Gauging female-market trends with April auction data requires acknowledging the fact that the quality of offerings just isn’t comparable to other months. The market for bred females is a case in point: Few bred heifers are sent to market during April, with grazing season just beginning. Wait a couple of weeks and a rancher will have pairs to sell which will bring more total dollars. Indeed, that logic was evident in April auction data analyzed by Drovers/CattleNetwork.

Average auction prices for bred heifers were nearly $200 per head lower during April, while average prices for young and middle-aged bred cows were just $24 per head higher. Aged, bred females were $160 lower for the month.

Cow-calf pairs, however, showed solid price gains across the category. Cows with small calves were $122 per pair higher, and cows with large calves increased $68 per pair. Small or aged cows with calves recorded the biggest jump at $142 per pair.

Average prices for open females and slaughter cows were mostly steady to slightly higher for April. Young and middle-aged open females averaged $94.67 per hundredweight for the month, while heiferettes were $1.20 higher at $97 per hundredweight.

Slaughter cows recorded minimal increases with utility and commercial cows averaging $81.75 per hundredweight, up 39 cents from March. Canner and cutter cows sold for an average of $74.75 per hundredweight, up 17 cents from March.