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Sale Barn Study | April 2023

Markets Continue Steady Climb

contributed article by Kirk Lynch

Lynch Livestock Inc. and Humeston Livestock Exchange, Humeston, Iowa

If you take one thing away from this month’s sale barn report, it is that every aspect of the cattle markets continues to climb at the slow and steady pace that we have seen over the past year plus. At some point we are going to head the other direction, when and for how long is the million-dollar question.

Feeder cattle continue to sell strong for all weights and classes. There continues to be a number crunch on feeding cattle and the feeling is this will continue through this year and the next couple of years. We have been seeing several bigger cattle that weigh in the 800-to-900-pound range bringing in the $1.80 to $1.90 range depending on quality and sex, and a lot of 600-pound cattle bringing $2.00, and several north of that. Light weight cattle will be in high demand as we get closer to grass.

The fat cattle are what drives all the other markets, and we continue to see this market steady to higher just about every week. We have seen some extreme tops in barns ranging $1.70 to $1.75 and several cash prices in the country bringing in the mid to high $1.60s. I expect that this market will continue to be strong especially through the spring months, but it really feels like we are getting top heavy and wouldn’t expect this market to go up much further than where we are at.

The cull cow/bull market has been on fire. Good fed cows will now easily bring north of $1.00, and I’ve seen some bulls bring in the $1.30-plus range as well. Look for this to continue to be strong, but also look for some cows and bulls to come in that either lose calves or don’t pass semen check.

Breeding stock market is starting to pick up. Some young commercial bred cows and bred heifers bringing in the mid-$2,000 range. There continues to be some excellent buys on some breeding stock. I have seen several groups of high-quality bred heifers and bred cows that sure do make sense, and if someone has the facilities and feed, they would make an excellent investment. It is all about being at the right place at the right time. Seedstock bull sales have been for the most part excellent.

Well, every day is one day closer to warmer weather and green grass, hopefully by the time I talk to you next month there are some pairs turned out and grass in the pastures! If you need anything just give me a shout. Until next month!

Kirk Lynch, Lynch Livestock Inc., Waucoma, Iowa

Kirk is the Beef Division manager for Lynch Livestock Inc. and oversees all aspects of their backgrounding and cattle feeding operations throughout Iowa and Kan. He is also deeply involved in the newly re-opened Humeston Livestock Exchange in Humeston, Iowa. In addition, Kirk and his wife Mary own and operate Heartland Simmentals in Northeast Iowa, which is a seedstock operation that consists of 500 registered Simmental and Angus cows. They have four children: Gabrielle (9), Brayden (8), Vivian (6), and Bianca (2).

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