(Federal-State Market News)

St. Joseph, Mo.

March 1


This Week Last Week Last Year

300,200 97,800 270,900

Larger auction receipts this week nationwide after the second lightest non-holiday receipt week in more than 10 years. No recent price comparisons in the South Central and Southeast regions, however a higher undertone noted on the grazing-type calves and a weaker undertone on the heavier two-way to yearling type steers and heifers.

The North Central area auction markets were mostly mixed as some ranchers and feedlot operators will be dealing with muddy pen conditions as warmer weather late week has spread from the West to the East coasts. Some more precipitation (upwards of 3-plus inches) is expected over the weekend from Oklahoma through the Southern Missouri/Northern Arkansas and into Kentucky and Tennessee. North Central and South Central auctions were back in business this week and buyers were hungry to fill orders for grazing calves. Ranchers are chomping at the bit to get calves into their yards so they can get the health programs in order for them prior to an April 1 turnout. This time of year typically brings good strings of calves and yearlings to town.

On Wednesday at Winter Livestock in Dodge City (KS), a half-load of 484 lb fancy steers sold at 206.00. Also on Wednesday, a load of 725 lb steers sold at the St Joseph (MO) Stockyards for 157.25 and a load of 818 lb steers sold at Bassett (NE) Livestock for 146.50. Reputation calves were on offer at Valentine (NE) Livestock Auction on Thursday. A load of 483 lbs steers sold at 210.75, while their 514 lb bigger brothers sold at 208.00. A total of 3 loads of 611 to 614 lb fancy steers sold for a weighted average of 182.35 and a load of 701 lb steers sold at 157.75. These cattle would’ve hardened up a little after making it through the severe cold of the last couple weeks. With that cold, all types of cattle would go into survival mode and pull on their energy reserves (fat) to try and maintain heat to keep going in the harsh conditions. Some cows closer to calving will put a little more birth weight into their gestating calf as temperatures plummet.

Calving season is upon the Southern Plains as the month of February doesn’t typically have the winter that it did this year. Calf-crops will be affected from dystocia issues to frozen ears and feet and some calves just go into shock and get hypothermic in a short period of time. Ranchers do all they can to ensure a good environment for calving, but Mother Nature can be brutal at times.

This week’s fed cattle market was at 114.00 live in the South Plains and dressed sales in Nebraska being traded at 182.00. Boxed beef values have stalled somewhat with the Choice cutout closing the week 1.30 higher at 240.53, while Select was 1.83 higher at 229.73.

The Choice-Select spread has narrowed a little from the previous week and was published at 10.80. Cattle Slaughter under federal inspection estimated at 666K for the week, 114K more than last week, and 38K more than a year ago. YTD F.I.

Cattle Slaughter is estimated at 4.2 percent less than a year ago as of the end of February. Auction volume this week included 64 percent weighing over 600 lbs and 41 percent heifers.

Northwest Weighted Average Direct Feeder Cattle

Weekly Summary WA-OR-ID-UT

Feb. 26


This Week Last Week Last Year

894 932 1080

Compared to last week: Feeder steers and heifers mostly steady. Demand moderate to good. Supply included: 100% Feeder Cattle (68% Steers, 32% Heifers). Feeder cattle supply over 600 lbs was 100%. Unless otherwise noted, Feeder Cattle prices FOB based on net weights after a 2-3% shrink or equivalent, with a 4-8 cent slide > 600 lbs. Livestock reported this week originated from ID, OR, UT.

Steers — Medium and Large 1

76 Head: 825 lbs, 135.63 Current DEL

140 Head: 850 lbs, 136.00 Current DEL

392 Head: 900 lbs, 130.57 Current DEL

Heifers — Medium and Large 1

140 Head: 750 lbs, 124.86 Current FOB

26 Head: 725 lbs, 131.00 Current DEL

120 Head: 850 lbs, 128.00 Current DEL