Markets: Drought remains key to prices

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click image to zoom Minimal moisture throughout the Great Plains during January lowered demand for breedingage females.

Open female prices were $2 to $10 per hundredweight lower during January. Heiferettes found average bids $2.75 per hundredweight lower, and young and middle-aged open cows were more than $10 per hundredweight lower. Aged, open cows saw a $5-perhundredweight decline.

Bred females posted gains during January, but those were muted by the ongoing drought. Bred heifers traded $76 per head higher, while young- and middleaged bred cows traded $7 per head higher. Aged, bred cows were $65 per head higher.

Prices paid for cow-calf pairs were mixed, with cows and large calves posting a $267-per-pair gain, and cows with small calves fi nding bids $55 per pair higher. Small or aged cows were $47 per pair lower.

Slaughter cow averages saw modest gains. Utility and commercial cows averaged $1.33 per hundredweight higher. Canner and cutter cows sold for an average of $3.29 per hundredweight higher. Slaughter cows remain $3 to $7 per hundredweight higher than last year.

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