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Cold weather didn't stop buyersCold weather didn't stop buyers

Nebraska backgrounder Doug Ferguson starts his market intel blog this week.

Alan Newport

February 2, 2019

2 Min Read

Beef Producer this week starts carrying a market intelligence blog from Doug Ferguson, a stocker/backgrounder and sell-buy cattle marketer in southern Nebraska.

Ferguson is in the market every day, and buys and sells regionally at multiple barns within a few hours of his home near Beatrice, Nebraska. He is not just an observer, but a participant, and one with real marketing savvy.

We don't have his blog space properly set up on the webpage yet, but I wanted to give you the first installment from him. Watch for his blog in the future on Fridays under the title "Doug's Market Intel."

From Ferguson on Friday, Feb. 1:

How people react to things and influence the market is always fascinating. While the weather has discouraged some people recently, this week was the opposite.

Despite the sub-zero temperatures, there was great interest among buyers. Most of the runs picked up this week, providing plenty of cattle of all classes to bid on. I know most people at the auctions I attend regularly, and this week they were handing out bidder numbers on the fly to people I did not know. Internet bidding and order buyers were also very active.

I’d call the market steady to five higher. Buyers strongly reaffirmed their desire to purchase eight-weight cattle. Last week six-weights didn’t have many fans and this week that vacuum was filled. Mid five-weight cattle seemed to get the short end this week along with four-weights.

The greatest value of gain was from 400 to 500 pounds and from 700 to 800 pounds.

Fleshy cattle only had a slight discount this week. With most cattle being weaned this time of year, calves carried a significant discount. I also noticed there is a $20 to $40 roll-back on lightweight heifers but only $8 to $15 in the heavier weights. I also noticed in the Plains area that feeder bulls have a $20 discount where in other regions no significant discount was notable. Fancy OVC heifers had a $15 to $20 premium attached to them.

Weigh cows started the week off on a positive note and gained momentum as the week went on.

In some regions the fall calves have started coming to town already. I think it’s too early to determine if this is a trend. Speculation is that hay supplies are getting a little thin. It will be interesting to see what kind of effect the hay market/supply situation has on the cattle market in coming months.

About the Author(s)

Alan Newport

Editor, Beef Producer

Alan Newport is editor of Beef Producer, a national magazine with editorial content specifically targeted at beef production for Farm Progress’s 17 state and regional farm publications. Beef Producer appears as an insert in these magazines for readers with 50 head or more of beef cattle. Newport lives in north-central Oklahoma and travels the U.S. to meet producers and to chase down the latest and best information about the beef industry.

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