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Sale Barn Study | November 2022

Following the Markets and Introducing Gabby

contributed article by Kirk Lynch

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

As I was starting to write my monthly sale barn market report, I jokingly asked my 9-year-old, Gabby, what we should talk about to open the article rather than the normal harvest, weaning, etc. She replied, “Me.” So, here is a little on Gabrielle. She is 9 years old, in the 4th grade, tall, skinny as a toothpick, very kindhearted, loves to read, and has a very extensive Barbie collection. This is Gabrielle’s first full year in 4-H, and she has picked our one purebred Charolais heifer in the herd for her first show heifer and named her Snowflake.

Now that you know a little about my eldest, let us dive into what we are seeing at the barns. The fat cattle market continues to get higher but at a slow pace. The barns continue to exceed the cash market in the country by roughly $5. We have been seeing a lot of cattle in the barn in that $1.50 range, some extreme tops in the high 50’s for cattle that have a great chance of grading Prime as the packers are giving a hefty premium for the Prime cattle.

The cull cow and bull market has been up and down. As we see more cows coming straight off grass and to the barn, we have been seeing the thinner, non-fed cow market go down and ranging anywhere from $60 to $80. While the fed cows have gone up and mostly bringing in the 90’s since there are fewer of them. The same goes for the bulls, more thinner bulls coming in off pasture has driven down that market a little, while a good fed bull can bring up to $1.20 to $1.25.

The feeder market is a little more complicated. With the short cattle numbers one would think that feeder prices would just take off as the early feeder markets in August and September indicated. But outside factors such as feed and corn costs continually going up, along with recession concerns and increased interest rates, we have seen the feeder markets go down $5 to $10. If there continues to be some outside uncertainty I do not know if the feeder market will get much better over the next couple of months, even though we are looking at a bullish cattle market over the next couple of years.

There continues to be limited breeding stock selling. We will see more over the next two to three months. Even with the contracted cow herd numbers, it seems that there are more people willing to sell breeding stock than looking to buy and with this situation I can only imagine that these cattle will be priced reasonably.

That is all for this month and Gabby and I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

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 (7), Vivian (5), and Bianca (1).

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