Cattle prices have started 2011 with a bang. Sandy Russell of Spring Creek Consulting details the price rise in her latest newsletter. Fed steer prices in Western Canada have increased to around a dollar a pound. Last year at this time they were under 80 cents. Steer calves in the 500 to 600 pound weight range have zoomed up to around $1.40 a pound – an increase of around 8 cents since the end of 2010. Last year at this time, steer calves in that weight range were less than $1.05 a pound. A year ago, D1 – D2 cows were less than 45 cents. They closed 2010 at around 55 cents and now they’re 60 cents a pound. There’s finally some money to be made in the cow-calf sector. However, Sandy Russell does sound a cautionary note, pointing out that rising feed grain prices could curtail feeder cattle values. So far, the increase in American corn prices has been much greater than the rise in Canadian feed barley prices.

I’m Kevin Hursh.

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