The feeder cattle market moved sharply higher in the last two months of the year. “I would describe the feeder cattle market as appreciatively stronger than what we expected with the number of calves that have had to be moved due to the drought all over the western United States,” said Larry Schnell, president, Stockmen’s Livestock Exchange. “It would have been very understandable to see a lot of pressure on the market, but even in the last few weeks or so we’ve seen a pretty good jump in the market in all weight categories.” Schnell predicts the market will take a dip in numbers heading into the New Year due to the overwhelming number of calves that sold this fall. “Talking about head count and I sure could be wrong about this, but I think after the first of the year our numbers will be down from a year ago. Whereas normally, we would be selling 3,000-3,500 or more a week, I think we’ll be 20-to-25 percent less than that. I really think we might be out of calves by mid-February, but you never know how many cattle are out there.”
Subscribe to RRFN
Get a weekly digest from RRFN to stay up-to-date on all the latest news in agriculture.