Markets — Feb. 19, 2016
Compared to last week, calves and yearlings sold mostly steady to 5.00 higher, with instances throughout the trade area where the markets traded in a 5.00 higher to 5.00 lower range early in the week. Active trading this week in the major marketing areas where the full advance of the market was most evident on the middle-weight cattle weighing 500-700 lbs. Competition has increased on these cattle and grass interests are becoming more prevalent as winter’s grip is starting to ease near the major grazing areas. This is the time of year when the term “stocker” starts to be used more often to describe cattle that are in condition to be turned-out on grass. These longtime weaned and fully vaccinated calves and froze-out short yearlings that are showing a bit more age than size along with good weighing conditions usually fit the bill. Tuesday saw a change in direction with limit and near gains in the Live Cattle and Feeder Cattle contracts that continued into Wednesday and Thursday with good gains as outside markets all turned green. This definitely gives a boost tothe markets to find renewed buying interest after last week’s lows. This week had spring like temperatures and gusty winds, which had pay loaders and box scrapers busy in helping to dry out and clean up pen conditions in the Northern feedlots. Most pens should be decent by the end of the week for new arrivals of feeder cattle. Hopefully this market can find some assurance to get its footing going into spring.
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A new book describing the events leading up to the Beef Checkoff’s implementation and outlining a vast number of happenings since then has caused quite a stir.