Across the nation there was a continuing trend of strength in the bred female markets in October and weakness in other classes. The early November rally in the fed and feeder cattle markets likely added support to female prices but occurred after press time and are not included here.
Bred heifers, which posted $200 per head gains in September, added a modest $10 per head average gain in October. Open females suitable to go back to the country also posted modest gains in October. Other female classes saw prices decline, though not significant.
Bred heifers sold at auction for an average of $1,170 in October, up from September’s $1,165. Young and middle-aged bred cows posted only a modest $4 per head increase to $1,149 per head. Older bred cows gained $12 per head after September’s large $189 price decline.
Open female prices were mostly higher. Heiferettes traded $4 per cwt higher, followed by the young and middle aged cows adding $3 per cwt. Aged open cows declined $5 per cwt. A 1,000-lb. open cow suitable to go back to the country is still trading at about $40 to $50 per head higher than this same time last year.
The market for cow-calf pairs is seasonally thin, as few cattle are marketed as pairs at the end of the grazing season. Cows with small calves held steady at $1,306 per set in October, while cows with large calves lost $57 per pair. Aged cows with calves declined $60 per pair.
Slaughter cow prices also declined during October. Utility and commercial cows sold at $58.67 per cwt, down $5.17 per cwt. Canner and cutter cows traded at $54.55, a decline of $3.91 per cwt.