Despite strong demand for grazing cattle and a softening corn market, prices for bred females declined during March. All other classes of females saw significant increases during the month, according to Drovers/CattleNetwork’s monthly analysis.
The unusually warm winter months ignited a spring green-up that was 10 to 14 days ahead of normal, and the spring demand may have peaked early. February produced red-hot markets for bred females, and demand in March may have softened due to an overall decline in the quality of bred females offered at auctions. But demand for other females, including slaughter-type cows, was significantly higher during March.
Young and middle-aged bred females saw a national average auction price of $1,188 per head during March, a decrease of $39 per head from the previous month. Bred heifers recorded the biggest decline with average prices at $1,402 per head, a drop of $329 per head from February’s prices. Ironically, aged, bred female prices recorded an increase during March of $182 per head to $1,162.
The DCN analysis found significant increases across the board for other classes of females. Cow-calf pairs recorded increases of $42 to $150, with bids at $990 to $1,410 per pair.
Slaughter cows recorded a significant increase as beef supplies from the fed slaughter are tight. Utility and commercial cows averaged $81.36 per hundredweight, up $6.53 from February. Canner and cutter cows sold for an average of $74.58 per hundredweight, up $7.66 from February.