Strong calf & yearling market benefiting producers
After a year of drought and record feed prices, ranchers are glad to strong demand for calves is pushing the market higher. On Monday more than 38 thousand head sold in the Cattle Country Video Oregon Trail Classic in Gering.
On the day the market trended steady to four to five higher. In a interview with KNEB/Rural Radio Network, CCV Co-Owner Michael Schmitt says the strong cattle market is tied to softer corn prices. The corn dropping will drive the price of the feeder cattle. It's time for rancher to be kinda glad there is abundant corn around, cause last year the cost of gain got out of hand and lot of the feeders lost money. He says this will hopefully build in more profitability built back into the feeding segment.
Demand for larger calves is coming from cornbelt states like Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota, while demand for smaller calves is coming from wheat belt states. At the sale, the majority of the 600 pound calves sold from 168 - 173. Buyers from the wheat belt were mostly interested in light weight calves. The lighter calves brought anywhere from 207 - 209.
On the day heifer calves sold about 12 - 15 lower than their steer mates, which surprised Schmitt. He felt producers might be willing to expand their herd and thought some of those females were pretty good and should have brought a little more.
Yearling steers sold steady to two to three higher over the previous Cattle Country Video Auction earlier this month in Torrington. Schmitt says the yearling market continues to be driven by limited receipts. The yearling market continues to be strong market selling at 154. The sale also had a limited test of three and four year old bred females selling at $1410 each.
With strong prices, plenty of cattle are being marketed earlier than normal this year. On Monday 38 thousand sold which is a sizable number but far less than the 52 thousand head that were in last year's Oregon Trail Classic. Schmitt anticipates marketings will continue to decline going into the next video sale and that that is going to be trend all the way through with sale barn receipts also dropping off.
After a strong sale, Schmitt is cautious about where this market is headed. He says the market could go higher, but it could also be top heavy. He is concerned there is a chance this market could slide backwards and only time will tell if this calf market can continue on this path.
Cattle Country Video will have their next video auction August 29th from the Haythorn Ranch near Ogallala. CCV Sister company, Torrington Livestock will offer two feeder calf specials in August along with their Labor Day Special in September.
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