From the Barnyard by Mike Graves
This column is titled with today’s date because the information gathered is nearly up to the minute, thanks to the Internet.
Tuesday, at The Chicago Mercantile Exchange, cattle futures saw triple digit gains, only to fall the limit Wednesday. Wall Street is “nauseous,” according to cattlerange.com, and uncertainty has the traders unable to explain or predict the numbers.
This was reflected in a 5-15$/100 lbs loss for the week for calves weighing 450-550 ($50 head).
The bright spot was butcher cows trading steady after the holidays.
A word here, about our butcher cow market, if I may.
The Arkansas Livestock Market reported average dressing butcher cows weighing 1,000-1,500 lbs. at 65-71/100 lbs. Average 1,300-2,200 lbs bulls sold for 85-95/100 lbs.
In Oklahoma City, average dressing 1,000-1,500 lbs slaughter cows sold for 74-83, average butcher bulls weighing 1,300-2,200 sold for 1.01-1.06/100 lbs – a dime difference.
In our local livestock markets there are “local orders”- meaning ranchers are purchasing replacement heifers, steers, or thin-grazing cows to put on Arkansas, Oklahoma, or Texas grass – not so for the butcher market. Slaughter cows and bulls are purchased to ship and slaughter within a few days, depending on the ability to gather a 50,000 lbs load.
If you’re thinking about taking advantage of cheap diesel, loading your gooseneck, and heading to OKC, take the time to visit the historic Stockyard café, eat a great steak, and see the sights before picking up your check. A trip to the OKC stockyards is a good way to sell some high butcher cows; unless you have a flat, one of the cows goes down, etc. Then, you’ll wish you had sold the cows locally, and made it home for pinto beans and cornbread. See y’all at the co-op.
• “Oklahoma City looks oh, so pretty.” Route Sixty Six – Asleep at the Wheel
• “He is rich, whom is poor in Christ.” St Jerome, 4th century