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Sale Barn Study | October 2022

Markets Gaining Steam

contributed article by Kirk Lynch

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

My favorite time of the year is upon us! The cool, beautiful fall days, football season (how about them Cyclones!), harvest, newborn falls calves dropping in the pasture, and bringing in another spring calf crop. All these things bring enjoyment to me, and fall is truly my favorite season.

Let’s check in on what we have been seeing for markets in the barns. The feeder calf market continues to gain steam just about every week if not every day. It is hot, hot, hot! Regardless of the quality, it appears that is all about just owning them. Even with corn and other inputs continuing to get higher we are still seeing 700-pound cattle bringing around $2.00 a pound, yearlings commanding $1.70 to 1.90 a pound, even calves coming straight off the cow selling for excellent prices.

One would think we would have to hit a top at some point as the bubble is going to have to burst eventually. It is all driven by the total lack in numbers we are going to see over the next couple years as we see unprecedented cull rates in the cow herd.

The fat cattle market has been a little slower to react. As the cash market in the country has been slowly creeping up, mostly in the low to mid 40’s we have seen some extraordinary tops in some of the barns as high as the upper 50’s. I think this will continue to be the case throughout the fall that the cash market slowly creeps up and packers fill their needs as necessary in the barns and we will see some out of the ordinary tops here and there.

The cull cow/bull market has continued to hang in very well. Seeing some bulls bringing up to $1.25, and some fed cows even in that $1.00 a pound range. The thinner cows lagging anywhere from $20 to $40 behind as fed cows are hard to come by with the price of feed in these times.

The breeding stock market has been hit or miss. Heard some fall breds and pairs bringing excellent money but have seen some buys out there as well. I believe this is driven with the price and/or lack of feed at this early stage in the game. We are just starting to see a very few winter/early spring calvers move and I would expect these things to only get higher as we go through the fall due mostly to the contracting cow herd numbers. Early production sales have been excellent.

Wishing everyone a safe harvest and a great fall! Don’t forget to cheer on those 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 (8), Brayden (7), Vivian (5), and Bianca (1).

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