Central Missouri livestock auction says record number of cattle at market

Jack Harrison, the owner of the Callaway Livestock Center in Kingdom City, Missouri, tells Brownfield the reason is outstanding prices and short hay supplies.

“About every week our cow numbers have been double what they’ve been one year ago,” he says. “Feeder numbers are about 20% higher than they were one year ago and people are selling fall calves early saving all of the feed they can for cows.”

He says central Missouri received up to 1.5 inches of rain in the last week, which is helping green up the ground, but it won’t replace the grass growth that’s been lost in the drought.

“Memorial weekend is usually when we get fired up to cut hay. Today, I could cut our hay field with our lawnmower. There’s absolutely nothing there to cut.”

Harrison says he is expecting this year’s hay crop to be half of last year’s and the auction will start looking for ways to fill hay needs soon.

And if any producers are looking to sell cattle “I know it’s early on some of them, but go ahead and sell calves and try to conserve all of their feed resources to hang onto their cow herd, because that’s where our future is and the market should be good for awhile.”

The U.S. Drought Monitor shows drought improvements across Missouri in the last week, but portions of Boone, Cooper, Morgan and Moniteau counties remain in extreme drought.

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