What a great market! The fall calf run is in full swing and the market continues to hold, especially on the light calves and true yearlings.  Maybe the stores are right and Christmas has come early!  Of course, much like the markets, sometimes it is hard to tell by what is on the shelves whether it is Christmas, Thanksgiving or Halloween!

The cattle market has a lot going for it at the moment.  Good moisture has been falling, and although not widespread it is coming down in places that have not seen it in a few years!  Fat cattle are selling at or near all time highs, right along with the calves and what few yearlings are available.  The cow market is somewhat lower, but that is sure seasonal and it is still much better than in the past.

Bigger sometimes is better although the number of seven weight calves is astounding this year.  From east to west and especially in the drought areas where it has rained, calves are coming in 50 to 75 pounds bigger than last year if not more.  It will be interesting to see how many of those see green pasture and whether the March runs turn into January ones.

Bigger calves produce bigger feeders which produce bigger fats which produce bigger carcasses which means we don’t need as many cattle, right?  It is nice to be more productive, but is it better?  $1000.00 for a calf, whether it weighs 400 pounds or 600 pounds is still $1000.00!  But that light weight calf has a lot more value to more people in the long run than the bigger one.

It sure seems like the more light weight calves there are, the more people that get to play the game.  If a packer owns or controls a calf from weaning to retail, where does that leave everyone else?  It sure seems pretty hard to find a place to buy or sell a hog nowadays and they are controlled all the way through.

It is interesting how the number of heifer calves showing up for sale are not as numerous when they are worth $1000.00 as when they are worth $500.00!  It looks like folks are starting to keep back some heifers, which of course is much easier to do with feed!  It will be interesting to see how many bred heifers show up in the next year.

 Even with big calves and less heifers there should be plenty of opportunities coming up.  Costs of gain seem to be going down, while the wheat seems to be growing up.  There are quite a few more hay bales laying around than there used to be and it sure looks like those yearlings and fats are going to be worth a lot for the next several years!  Take advantage of the opportunities knocking on the door!

Get in the action! Go to the auction! Raise some beef! Graze some wheat!s