Optimism in the Minnesota cattle business

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Farm Forum

PIPESTONE, Minn. — With drought-wary corn prices exceeding $7 a bushel, economists are watching to see how the beef industry will react.

With optimism, predicts Jerry Reisch of Luverne, Minn. He saw some of that optimism at his special annual sale at the Pipestone (Minn.) Livestock Auction on Jan. 7.

Reisch has held the sale on the first Monday of January every year for about 25 years. He formerly held the sale at his smaller Luverne Livestock Auction Co., about 24 miles south, but Brian Schneider, owner of Pipestone Livestock, has invited him up to Pipestone to hold the sale for the past three years. Reisch is involved in all of the Pipestone sales, overseeing feeder cattle, fats and cows.

Consignors for Reisch’s special sale came from about a 50- to 100-mile radius of Pipestone.

“The same people sell here every year after the first of the year,” Reisch says. “We’ve got a good market. We promote ourselves and we do a good job of selling a producer’s cattle for them. We’re getting more and more every year.”

Feeder prices strong

Not long ago, a 500-pound steer brought $150 per hundredweight (cwt.), and now they’re bringing up to $180 per cwt., Reisch says. There’s an abundance of 650- to 800-pound cattle. Lightweight cattle would be of interest to producers looking to