January 2020 01/07/20 9:24:00 PM
Well, Mother Nature is delivering some winter to the area this week! Wednesday morning, we woke up to a coating of ice on everything and that caused area schools to be closed. The cold settled in with strong winds on Thursday. Friday it pretty much did everything! It was cold and blew hard. It rained and iced. It snowed and blew hard, then Friday night it rained again and warmed up melting the ice off everything except the ground. Saturday afternoon it blew in very frigid air from the northwest and went to 0 by Sunday morning! The temperature remained cold Sunday and Monday, but the sun came out and the wind laid making Monday a pretty darn nice day. The forecast is to warm up to the 30’s and maybe snow or rain again Wednesday and Thursday.
Saturday ended up being a light sale with the rotten weather slowing livestock movement. Butcher hogs made up most of the hog sale bringing from $39 to 45. Sows were much lower on the short run.
The sheep and goat sale had a very snappy market Saturday. Lambs from 60 to 80 pounds sold from $2.70 to 2.85 and one light 50-pound fat dorper lamb sold for $3 a lb.! Weigh up ewes jumped to a season high of $1.15 a lb. The goats were in high demand with the lighter run as well. Kids just dried off sold for $60 a head and 50 to 60-pound kids sold at $135 to 190 per head. Cull nannies were a $1 to 1.50 a lb. and big billies sold over $1.
The outside sale had a nice crowd gathered even with the ornery road conditions. Small square bales of hay sold from $4 to 8 this week and straw was at $4.50. Big round bales of grass mix hay sold from $47.50 to 70 this week. Cornstalk round bales jumped the most at $40 a bale, up from $25 last week. The old Chevy truck brought $700, the new shed brought $800 and 1700 this week. A nice big load of black locust firewood brought $150.
The cattle sale was light with the bulk of the feeder cattle getting moved into next weekend.
Wednesday I was able to go to Denver to the National Western Stock Show. I had a 5:40 a.m. flight out of Cedar Rapids, IA that morning. I got up to go to the airport and got checked in ok, but the airplane crew ended up being two hours late! It really didn’t hamper my schedule much, but the folks that were landing in Denver to meet a connecting flight were experiencing some pain!
The stock show was as grand as ever. The majestic yards were filled one last time before the make over takes place over the next year. Great cattle and good folks all thru the pens and alleys to look at and visit with. All afternoon Wednesday was beautiful in the yards, sunny and 50! Thursday was the bull show up on the hill. The best bulls from all across the country go to compete for the purple banners at the stock show. The judges this year were Cody and Brent Lowderman, it was fun watching the brothers work thru the classes and select their champion horned and polled bulls. Thursday evening, I went to an embryo and semen sale then Friday was the pen and carload show back down in the yards.
The heifers led off at 8:00 a.m. and there were 30 pens of three. The Champion pen was a group of ET heifers from Barber Ranch of Texas. The carload show only had two entries of 10 head to make the load. Champion went to Baumgarten of North Dakota. The pen of 3 bull show got rolling right after pictures of the carloads and there was right at 40 entries this year. Champion pen went to Coyote Ridge Ranch of Colorado and Reserve went to Colyers of Idaho.
At about 2:00, I got a text message from the airline that my flight back to Cedar Rapids was cancelled! Well crap. So, I started investigating my options and Becky got to work on the computer to see what was possible. There were no flight back to Cedar Rapids before Monday evening! Well crap. I had Becky check on getting back to Des Moines. Sure enough she was able to get me a 5:30 flight back there. I found a fellow Hereford breeder at the yards that was able to run me to the airport. I got to the terminal, made it thru security and to the gate on time! The plane got into Des Moines about 8:30 Iowa time. I planned to rent a car to get home, but all the rentals were out except Hertz. So, I got in the long line there figuring they would be out by the time I got there. I made it to the desk and explained what I needed, and the gal said she would have one. Yahoo!, we got clear thru the paperwork, ready to sign the deal and she discovered my license expired. Well crap! It’s still a valid IA driver license but I had no luck convincing her! So, I tried a yellow cab and they weren’t allowed out of the city. So, I pulled out my phone and pulled in a trusty Uber driver. He was game to get me to Ottumwa or so where Becky would meet us. The road wasn’t the best and it was raining and 28, but we made it to the Bussey turnoff and Becky picked me up there. We eased home and was in bed shortly after midnight! It was still a great trip, seeing the cattle, watching Cody and Brent do such a great job and the making memories to get home! Can’t wait until next year to see what happens then.
We started calving Saturday night, so we got ready Sunday!!
Saturday will have a very top set of feeder cattle again if nature lets us.
Have a Dandy Week!
Winter arrived this past Friday evening in the form of freezing rain and a skiff snow! We were forecast to receive 6 to 8 inches of snow on Friday, but we remained warm enough all afternoon, so we got all rain. The ice did knock out electricity around the area for some. We remained on at home and at the sale barn, so we were not hampered during the sale. Today it warmed up to 34° and a lot of melting took place. We still have a significant amount of ice on trees, power lines and everything but the ground at home. Keosauqua pretty much cleaned up today. Hopefully tomorrow will clean us up at home and get back to bare ground. The forecast looks great thru the middle of the week and the weekend is to far off to tell yet!!
Saturday was slow in the morning with road conditions slowing movement of hogs, sheep and goats. The hog market was $42 to 46 on fat hogs. There was not enough sows to test the market but heard it was lower. Probably will have a large run of hogs next weekend.
The sheep and goat sale was high on the short numbers. Bred black face ewes sold at $195 per head. Lambs held on to the $2.40 to 2.60 per lb. market for lambs weighing 60 to 80 pounds. Kid goats at 60 pounds sold for $184 per head. Nannies and billies also held strong. The top bottle dairy baby sold for $45.
The outside sale had some small squares with ice on them from being there overnight that brought $3 to 4.50. Hay that was dry that came Saturday morning sold for $5 to 7.50. Big round bales numbered nearly 400 this week as the volume continues to increase each week. The market was steady at $47.5 to 75 with most at the $50 to 60 per bale range. Corn stalk bales only in the $25 to 30 range this week. One pile of string tied round wheat straw bales at $30 and some high moisture rye bales at $30. Several misc. items sold to a large crowd on a decent break in the weather at 11. The new storage shed brought $1875. The Farmall 400 sold for $2100, the Nissan brought $3950 and the ranger brought $1700.
The cattle sale was mostly bred cows that were delivered on Thursday and early Friday. The cows were good quality and a good crowd gathered in the inclement weather to get a hold of a few more cows before the market moves up anymore. A couple of groups of bred heifers sold from $1425 to 1585. The bulk of the young spring bred black cows sold from $1300 to 1450. One group of reputation Trump cows brought $1800 and a group of Hereford cows brought $1550. Not really enough feeders to test the market. Weigh cows were lower on 60 head with a top of $65.
I took Layne with me today to deliver some cattle. She was great company for five minutes then she was asleep the rest of the way! It is sure fun to see her grow up and what her expressions are each day. Boy, she can come up with some of the darndest things!
I am hoping to get to Denver to the Stock show this week for the Hereford Show. It truly is an awesome display of the nation’s best cattle.
There is a special cattle sale this coming weekend.
Have a Dandy Week!
It’s hard to believe we are six days into January and its 40° and sunny! It’s sure a good stretch of weather for us here in SE IA! Feed is lasting longer; cows are more comfortable, and I haven’t had to thaw out a water tank yet! The forecast looks a little colder towards the weekend but appears to remain mild across our area.
Saturday was busy to start the new decade. We started a little early on hogs and made good time all morning. The hog market was a bit lower on sows & pigs but steady on fats. Better big sows sold for $31 and butchers were mainly $43 to 46 with one group at $48.50. One group of 100 head of 37-pound pigs sold for $30 per head.
The sheep and goat sale was very strong on a lighter run this week. Good lambs averaging 60 to 70 pounds were $2.50 to 2.75 a lb. and fat kid goats in the 50 to 60-pound range sold for over $3 a lb. Big nannies were strong in the $1.50 to 1.75 a lb. range. Old bucks were in the 90 cents range and ewes were in the 80 cents a lb. range.
The outside sale was loaded up with a bunch of hay and posts again this week. Small bales of hay sold from $3.75 to 8.00 per bale. Small cornstalk bales ranged from $2.50 to 3.50 and straw sold at $4 to 4.25 per bale. Big rounds of net wrapped grass hay sold from $50 to 75 this week. A few grass big squares bales sold from $50 to 60 and corn stalk round bales sold from $25 to 32.50. The hedge posts were rough and big in assorted sizes. They were selling $7 to 25 depending on how creative you felt you could be making them work! Several misc. items out front on a very pretty day and Mike came to help auction outside so we could start on cattle at noon.
We started on baby calves before noon and set sail into one of the very best line up of area feeder cattle we get to sell each year! This first sale of the year is good to get into to see what the market is going to do. Futures had been lower on Thursday and Friday, but cash was rock solid and going to get higher. Saturday cash was king again! Feeder buyers were not fooled by the Chicago mafia trying to intimidate the market again! The pavilion was full of buyers and sellers both doing business Saturday. Light weight calves led off the day establishing a new trend with 446-pound steers reaching $191. That was good, but at 6 p.m. we had a group of 5 steers weighing 476 at $190! A good string of 623-pound steers hit $162.75 and 724-pound steers topped at $152. A group of 20 head of 840-pound steers at $145. The heifer market seemed better as well with 400 weight heifers that brought $165, some 547-pound heifers at $151 and some weighing 638 pounds at $145 were the high. One bunch of heifers all day went home to make cows, all the rest went to be fed. Some day the bred cow market will respond like the feeders have!
Weigh cows were $2 to 3 higher on a selection of less than desirable cows. We will likely see higher market cow prices over the next few weeks as packers look to keep freezers full as numbers go down a little before spring.
The crew did a truly great job getting cattle in and out of the ring for us Saturday. They were tired and wore out for sure but did a super job. A couple of boys had been to Carthage on Thursday to work Brent’s first sale of the new year. Then unloaded all day Friday and worked Saturday’s sale. Then two guys went back to Carthage Sunday to help sort the 1900 head of Certified Herford feeder cattle sale. Monday they were ready for a break!
I needed more so I went to Carthage for the Hereford sale Monday! I have been to most of those sales and try to go when I can. This year was the largest offering of Hereford feeders at one sale anywhere in the USA. About 1880 head sold! The market was very strong with yards in Kansas and Nebraska purchasing the bulk of the cattle. Congratulations to Brent and crew for a great sale and a job well done!
A dang good offering of bred cows consigned for this week’s sale, don’t miss it if you have room for a few!
Have a Dandy Week!