April 25th, 2017

The market was outstanding. First calf cows with baby calves at their side brought from $1,800 to $2,250/pair. The fall calving bred heifers sold from $1,500 to $2,000/head in pretty active trading. Light steers and heifers were in short supply, but 400# steers brought $170/cwt and up. The heifers brought $140/cwt and up… pretty good market. The big cattle sold great also:

  • 10 head of 812# steers brought $135/cwt.
  • 9 head of 1,000# steers brought $110.50/cwt.
  • 13 head of 580# steers brought $150/cwt.
  • 7 head of 490# heifers brought $148.50/cwt.
  • 7 head of 810# heifers brought $113.50/cwt.
  • 7 head of 690# heifers brought $117/cwt.

It was our first sale with some numbers, and the market was very active on all classes from start to finish.  Even though the futures were a little lower on Monday it didn’t seem to affect the market. I think $3.00 corn and the good trade off from fat cattle back to yearlings is helping every segment of the cattle business. Exports are on the rise and that is friendly to this business also. I think this is an exciting time.

This week I want to remind everyone we will pick your cattle up and get them to the sale as reasonable as possible. We now have six trucks and trailers so we can provide the very best in service all up and down the coast. The more lead time you can provide us on cattle you want us to haul will help us schedule the hauling so we can save everyone money. Next week we will also start receiving cattle at Al Kuck’s at 4770 Bodega Ave, Petaluma. We are just about to start the spring run on cattle sales, and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask. My phone is always on.

I’ve been thinking about program cattle and how we want to approach those markets this year. Last year we got several ranches approved for those programs because it looked like there would be premiums paid for those cattle. However, by the time it came to sell your calves the dollar jumped up and that fact alone made exporting NHTC cattle to the European market too expensive. We got 101 Livestock Market, our own cattle, and several customers’ cattle approved. It turned out to be money wasted. This year we are going to take a different approach. It will look like this…

Everyone should tag their cattle with the tags we sell. They cost $3.25 each. They read at 12 feet. That means we don’t need to put every animal through our chute to read them. Reading the old tags is labor intensive, and every time you put through a calf through a chute you run the danger of injury. So please use the new tags from here on out.

We don’t want anyone to get their cattle age and sourced or NHTC approved until we can verify those markets really exist and we can expect premiums for those calves.

The reason we want you to tag your cattle is that we can sell tagged cattle into some natural programs that don’t require spending additional money other than the tag. Last year we sold cattle into those new markets, and we did get premiums. Some of those cattle sold fat this spring for $20/cwt over the real fat market. Those people will be on the market again.

We will be looking to Verified Beef this year to approve more of these calves because we have a new market for 800# steers that will only take calves approved by that age and source company. We have been working on a place to sell these big cattle this year, and this is a promising market. We will keep you informed on how it develops, but I’m pretty excited about the opportunity.

On a separate topic, I want to talk about hats. My good hat is over 30 years old. It came as a gift from Jim Lewis when he had the Salinas Western Store. Some will remember the store. It was a quality first store and I have missed it. Well I wanted to get another really good hat, and I’ve been looking all over the country at hats. Two years ago I ran into a one man store in Santa Ynez owned by Kevin Murphy. I looked at his hats, and they were really nice but just not what I was looking for. He asked if I could bring my good hat in so he could look at it, and in time I did. When he saw it he said they don’t make this hat any more. It’s an old process with old machines these hats were made on that took a lot of hand work. He said that he’d located one of these old machines and was trying to get it bought. If and when it happens he’d call me. Well he did, and to make a long story short my new hat is awesome. One hundred percent beaver and it fits the very best. He has moved to Los Olivos, and if you’re looking for a great hat Kevin is your man. Just in case, (805) 686.4790 is his number.

Have a great week,

Jim (831) 320-3698


P.S. In June and July we will hold our small animal sale on Sundays instead of Tuesdays. The last small animal sale on Tuesday will be May 30th. Then we’ll start Sunday sales on June 4th.

Weight Avg/cwt High/cwt
500–549# $150 $156
550–599# $140 $155
600–699# $135 $150
700–799# $127 $137
800–849# $127 $135
950–1000# $105 $110
Weight Avg/cwt High/cwt
300–349# $143 $143
350–399# $136 $136
400–449# $145 $150
450–499# $147 $148.50