cropped salebarnFairview Sale Barn  Fairview, IL


bev2   Bev's days at Fairview Sale Barn are dwindling down.  She will be missed by all!  We all wish her well on her retirement years, keeping herself busy with quilting, traveling, family and just relaxing.  Laura is learning fast and doing a great job.  She says that  "Bev is on a retainer"    We do hope she keeps the Sale Barn on her busy schedule! 

Market Report

Market Overview - December 12, 2014

1272 Head of cattle crossed the scales at Fairview Sale Barn this week. The run of feeder cattle was larger than expected. Fat cattle numbers stay up, and the amount of slaughter cows going to market is also larger than in the past as more and more producers are culling and getting rid of their poorer stock. The fall run of bulls continues to be about average for this time of year.

178 fed cattle went to market in some cases as much as $5 under last week. The Merc recovered a little, but has slipped enough lately to influence fed cattle prices. Compound this with packers who have a backlog of previously purchased country cattle to get through, and it’s no wonder there’s slippage. Top yielding choice steers and heifers traded between $162 and the $165.25 top, and lower yielding slid back to $157 to $161.50 with the better selects bringing the same. A few choice heavy carcasses brought $155 to $158. An interesting angle to the present slaughter of fed cattle has come up. We sell a couple hundred loads of fats through our sister company, Illini Beef Marketing Services, (IBMS) for customers direct, farm to packer. 3 of the loads we sold last week bypassed slaughter plants in Illinois and Iowa and went to plants in Kansas. The obvious answer to this is—we have plenty of cattle in the cornbelt and there is a shortage in the west. The times are certainly puzzling.

165 Cows were purchased by packer buyers on a very competitive but $2 lower market. The higher yielding by grade had a trading range for the premiums from $141 to $157 and included some heiferettes. Breakers ranged from $110 to $122.50. Boners traded from $109 to $122. The lean cows had a $101 to $115 market. A lot of poorer quality and low yielding cows dropped into the $91 to $99 bracket.

23 Bulls saw a wide range of quality. Prices this week reacted accordingly going from $108 to a $132 top.

906 Feeder Cattle sold. Light green feeder cattle continued their record breaking price run, but bigger feeders are more under the gun because of a weaker board and increased corn prices. Any of the upper weights carrying any extra flesh and/or dirt or manure, or showing too much fill lost a lot of buyer interest and traded cheaper than in the recent past. Several bigger cattle were not weaned and had few or no vaccinations which resulted in lower figures for them. The difference in price for the comparable lighter weights was not as drastic. This week’s run had a lot of very good quality throughout with several of the best heifers headed for breeding programs. Producers this week collected $1250 to $1550 per head for their spring born calf crop which makes each mother cow a tremendous asset in today’s ag economy.

300#-400# (steers & bulls) $276 to $340 (heifers) $230 to $314
400#-500# (steers & bulls) $280 to $323 (heifers) $226 to $279
500#-600# (steers & bulls) $211 to $290 (heifers) $210 to $252
600#-700# (steers & bulls) $185 to $258 (heifers) $205 to $250
700#-800# (steers & bulls) $201 to $230 (heifers) $187 to $215
800#-900# (steers) $185 to $311 (heifers) $179 to $192

The next feeder special is Saturday, December 20, and is for only weaned and vaccinated calves that meet the requirements.

LMA Update - December 12, 2014

LMA Offices to be closed for Christmas, New Years
The LMA offices will be closed December 22-26 for Christmas and January 1-2 for New Year's. Please   lan accordingly for membership services needs, including the Livestock Board of Trade. The last Daily News Briefs (DNB) email with sale announcements will be sent on December 19, with the next DNB sent on December 29.

In the Cattle Markets: Higher market volatility 
So much of the recent news in this publication series and elsewhere has revolved around the record level of prices and the implications for herd expansion.  Typically record prices are joined at the hip with increased price risk (the high risk, high return phenomenon).  How does the market picture look as we wave good-bye to 2014?

Not surprisingly, market risks have moved higher along with prices.  Figure 1 provides a lengthy history of implied volatility for feeder and live cattle futures.  The timeline begins just after the high prices experienced in 2003 and the ensuing price decline following the BSE case.  Implied volatility values were in the 20 to 33 percent range in early 2004 for live cattle and 12 to 23 percent for feeder cattle.  The increased volatility in 2008 and 2009 is also easily identifiable in figure 1 as implied volatility raced up to 25 percent for both live and feeder cattle.  Recently, this measure began to decrease in mid-2012, falling to about 7 percent one year ago.  However, as prices have increased, so has volatility with feeder cattle futures price implied volatility at about 12 percent and live cattle futures price volatility at about 14 percent.

Specifically, looking more closely at feeder cattle price volatility for contract months in 2015, this phenomenon is no different. As time passed and as contracts became available in 2014, implied volatility measures increased along with prices.  These peaked in August 2014, ranging from 12 to 14 percent depending on the contract.  Interestingly, the January 2015 contract carried more risk (i.e., a larger implied volatility value) than the more deferred contracts, but this has since been reversed.  Keep in mind that these deferred contracts typically traded below nearby months.  In other words, futures market participants hesitated to push prices in very distant months to the high levels of those in more current months.

Spending bill sets stage for battles over WOTUS, COOL and second beef checkoff
The massive $1 trillion fiscal 2015 spending bill that congressional leaders have agreed on sets the stage for fights next year over the Clean Water Act, school nutrition, the beef checkoff and country-of-origin labeling.

The bill, dubbed a “cromnibus,” because it would provide only a temporary continuing resolution to fund the Department of Homeland Security, would kill an interpretive rule that lays out agricultural exemptions to Section 404 permitting requirements under the Clean Water Act.

The interpretive rule was issued in conjunction with a proposed rule defining what areas are regulated as “waters of the United States,” or WOTUS. The two measures set off a firestorm among farm groups alarmed at the impact they would have on land use.

The bill sets the table for a debate in 2015 over country-of-origin labeling for meat. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack would be directed to propose changes to the law. He must produce the proposals by May 1 or within 15 days of when the World Trade Organization's final determination of a challenge to the law by Canada or Mexico, whichever is earlier.

The legislation also orders Vilsack not to implement a new beef checkoff program, a move the secretary has been considering because of an industry impasse over making changes to the existing program. 

Feedlot margins down $100 per head in early December
The cattle market got a cold dose of reality last week with markets dropping throughout the industry the week ending December 6. Starting with feedlot margins, last week producers earned $44.96 per head, compared to $144.20 the previous week and nearly $210 per head at this time last month. Feeding margins were within 50 cents of last year at this time.

Cash prices, which have been steadily trending upward topping $171 per hundredweight, fell to $166.77 last week, according to the Sterling Profit Tracker. Fed cattle prices were 30 cents lower last month’s prices and are still more than $30 per hundredweight higher than early December 2013. Similarly, feeders were also down, dropping to $234.13 per hundredweight, compared to $238.85 the previous week. The breakeven for last week’s feedlot placements was also down last week falling to $173.95 per hundredweight, according to John Nalivka with Sterling Marketing, Inc.

Beef packer margins were the only bright spot last week, improving more than $8 per head. Packers are still losing $70 per head but margins have been inching back toward positive territory over the past month. The beef cutout value decreased last week to $252.17 per hundredweight, compared to $253.69 the previous week.

Senate saves tax extenders bill to last
A House-passed bill extending a series of expired tax breaks is likely to be the last thing the Senate does before adjourning for the year.

The bill, H.R. 5771. would reinstate for this year the Section 179 expensing benefit for small businesses as well as a variety of tax credits for biofuels and wind energy.

Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.,, has said the Senate would deal with the omnibus spending bill and defense authorization legislation before taking up the tax extenders.

The Section 179 provision would keep the expensing limitation at $500,000 for this year, the level that has been effect since 2010. Without the extension it reverts to $25,000. The provision costs the government about $1.4 billion.


Watch our Sales on the Internet  --


angus cattle

To qualify for the January 2 CAB sale, get your calves weaned before December 2. They are required to have at least 1 round of the required shots--don't forget the pasteurella shot.


Tuesday Sales - "Packer Day"

 10:00 a.m. - Fed Cattle, Cull Cows & Slaughter Bulls -- Monthly Cow Sales 1st Tues. of Month - 5 p.m.

Thursday Sales

10:30 a.m. - Hay Auction and related Farm Items   Noon - Sheep, Goats, Cattle

December 23 Tuesday Slaughter Sale-Fats, Cows, Bulls

These are the last sales for 2014--See y'all in January. Thanks from the heart to all our friends and customers and have the merriest of Christmas's with health and prosperity throughout the new year.

January 2015 Sales Schedule

Jan 3 Saturday CAB Feeder Sale sponsored by LaMoine Valley Angus Association---Restrictions apply. Call us.

Jan 6 Tuesday Special monthly cow sale 5:00. Slaughter sale 10 AM as usual.

  • Baker Farms 65 black and bwf heifers purchased from last years CAB sales and A-I bred to Connealy Comrade, then pasture exposed to Connealy Comrade (son) bull. 60 day calving window to begin Feb 1. All shots are current. Runnin on stalks, not pampered, and in greener flesh. They are gentle as lambs. This is a real opportunity with quality.

Jan 8 Thursday Regular weekly sale for all livestock & hay.

Jan 10 Saturday Annual January feeder special open to all feeder cattle--no restrictions. All are welcome.

Jan 13 Tuesday Slaughter cattle Packer Day 10 AM.

Jan 15 Thursday Regular weekly sale for all livestock and hay.

Jan 20 Tuesday Slaughter cattle Packer Day 10 AM.

Jan 22 Thursday Regular weekly sale for all livestock and hay.

Jan 24 Saturday Special Cow Sale for young front end cows and bred heifers featuring:

  • Kocher Farms 90 reputation bred heifers--fancy and managed by some of the best cowmen anywhere.

  • Clover Farms 70 fancy black bred heifers from another top manager.

  • Kramer farms 20 fancy bred heifers carefully selected to become top cows.

Jan 27 Tuesday Slaughter cattle Packer Day 10 AM.

Jan 29 Thursday Special Feeder Sale along with the regular weekly sale--no restrictions for the cattle