Modest price gains during February

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Demand for breeding-age females remains strong, and prices increased modestly during February.

Open-female prices were $14 to $15 per hundredweight higher during February. Heiferettes found average bids 50 cents per hundredweight higher than the previous month, but young and middle-aged open cows were up nearly $14 per hundredweight. Aged, open cows saw a $15-per-hundredweight increase.

Bred females posted gains during February but were definitely muted by the ongoing drought. Bred heifers traded $70 per head higher, while young- and middle-aged bred cows traded $19 per head higher. Aged, bred cows were $58 per head higher.

Prices paid for cow-calf pairs were mixed, with cows and large calves posting a $36-per-pair gain, and cows with small calves finding bids $21 per pair lower. Small or aged cows with calves were $105 per pair higher.

Slaughter cow averages saw modest gains during February. Utility and commercial cows averaged $2.71 per hundredweight higher. Canner and cutter cows sold for an average of 4 cents higher. Slaughter cows were only about $1 per hundredweight higher than last year.

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