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Sale Barn Study | November 2023

Fall Markets Remain Steady

contributed article by Kirk Lynch

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

The markets over the past month have been like watching an Iowa Hawkeye football game. Uneventful, no dramatic changes, and pretty vanilla. I joke as mostly I am jealous of their current 6-1 record but honestly if you have 3 hours to watch a football game on a Saturday, I encourage you to find some other game besides the Iowa game as any other game will be more entertaining.

The fat cattle market has been steady over the past month and looks to continue to be that way over the short term. Most cattle have been traded in the country over the past month in the mid $1.80’s and seen some tops in barns reach the low 90’s. Most packers are struggling to stay in the black currently so they have been cutting back kills to try and control the market the best they can. We are in a bit of a stagnant place regarding demand as we are in between the grilling season and holiday season coming up. I look for fat cattle to be steady through the rest of the year.

Feeder cattle have followed the same trend with not much movement over the past several weeks. The 500-to-600-pound cattle continue to sell in that $3.00 or more range. While bigger yearling cattle have been in high demand as I think several people are trying to hit the next March and April market that appears will be in the mid-90’s. Seeing several 850-to-900-pound yearlings bringing the mid-$2.00 range.

The slaughter cow and bull market has gotten a touch softer as we have been seeing more of them coming as people are preg checking cows and weaning off calves and sending their older cows and bulls to town. I don’t see the market dropping much more than it has.

We haven’t seen much for bred stock coming through the barn just yet as it is a little early for much movement on them. I would expect the bred heifer and cow market to be extremely strong this winter and fully expect bred heifers to be in that $2,500 to $3,000 range and depending on the age and type of cow $1,800 to $2,500. The first seedstock sales have been ridiculous.

Wishing everyone a continued safe harvest and fall. Have a Happy Thanksgiving and Go Cyclones!

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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