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Sale Barn Study | August 2023

Summer Market Update

contributed article by Kirk Lynch

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



It seems just like yesterday that I was writing my last article and the kids were ready to get out of school and here we are already with the summer winding down, state fair season upon us, and the kids ready to start school again. I know it sounds cliché, but the summer has flown by and is gone in the blink of an eye. Now let us look at what we have been seeing in the barns and the markets.


Well, when I left you in May I said that the fat cattle market was taking off and it sure did. As we got closer to Memorial Day and grilling season, we saw excellent demand and you can go back and look and I said, “I made a bet with a good friend of mine yesterday that sometime in the middle of May that somewhere, someplace, on the right day we will see a fat animal go through the ring at $2.00.” Well, I was wrong, it did not happen until the first of June. We had several reports in the first part of June of a set here and there of cattle bringing over $2.00. While the cash market in the country never came close to that, there were several cattle sold in the 90’s for several weeks here in the Midwest. The market has cooled off with new crop calves coming to town, but just like every other part of the market it is still as good as we have ever seen it.


The feeder cattle continue to be strong, and this will continue through the fall as supply numbers are going to be tight. We are seeing several lighter weight calves bringing in that $3.00 range and several bigger cattle and yearlings bringing in the low to mid $2’s. Obviously, the biggest factor is going to be the price of corn and if we can get a crop put in the bin to change the market either way.


The cull cow and bull market has been excellent as well. We have had some bulls bring in the mid 40’s at the barn and seen several cows in the 20’s, especially the high-yielding cows and bulls. This market has cooled as well recently as we are seeing some cows come to town in drought country and out of the dairy sector.


As far as breeding stock is concerned it all depends on the place and time. I have seen some decent buys out there that make a lot of sense, but also have seen some young pairs being in that $3,000 range. It all depends on if you have the feed or if people are willing to buy higher priced feed. Even with the high price of feeders and fat cattle it just does not seem like there is a whole lot of eagerness to go out and buy replacements or expand herds.


I hope everyone has a great summer and I hope that you can enjoy the last few days that we have left.


As always, if there is anything myself or the guys can do for you just give me a call.


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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