Yearling feeder cattle advanced for the fourth consecutive week ahead of the long Independence Day holiday weekend. Auctions and direct trade in Kansas and Oklahoma reported feeder steers and heifers $2 to $5 per hundredweight higher, and buyer interest was strong, especially in the Flint Hills region of Kansas.

Temperatures in the Central Plains were well below last year’s heat wave, and grazing conditions in many areas are much improved. The western part of the Plains have remained abnormally dry this year, and now the eastern portion of the region has dried out rapidly over the past two to three weeks.

Fed cattle prices declined another $1 per hundredweight in a light trade last week. Cattle in the South sold at $119 per hundredweight, while cattle in the North traded at steady money from the previous week at $121 to $122, and $193 to $194 dressed.

Boxed beef prices traded mixed compared to the previous week, with Choice boxed beef down $1.04 from last Friday at $196.34. Select boxed beef was up $0.11 for the week to close at $187.73. The Choice-Select spread narrowed to $8.61.

In a limited test slaughter cows sold steady to $1 per hundredweight lower. Bulls sold steady to firm. USDA’s cutter cow carcass cut-out value Friday was $158.93, up $1.13 from last Friday.