Summer and Fall Market Forecast
contributed article by Kirk Lynch
Lynch Livestock Inc. and Humeston Livestock Exchange, Humeston, Iowa
Good news for producers on the horizon.
In the blink of an eye summer is here and then almost gone. It seems like just last week I was writing this article and it has been over two months ago! I hope everyone’s summer was as great as the one that my family and I have had. The summer has been jampacked with bottle calves, trips, and a lot of swimming along with the regular work and pasture tours watching the next set of calves develop.
A lot has changed over the past two months, the grain markets have stabilized to a point, drought has stricken parts of the country causing herd reductions and dispersals, and the feeder and fat cattle market have taken off. We are looking at some very promising times ahead in the cattle business, if Mother Nature cooperates and helps us out.
Now to what we have seen in the sale barn markets over the past few months. The fat cattle market has been extremely strong for the first part of summer. Usually we see June, July, and August as the low-fat cattle market of the year, but not this year, especially in the corn belt. While most country cattle have been trading in the 40’s, we have seen some tops in barns as high as the mid and upper 50’s in the Midwest. I expect we will see a bit of a weaker market until Labor Day and then as numbers become tighter in the fall another rally in the fat cattle market.
With the tighter numbers in cattle and with an excellent outlook on the fat cattle market it is no wonder that we have seen the feeder and yearling market catch fire. You hear of some extreme numbers thrown around with some 700-to-800-pound animals bringing in the $2.00 per pound range, but do not expect that on a consistent basis. It depends on the location and the day. We have been seeing 500-pound cattle bringing $2.00 or a little over up to 900-pound yearlings bringing in the high 60’s to 70’s. I would not see much reason for this to change this fall as numbers will be tighter and cattle will be harder to find.
As far as the breeding stock there seems to be some buys around. We have been seeing some fall bred cows bring in the mid-teens and these girls legitimately could raise a calf that will bring what you pay for them. I have heard of several stories of cheap cows in drought country just like every year and we will see if that continues or if parts of the country get some much-needed rain. It seems if you have extra grass and/or feed, buying some bred cows or cow/calf pairs might be a wise investment.
Well, as I finish this article my wife is packing the kids in our Suburban and we are off to another county fair and then off to a waterpark for the weekend. I hope everyone remembers to catch a little family time as this summer, like most, is slipping away. Have a great rest of the summer and we will talk to you 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 Kansas. 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 (8), Brayden (7), Vivian (5), and Bianca (1).