I did the math at 75 cent kill cows. That pays the purchase price on those old cows and most of the feed. I will only have about $50 against the calves and calf prices are going up up too. I might have to figure out something for tax deductions.......
About a month ago I went to the sale with a load of yearlings for the neighbor. There was 200 pairs selling do to the drought. I stayed and watched them sell. I sat on my hands. What they sold for and the price cattle are selling for today, I should have bought a trailer load or two......... Oh well I should have listened to that guy trying to talk me into buying Microsoft stock back in 1979..... Would have, should have, could have....
The report of Wednesday said bulk of butcher cows at $0.72-$0.80 with the top at $0.8450. If those prices hold and hay stays high, if I had a bunch of cows, when the cows come out of the hills I would preg check and mouth every cow. Anything open or old would go on the first available truck.
Neighbor raised about 200 heifers that he bred with the plan to sell as bred heifers. With those prices I would be making a much younger cow herd.
ND is in the second year of drought. Some have sold 75% of their cows. Thing is, there are very few cows in many parts of ND. Most there want to grow RR soy beans.
MN is in the first year of drought. Still a lot of ranching geniuses here who have not sold any cows, yet... I am down 40% YTD. I will start grazing out soy beans next week.
Hay auction prices have gone up 50% in the last month. Not much available and some panic buying. I think reality will set in during August. Little hay, no pasture, no rain. This is a historic drought for us.
Sat at the yard today to see if I could buy some 7 wt steers for someone .... they told us they were needing some about 2 weeks after we sold most everything we had to sell....Did get some in the 1.20's, mostly herefords... he does not care what color they are....
Cull cows were in the mid/upper 60's and low 70's... There was also small dispersal... 35 cow/cf pairs. Owner of about 20 of them is running out of water... he said they had to drop the well pump about 20 feet... and the pastures are drying up. The cows were in Very Good shape... but only brought in the 12-1600 range. Less than a month ago at the one bred sale where I watched many bring 15-2100 .....
Feeders were holding pretty good, 140-165.... heifers in the 120-135 range. 4-6 wts.
Alot of talk about how dry it is getting and that the storms that have hit some are only dropping .1 to .2 inch rain. It was up in the upper 90's today... doesn't take long to dry out at those temps especially when there is a breeze. Calling for some more significant rain this weekend... hope they are right. All the hay is rolled so a good rain now would be fantastic....
I see from the reports the cull cow prices are hanging in there. Vale was up a penny. Toppenish was off about a penny or two. Both on Thursday. A penny up or down doesn't matter. Just hold in there for another 3 weeks. Cows get on the truck August 15.
The cull cow market is more variable locally than the fat cattle market. There aren't the contracted cattle. They are dependent on what comes to town that day. The three kill cow plants which I know well enough to make a statement about don't have holding facilities. What comes in today gets killed tomorrow. The one near here doesn't want deliveries before 3:00 in the afternoon.
The last 3 weeks report from Vale Oregon
7/21 Bulk .67-.80 top .85 thin shelly cows .58-.65
7/14 Bulk .72-.80 top .8450 Thin shelly cows .55-.62
7/7 Bulk .71-.78 top .82 Low numbers that week