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Sale Barn Study | February 2023

The New Year is Off to a Good Start

contributed article by Kirk Lynch

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

The new year is upon us and some of us have started having baby calves on the ground. My wife, Mary, says that the baby calves are her favorite part of the farm. I worry about getting them out, up, and keeping them alive. She worries about keeping them warm, ears thawed, and making sure momma is comforted. Even though we have had several long and/or sleepless nights, we have made a pretty great team so far this year and that is a good thing as these little fellas sure look like they are going to be worth something come this fall.

Now let’s dive into the markets. Fat cattle seem to continue to climb. They have been steady to stronger for several weeks in a row. We are seeing a lot of country cattle bringing in the high 50’s. Seeing some extreme tops in the barns in the high 60’s. I think we will continue this trend through the winter and be pushing the 70 mark for country bids by early spring as long as outside factors, such as the economy, don’t push back too much.

Even with the cost of corn and feedstuffs continuing to climb we are still seeing an excellent feeder cattle market. The market continues to be at the very least steady every week. We have started seeing a few late summer and fall calves come in and easily bring north of the $2 mark even with some of them being not weaned. With the short supply of cattle and the bullish fat cattle market there is we will continue to see strong feeder markets throughout the year.

We have recently seen a $5 to $10 jump in the fed cow and bull market. This is generally the trend after the first of the year and will look for this market to continue to bounce back through February and March.

In my opinion, there continues to be some buys in the breeding stock market. Seeing several bred heifers bring in that $2000 range, a couple hundred on either of that mark and bred cows bringing in the mid to high teens. Several of these females have the potential to raise calves that will bring most of what you gave for them this fall.

Well, I hope everyone is having a great new year and here is hoping that the next time I talk to you that we are mostly through winter and looking at warmer weather and the promise of spring!

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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