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Strong cattle sales continue, but is it sustainable?

The market news manager for the Missouri Department of Agriculture says he’s keeping a close eye on sale barn activity around the state. 

Tony Hancock with the Missouri Department of Agriculture says he’s not sure how long the current volume of sales and price levels can last. “We’ve been selling a lot of calves early at lighter weights just because the prices have been so good over the last few months,” he says.  “You just can’t continue to market calves and market calves, and market calves without eventually having several light weeks and running out for a while.”

He tells Brownfield he’s also watching the percentage of steers and heifers sold each week. “And I’m hearing a lot of guys that are probably smarter than me talking about places in the nation where they may be retaining a few heifers,” he says.  “But I just don’t believe we’re there yet here in Missouri.  We might be holding steady, but I sure don’t see enough signs to tell me that we’re trying to rebuild any.”

The USDA announced earlier this year that it was canceling its July Cattle Inventory report citing budgetary issues and Hancock says the industry is looking to different data points for any significant signs of expansion to the cattle herd.

AUDIO: Tony Hancock, Missouri Department of Ag

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