Corbitt Wall gave the weekly USDA National Feeder Cattle Summary for the week ending March 14. Feeder cattle mostly weighing over 750 pounds sold unevenly steady this week. Wall stated that feedlots need more time to "cheapen the cattle up." Lots are looking to buy more lighter-weight cattle but competition is high from stocker buyers.
This week, stockers and calves sold $2 to $6 higher. As stated, there is heavy competition for lightweight cattle and this is the primetime to buy stockers—while we are seeing a lull in winter weather and before spring planting.
The big sellers and what buyers are looking for are lightweight cattle that are already backgrounded, according to Wall. He also noted that a recent package of 101-head of lightweight heifers, weighing 408 pounds that were fully backgrounded—mostly blacks and black baldies—sold in Dodge City, KS, for $2.50/lb.
Stocker operators are starting to really look but it is a small window to sell, Wall warns. This also might be a good opportunity for young ranchers just starting out to lease pasture ground in major grazing areas as some of the older guys won’t be grazing as many cattle this year.
Everything still remains bullish and every beef product, cow and bull are still at all-time highs. With pork prices as high as they are and PEDV wiping out so many pigs, cutouts have gotten to an all-time high, too.
Watch Corbitt Walls full report on Beef Today’s Cattle Markets Center.