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Sale Barn Study | May/June 2023

Records Being Set Everywhere!

contributed article by Kirk Lynch

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



Spring has most definitely sprung in Iowa; there is a lot of dirt turning and the pastures are becoming green. My wife is getting the itch to get cows bred and kicked out to their pastures and it is much easier to get the kids outside to work with their bottle calves and show heifers. Always a fun and exciting time of year!!


Now let’s look at what we have been seeing going on in the barns. As I write this article, the last couple of days we have been seeing some record high temperatures and we have also been seeing some record prices going on in the barns as well. This past week we have seen cash cattle in the country bringing in the mid $1.70’s and seen some tops in the barn in the low to mid $1.80’s. And we have not even really gotten to the point where there is an extreme shortage of fat cattle yet.


Has this market come on too strong and fast? In my opinion, probably yes, so I don’t expect to continue to see the $3-5 jumps that we have seen the last couple of weeks. But, 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. I might be crazy, but only time will tell.


The feeder market is on fire as well, it seems to jump $10 or more a week. Seeing some 500-pound cattle bringing in the $3.00 range up to 800-pounds bringing over $2.00. As long as the fat cattle market holds together and the future looks strong, we are going to have one excellent feeder market this year.


Pairs and bred cows and heifers are really picking up steam as well, especially as we are getting closer and closer to grass. I am not sure there are going to be as many females traded as we have had in past years as the overall numbers are not just lower, but I think most people will want to hold on to them and cash in on the calves this fall. On the other hand, I would suspect that we may have a few people disperse and possibly cash in on these record prices as well.


The cull cow and bull market just like everything else is going through the roof. I have seen some cows bringing up to $1.10 to $1.20 and some high-yielding bulls in the $1.40 range. I just sold a bull last week in a weigh up auction that brought just a few hundred dollars under $4,000, let that sink in!


Wishing everyone a safe and happy spring. Until next time.


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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