Female prices stumble into spring

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Demand for breeding-age females declined during March, a contra-seasonal trend. Despite some much-needed moisture in the Central Plains, females saw weaker bids at auctions across the nation.

Open-female prices were steady to $6 per hundredweight lower during March. Heiferettes found steady bids, but young and middle-aged open cows were nearly $6 per hundredweight lower. Aged, open cows saw a $3-perhundredweight increase.

Bred females had the largest declines during March. Bred heifers traded $203 per head lower, while young and middle-aged bred cows traded $13 per head higher. Aged, bred cows were $17 per head higher.

Prices paid for cow-calf pairs were mixed, with cows and small calves posting a $20-per-pair gain, and cows with large calves fi nding bids $9 per pair lower. Small or aged cows with calves were down $2 per pair.

Slaughter-cow averages declined $2 to $4 per hundredweight. Utility and commercial cows averaged $1.81 per hundredweight lower. Canner and cutter cows sold $4.21 per hundredweight lower. Slaughter cows in March dropped $3 per hundredweight compared to last year.

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