Demand for females remains influenced by the two-year drought gripping America’s cattle country. The availability of drinking water for cattle is a major concern for many ranchers, even  those with available feed supplies.

Bred-female prices were steady to softer during December. Bred heifers found bids $15 per head lower than the previous month, and young and middle-aged cows were nearly steady with November. Aged, bred cows saw a $43-per-head gain.

Prices paid for cow-calf pairs were mixed, with cows and large calves posting a $143-per-pair loss, and cows with small calves fi nding bids $6 per pair higher. Small or aged cows were up $120 per pair.

Average prices for open females during December were steady to higher. Heiferettes gained $3.47 per hundredweight, while young and middle-aged, open females gained $5.70 per hundredweight. Aged, open cows saw bids $1.60 per hundredweight higher.

Slaughter cow averages saw only modest change from November. Utility and commercial cows averaged $72.38 per hundredweight. Canner and cutter cows sold for an average of $63.92 per hundredweight.

Drought dictates female demand