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Sale Barn Study | March 2023

Markets Looking Great in 2023

contributed article by Kirk Lynch

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

This year has sure started out much better than the previous couple of years. A lot, I mean A LOT of positive things are going on in the cattle industry and markets. I think we better appreciate them while we have them and cash in on them while we can.

The feeder market continues to get stronger and stronger with almost every passing week and this will only continue as the numbers continue to be tight. I can only imagine that light calves in April and May are going to bring a king’s ransom to go on pasture, especially if we get some rain in areas that have been under drought the past few years. Most 600-pound calves are bringing well over $2 lbs. I have also been talking with several people who breed heifers annually, and they are having trouble finding anything that will pencil out as most breeding age/weight heifers are bringing in the $1,300 plus range to begin with.

The fat cattle market continues to creep up or at the very least stay steady every week. Still seeing some top end, Prime program cattle bringing in the mid to high 60’s through some barns, while the cash market in the country is still in the high 50’s. This thing will continue to be strong, and it will be interesting how long we hang on to these prices as we get into late spring and into summer.

There still continues to be some excellent opportunities in buying some breeding stock. I know of several bred heifers that are priced reasonably and the way the markets are it makes sense to purchase them. There just seems to be more hesitation than usual for people wanting to buy bred heifers and/or cows.

It is kind of looking like Punxsutawney Phil might be wrong and we can maybe escape this winter for the most part unscathed (As I write this article it is early/mid-February and I know I just jinxed us all). If that holds true, maybe people will have some extra feed and I sure expect this market to pick up when grass starts to turn green.

Bull sales have been record setting as well as seedstock female sales early in the year. If anyone is looking for a bull or some replacement females there are a lot of sales coming up this spring; including a sale I am hosting with several of my customers in March.

The weigh up cow and bull market has sure had an uptick and I would think this will continue until we see more numbers in the spring. As most people are well into calving or preparing to start calving, wishing you the best of luck this calving season and as always if you need anything just give me a call. 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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