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Sale Barn Study | January 2023

Ending 2022 on a High Note

contributed article by Kirk Lynch

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

As I write this article, it is mid-December, there is snow on the ground, and we have 24 heifers shut up to start calving in two weeks. It got me thinking and gave me time to reflect on 2022 and thinking about where we are going in 2023. This year was a very good year, not only for my family and myself, but very good for us cattle producers as well. And 2023 looks to have the potential to be even better!

The fat cattle market has continued to climb, and I know I sound like a broken record, but we are heading into great times the next couple of years strictly on the low cow herd numbers and tight supply of feeder and fat cattle. The one wild card we are facing is what effect the economic recession will have on the price and demand for our product. Regardless, we have been seeing cash prices in the country in the mid to upper $1.50’s and seeing some outrageous tops in the barns in the 60’s. I would look for this market to work its way to the 1.70 range this next spring and see where it goes from there.

The cull cow and bull market has taken a bit of a dip here the last couple of weeks, to seeing as much as $10 taken off the cows and $15 off the bulls and that is on the well-fed cows and bulls. The thinner and leaner cows and bulls are $20 to $30 back from the fed cows and bulls. I would expect this market to pick up after the first of the year going into February.

Feeders continue to sell strong because the promising fat cattle market and overall short supply of feeders. Seeing all weights and classes of feeders selling strong. It will be interesting to see what some people will give for some grass calves when we get to the spring.

As far as breeding stock the seedstock sales have been extremely strong all fall long and I would look for that to continue going into winter. I would expect the first of the bull sales happening here in January to start off strong as well. Now as far as commercial bred females there continues to be some buys out there as I have a feeling people are shying away from buying commercial females because of lack of feed and/or the expensive feed cost. I would look for more breeding stock to move here in the next month or two as they get closer to calving.

We hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Cheers to 2023! If you ever need anything don’t hesitate to call myself or the guys at the barn and we will be more than willing to help you out.

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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