Bred Heifers the Only Female Class Showing Gains

Female prices at auction continued trending lower during September, except bred heifers, which posted gains of nearly $200 per head. 

Female markets typically find softer prices toward the end of summer, as do fed and feeder cattle. 

August and September saw a significant decline in the fed cattle trade, offering little support to other classes of cattle.

Bred heifers sold at auction for an average of $1,165 in September, up from August’s $967. Young and middle-aged bred cows posted a modest $13 per head increase to $1,145 per head. The older, bred cows dropped $189 per head.

October 2017 bred heifer prices

All classes of open females were lower. Heifferettes traded $3.75 per cwt lower, followed by young and middle-aged cows dropping $2.64 per cwt, and aged cows falling $2.33 per cwt. A 1,000-lb. open cow suitable to go back to the country is still trading at about the same price as last year.

All categories of cow-calf pairs lost ground during September. Cows with small calves dropped $9 per set, while cows with large calves fell $37 per pair. Older cows with calves declined $104 per set.

Slaughter cow prices declined more rapidly than other female categories. Utility and commercial cows sold at $63.84 per cwt, down $7.16. Canner and cutter cows sold at $58.96 per cwt, a decline of $5.46.