity to get ahold of a fancy set of commercial ewes!
         Our outside sale was loaded with hay, straw, cornstalks and miscellaneous. Small square bales of hay sold from $4.25 to $9.00 and small bales of straw was from $4.00 to $5.50. The big bale hay market was $80.00 to $110.00 on string tied or rough hay. Net wrapped, decent hay was $110 to $130 and the top hay was $140 to $165 per bale. Big round bales of straw sold at $50 to $65 and cornstalks sold at $45 to $55 for full size bales. Big squares of hay were $80 to $125. Wet wrapped rye bales were the bargain at $85 per bale. This was the largest run of the season with over 600 bales!
         The cattle sale ended with 1750 head sold. The baby calf market was $300 to $700 on beef and $125 to $210 on dairy calves. The feeder cattle quality was exceptional to start the new year off. Producers brough clean cattle with condition. The top sellers were weaned over 60 days and vaccinated. The highlights of the sale include:
338lb black/white face steers at $3.27, 413lb black steers at #3.41, 528lb steers at $3.10, 579lb steers at $290.50, 632lb steers at $263.50, 728lb steers at $2.45 and 769lb steers at $249.25. The market was good all afternoon with some high sellers coming after 7pm Saturday night! A huge thanks go out to all the buyers for doing outstanding work all day long! Cow market was active with the top cows at $1.00 to $1.10. A lot of cows averaged $85.00 to $95.00 and bulls topped at $1.20. We finally finished selling at 10:30 Saturday night.
         I stayed in Keosauqua that night and the first truck backed up to load at 6am. Two high school kids and I loaded hay and stock all day. We had everything on good hay and water by 6pm and was sure glad to get some rest that night! Monday morning, we had trucks ready to load at 6:30am and before 8:30am I had 3 more loads out the door! Hay trailers were wheeling in all morning, but by noon we had the last 2 loads of weigh cows out the chute and had the hay trailers starting to slow up. Everyone is ready for a rest. Oh wait, the boys sorted a big group of calves at Luke’s and drove them a horse back in the snow to the south end of the farm and then they turned around and drove all of the bred heifers back to the north end of the farm in the snow. Ted and I trailered the other bunch of feeders to the south end! Colby worked a handful of calves and trailered them home at about 7. I’m sure glad this crew likes to stay busy!
Have a dandy week!!

         Well Christmas and New Year’s have passed b one more time. Five girls that are five and under can sure make the wrapping paper fly! Those screams of delight and joy all around the room gives Christmas a new sense of spirit and joy, that you just don’t get with 30 year old sons! New years came in pretty quiet for me and the boys helped moved cows home to calve for the majority of the day on the first. I’m sure glad to get that done before the weather turns to winter.
         Saturday’s sale to end the 2023 year had a good run of stock and an active market. The hog sale had some heavy butchers weighing 380 selling at $57.00. There were 250-300lb fat hogs mostly averaging $50.00 to 55.00. Thirty head of feeder pigs with the average weight of 129lbs and brought 57 cents a pound. The sows were $42 to 49.00 for all weights.
         Sheep and goat market was very strong this week on nearly 500 head. The top 55lb kid goats sold at $3.70 a pound. The majority of them sold at $2.80 to $3.35 a pound. The top billy sold at $450.00 per head. There were 13 head of 58 lb lambs that were the high sellers at $3.50 a pound. Most lambs were bringing $2.70 to $3.00 a pound. We had a nice dispersal of hair ewes due to lamb anytime. They sold for $400 a head and went to an Ottumwa buyer.
         Hay was in good demand. A larger run of small square bales sold steady at $7-11 per a bale on nicer hay, while straw was $3.50 to $5.50 per bale. Big round bales of grass hay ranged from $120 to $140 for the decent kind. The top alfalfa round bales brought $160.00. Round straw bales of wheat straw sold at $70.00 to $87.50. Big square bales of wheat straw brought $70.00. Big square bales of hay sold at $80.00 to $120.00. Big round bales of cornstalks were $50.00 to $60.00. This was a big crowd on hard for a nice day outside.
         The cattle sale had several baby calves selling $300 to $600 for beef and $150 to $225 for Holsteins. Bred heifers sold from $2000 to $2450. Bred cows ranged from $1700 to $2200 for the higher quality, younger end. The short and solid, aged spring bred cows were $1250 to $1600. Weigh cows topped at $115.00, with lots of them being in the lower $90.00. Bull sold from $103.00 to $120.00. It sure feels like the weigh cow business will be picking up in the next couple of weeks.
         The weather was really nice today with a low of 27 degrees, which had the ground froze up good this morning. This afternoon was clear and 45 degrees. That’s a darn nice way to start off January.  The forecast looks like more of the same this week. There seems to be a chance of snow for the early part of next week. It would be nice to miss that with all the ground not being frozen yet!
         I will be in Oklahoma for the next 2 days at the Oklahoma Cattleman’s Congress in Oklahoma City.  I am sure looking forward to looking through the cattle and visiting with the folks from across the country.
         There’s a very good run of feeder cattle Saturday for the first sale of the new year!!
Have a dandy week!!
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