Stocker and Feeder Cattle Higher

(Hall & Hall)

Last week’s winter storm and brutally cold temperatures caused many auction markets to cancel sales. Those that were open saw stocker and feeder cattle prices higher.

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service said compared to the previous week, steers and heifer at North Central auctions were $1 to $5 per cwt. higher. Auctions in the Southeast and South Central regions were sparse and not tested.

“The North Central part of the country is more accustomed to these extreme temperatures as most of their reported auctions are later in the week and weather conditions were not as severe,” AMS reporters said. “In Oklahoma and Missouri (two large cow-calf states), only one feeder cattle auction per state was reported with less than 900 head combined between the two. For perspective a year ago this week, Oklahoma and Missouri each contributed 35,000 cattle prices to this report.”

Replacement cattle were in demand last week as ranchers look for heifers that will become cows in their herd. AMS reported a package of 861-pound heifers sold for $1250 per head at Denison, Iowa. At Lexington, Neb., a load of 714-pound heifers sold at 167.00, while their bigger sisters that weighed 820-pounds sold at $154.50. In St Onge, SD, a load of 746-pound heifers sold for $163 per cwt.

AMS reports bred heifers ready to calve in less than a month sold for $1,925 to $2,025 per head.

Auction receipts reported by AMS totaled 77,000 last week, compared to 130,500 the week ending Feb. 12, and 240,100 the same week a year ago.


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