- Associated Press - Sunday, December 25, 2016

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Cattle prices have risen slightly since the beef market bottomed out in mid-October, but they’re expected to plateau for the rest of the marketing season.

There’s been “a good spark,” but the rally isn’t likely to continue, North Dakota State University livestock economist Tim Petry told, The Bismarck Tribune (https://bit.ly/2hEJzX5).

Petry said not many cattle have been sold yet, but that he expects to see that change this month and next.

Petry attributed the delay in sales to the nice fall weather, as a lot of forage and crop stubble kept cows grazing longer. He said market experts have recommended keeping the calves with the cows as long as possible since the added weight would give them more value than selling lighter calves.

The price is expected to level off as calves are brought to the market. Prices are hovering closer to the average in 2013.

The value of lighter calves recently increased compared to heavier calves, motioning to many that it’s time to sell.

Petry said including as much information as possible improves a buyer’s confidence, which often brings a better price. He advised producers to watch costs and noted that cash rents on pastureland will be slow to come down despite the rapid decrease in the price of cattle.

“That’s the key with a narrower market,” he said.

Looking ahead to 2017, Petry said to expect more of the same level market.

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, https://www.bismarcktribune.com


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