February 2021 02/02/21 10:30:00 PM
Hallelujah we made it thru winter! Well at least the February winter looks to be past us and all of the United States is thankful for that. What a stretch of cold weather we went thru. For as much as I hated it here in the Midwest it wasn’t that bad. Those folks in the south will take several weeks to repair water lines and recover from all the damage. Today it was 45°, I believe that would be 60 degrees warmer than last Monday! For all the work it was to get new calves thru the cold weather, be aware of pneumonia as this weather changes! The forecast looks very nice thru next weekend, we need to prepare for the coming of March next week. Cross your fingers, it will be kind to us this year!
Saturday was a very pretty day and folks were eager to get out and move commodities to the sale. The hog market kicked off with a big rally in heavy sows, topping at $74.50! Those 650-pound girls were getting awful close to $500 per head! That’s a huge jump from where we have come from in this business. Fat hogs were solid at $57 to 60 and pigs were 70 to 80¢ a pound for pigs over 60 pounds.
The sheep and goat sale had a nice run of nearly 500 head. Kids weighing 48 pounds sold for $180, 57 pounds brought $200 and a couple of billies weighing 50 & 55 pounds sold at $290 and 325 per head returning to the farm. Top big billy sold for $485. Nannies weighing 75 pounds brought $300 and were expected to kid in April. Cull nannies sold from $235 to 300 per head. The sheep market was also good as 60-pound lambs sold up to $2.95 a lb. Fat lambs brought up to $1.60 a lb. A group of bred ewes selling with ultrasound information on pregnancy status sold at $290 to 325 per head. Cull ewes brought around a dollar and bucks were up to $1.20 a lb.
The outside sale was a blast this week. The weather was awesome, and the market was active. Small squares sold from $2 to 7, straw ranged from $3.50 to 5 and small squares cornstalks brought from $3 to 4.50. Big round bales were solid from $40 to 60. Cornstalks and straw sold from $30 to 40 and wet wrapped wheat and rye bales sold from $30 to 37.50. Firewood seemed to lose a bit of demand as it was mostly $7 to 12 per stack. A few misc. items wrapped up the outside sale and we were selling cattle shortly after 12.
The cattle sale had 1200 in the run as the weather break gave folks a chance to haul in. Baby calves were higher as beef calves sold $250 to 400 and dairy calves brought from $85 to 150. Feeder cattle had very good interest in all weights. Light steers weighing 300 to 350 topped at $1.83, 450 steers topped at $41.84. three loads of yearling steers drew strong interest as the 835-pound load brought $1.34, the 916-pound load brought $1.30 and the 990-pound load brought $1.23(they were pretty fleshy). The heifer market also had good interest with four weights up to $1.48, six weights up to $1.32, seven weights at $1.31 and a load of fleshy 832 heifers brought $1.25. Weigh cows were steady with $74on a high yielding fat cow and the bulk were in the middle $60’s. Big bulls brought from $80 to 95.
Next Saturday will be our rescheduled special cow sale. Cows are closer to calving and you don’t have to chore them in 20° below zero (I hope)! Come take a look, bred cows are still under valued and provide a great investment opportunity as we go forward.
Have a Dandy Week!
We fell below zero and can’t get it to go back up to zero!! It is a very serious kind of cold across most of America this week. Water trouble, machinery trouble, calving trouble all go hand in hand with these long-term cold temperatures! We can be very thankful that we have only a couple more days of zero temperatures left in the forecast and then we start to warm up steady to 30° next weekend. Just to get back to 15° on Wednesday this week will be very welcome. The wind and snow have drifted many East/West county roads. Maintainers have plowed them back and they keep piling higher and higher along the sides of the road. We sure don’t need a big snow and blow, or it will severely lock up these county roads! This weather will pass, and spring will soon be here in all it’s glory!
Saturday’s sale was noticeably light as it was -7°, windy and drifting snow had made roads very difficult to get thru. Part of the crew got stuck in drifts trying to get to work. I took a truck to pick them up and almost got stuck myself getting to them! We made it and there was a tractor coming to pull out the snowbound vehicle.
The hog sale was one black boar!
The sheep and goat sale had a 100 head. Goats are still selling over $3 a lb. weighing 50 pounds. Nannies sold from $185 to 250 and a big billy brought $485. Lighter lambs sold from $2.50 to 2.85 a lb. 100-pound lambs brought $2.20 a lb. Ewes and bucks were over $1 a lb. A couple of bottle kid goats brought $80 and bottle lambs sold from $37.50 to 50.
The outside sale had a nice run of small squares and big bales and firewood. Ace auctioneer Logan came up ill, so I took care of the outside duties. Small square bales sold from $3 to 7. Straw squares sold from $3.50 to 7. Round bales of grass hay were mostly $40 to 55 with a pile at $60. Big square of alfalfa brought from $60 to 80. Firewood brought mostly from $7.50 to 17 a pile and you can figure 10 piles to make a pickup load. Folks were busy loading up as soon as they got what they needed and head back home.
The cattle sale had a few baby calves, dairy calves brought $35 to 60 and beef calves brought $200 to 325. A small package of bred heifers sold at $1400. A few feeders made it to the sale, (I think they did not want chores at home anymore!) Weigh cows sold from $2 to 4 higher on about 40 head. We were finished up early and everyone headed to get home.
Calving has been steady work. Keeping new ones warm and keeping the older ones bedded and out of the wind. The crew has stayed at it together to get everything fed and watered and take care of the new arrivals. It is a true feat of nature at how tough these calves can be in this weather. Most evenings at chore time you will find them out bucking, playing, and running just like it was 50°!
I hope to run to Des Moines for the IA Beef Expo tomorrow afternoon. The Hereford banquet will be held tomorrow evening and the sale is on Wednesday. It is hard to leave when the weather is so nasty. I will just tell my cows to wait until Thursday to start calving again when it warms up!
We have a special feeder cattle sale coming up this Saturday and It looks like we might hit a nice day for a change! The bred cow sale is rescheduled for the 27th.
Stay safe and Have a Dandy Week!
For as nice as January was, February has come in making up for all of winter in one month! The temperature has fallen below zero, highs in the single digits and snow every other day. We are dang sure in Iowa winter now. The forecast is for a week stretch of below zero lows and highs at zero to 10°. Chores take on new meaning thru these times!
Saturday’s high was 9°, it was snowing and sure enough winter. The sale kicked off with a strong sow market. Big sows topped at $69.50 this week. Fat hogs were also sharply higher selling from $55 to 60. Twenty head of 84-pound pigs brought $60 per head.
The outside sale had a nice crowd of bundled up folks to stay warm and buy some hay. Small squares sold from $3.50 to 6.50. There was no straw this week, but several folks were sure looking for some. Big round bales of hay sold from $40 to 65. Big alfalfa square bales topped at $85. There were no cornstalks, one pile of wet wrapped rye bales sold at $35. I am expecting hay values to remain very strong until the weather breaks. Firewood was also a highlight for the outside sale. Piles of wood ranged from $17.50 to 28 per pile. We sold almost 40 stacks of wood. Hedge posts were sold from $3 to 10 on lines and $10 to 25 on corners.
The cattle sale had 850 head this week. Baby calves ranged from $200 to 350 on beef calves and dairy calves brought from $35 to 50. Feeder cattle sold steady with last week. Light five weight steers were up to $1.65, six weight steers were up to $1.52, a load of 750-pound steers brought $1.34 and a lot of 839 pound steers brought $129.25. Weigh cows sold from $60 to 70 on the better yielding cows and $50 to 60 on the average cows. Bulls were higher selling up to $98.
Our family is all working at keeping baby calves alive and going. We have almost all the AI Hereford calves on the ground. Luke is right in the heart of his black heifers calving. They are getting 8 to 12 babies per day and not much sleep! We are just thankful to keep waterers working, feed wagons running and everyone safe thru this week.
Looking at a regular sale this week, a special feeder calf sale on Feb 20th and we moved the Bred cow and heifer sale to Feb 27th, hopefully the weather breaks by then.
Have a Dandy Week!
Groundhog’s day was cloudy all day! That is sure a fantastic way to start February off. It rained most all afternoon and night Saturday and made it very uncomfortable for beast and human alike to deal with. There was just an inch of snow on top Sunday morning that made it not as slick on the ice. I am very thankful east of us got our snow and theirs! It was foggy and frosty on everything this morning, made it pretty for a while, it warmed up just enough this afternoon and most of it is gone now. Darn cold coming in for Saturday and Sunday down to zero or so and then looks to warm back up.
This week was one of those weeks I would like to have start over and make different choices. Sunday we were loading weigh cows and we had a couple of rank bucking stock horned cows that would hunt you down looking to kill you, not playing! A great driver picking up wanted to mix the two horned cows with six beef cows in the back belly. We set the gates and moved the beef cows to the alley by the chute then released the two nasty girls to go with them. It worked perfectly as Keith the driver followed them right up the ramp and shut the cut gate at the top of the chute. The horned cow was not wanting to go down into the belly and Keith was holding the gate on them so I slipped outside the chute to the side of the truck and stared using a sorting paddle to move cows out of the way so the horned cow would get on down. A fella came to load round bales came back and saw what we were doing and grabbed a six-foot piece of busted pine 2x6 and started poking the nasty horned cow. I thought at the time that could be a deadly weapon I hope “he” doesn’t get hurt! A few more pokes on that sour rip and she line that splintered up harpoon and rammed it right out of the fellas hands and square into the middle of my nose, pealing the hide up to my forehead! Well, he felt terrible, cows got loaded and I cleaned up! I wish I would have said, “she is really bad, the board might hurt you” and had him lay it down!
Thursday morning I’m on the way back to the house from making the rounds in the calving pens at 4 a.m. and decided to build the fire in our outside furnace. I religiously build this fire at daylight and dark that is all it takes. We have and old 14-foot livestock trailer that was dropped off with a load of wood on it and I decided while the smoke was clearing out of the stove I would go to the front of the trailer and grab an arm load of wood to throw in. As I headed back to the back of the trailer, I got my clumsy feet tangled up and fell out of the trailer. My feet were in the trailer, my arm load of wood hit the ground first and an upright piece met my lower lip about halfway between my lip and my chine. It happened fast and with 200 plus pounds of force! I did not lose any teeth, which was a blessing, but I did meat cleaver kind of damage on the inside of the mouth. It was most of an inch long and split the outside about ¾ of an inch! If I could go back, I would walk right by that stove and fill it at daylight!
Well anyway, I can only remember a handful of times that I couldn’t auction at the sale if I was there and this week was one. I could not make my lips work right and I didn’t find the right pain medicine! My mouth was all swelled up and hurt like the dickens, so Mike helped Logan sell outside and Col. James Utt started inside at 9 a.m. and sold until we were done! Thankful for people like these guys that can get it done for me when I’m down!
The sale went good even with the rain. Sows hit a new high at $61 this week. Fat hogs sold mostly $42 to 48 with some Hereford butchers topping at $54. Pigs had some interest but not much on those little 20 pounders only $2 to 5 per head for decent kind of pigs. A few 68-pound pigs sold at $47 per head.
The sheep and goat sale didn’t see any recession in the market! Lambs ranged from $3 to 3.50 for those weighing under 80 pounds and ewes and bucks sold over $1.00 per lb. Bottle lambs sold from $20 to 80 and some Katahdin ewes with new twin lambs brought $97.50 count noses. Kid goats maintained a strong market with 58-pound kids at $225 per head. Nannies sold from $200 to 300 and big billies brought from $375-450. Nothing acts like it will stop tis market anymore!
The hay market was just steady. The top rounds of alfalfa sold at $65 for some nice hay. Average grass hay bales sold from $35 to 45. Cornstalks ranged from $25 to 30 per bale. Big squares of grass sold from $25 to 35 and alfalfa brought from $42.50 to 60 per 3x3x4 square bales. Small squares of hay ranged from $2 to 6.50. Straw sold from $2 to 3.50. The hedge posts were sure good enough with just average demand. The top corners sold at $40 and the best lines hit $22.50. Several corners brought $20 to 30 and lines brought $5 to 10. Running two auctioneers outside we were finished by noon to start on the cattle.
The cattle market had a tough week with corn moving back up, a negative on feed report and crud weather. We had 800 head and I really thought the market had good action on most weights and classes. Baby calves sold from $200 to 400 for beef calves and $353 to 75 for Holsteins. The feeder sale had good numbers of 650 to 750 weight steers and heifers. Steers sold from $1.30 to 1.47 and heifers were mostly $1.25 to 1.35. Eight weight steers ranged up to $1.28 and a few nine weight steers brought $1.20. Weigh cows were higher. Several fat cows sold from $65 to 75, lean cows were selling $50 to 55 and a few good yielding cows up to $60. We had six different cow buyers in the sale again this week! Its sure is different from the old days!
We are calving at Ted’s, Luke’s, and home. We have had two tail first and three more that were backwards. Calves are good sized, maybe running past the last couple of years of gestation time. Last year on Feb 1st, we had 72 Hereford calves, yesterday we tagged number 35. The same breed dates, much the same bulls, just running over a little.
I am expecting a good feeder cattle sale again this Saturday to start February off.
Have a Dandy Week!