Between sharp reductions in boxed-beef prices and the CME's midweek nosedive, fed-cattle prices lost $1-$2 on the week at mostly $88-$89. Throw in auction volumes 68% larger than the previous week (303,000) and the feeder-cattle market was called weak to $3 lower.

That said, Ag Marketing Service reporters explain, "Demand remains good for all classes of feeders, especially for true yearlings and longtime-weaned calves which are quickly becoming the minority in offerings to increasing numbers of un-weaned calves."

Moreover, the most recent data from the Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC) underscores the added pressure higher feeder costs are adding to fed-cattle breakevens compared to a year ago.

"According to the July data, feedlots reported the average cost of gain for steers at $52.62/cwt., $2.53/cwt. higher than in 2005 and nearly 7% above the 2000-2004 average," say LMIC analysts. "The cost of gain for heifers was $57.14/cwt. vs. $53.58/cwt. last year and $3.92/cwt. higher than the prior five-year average. As of mid-August, feedlots reported a corn price of $2.60/bu., 9ยข/bu. higher than last year but slightly less than the prior month. The mid-month price for ground alfalfa hay at $116.96/ton was over $41/ton higher than last year and the highest monthly price reported thus far in the series (began in July 1992)."

Find more details about the LMIC report at www.lmic.info.

The summary below reflects the week ended Sept. 15 for Medium and Large 1 -- 500- to 550-lb., 600- to 650-lb., and 700- to 750-lb. feeder heifers and steers (unless otherwise noted). The list is arranged in descending order by auction volume and represents sales reported in the weekly USDA National Feeder and Stocker Cattle Summary:

Summary Table
State Volume Steers Heifers
Calf Weight 500-550 lbs. 600-650 lbs. 700-750 lbs. 500-550 lbs. 600-650 lbs. 700-750 lbs.
TX 40,500 $122.74 $119.48 $109.74 $115.62 $111.00 $113.17
MO 38,500 $134.55 $128.98 $121.04 $122.03 $120.27 $113.86
OK 36,900 $132.69 $125.28 $121.67 $121.13 $115.24 $112.39
KY* 24,800 $120-129 $108-118 $105-1155 $107-117 $100-110 $94-1055
Dakotas 21,900
South Dakota
North Dakota

$144.74
**

$130.47
$123.202

$124.15
$122.82

$129.25
**

$121.074
**

$116.42
$110.20
AL 19,200 $117-126 $111-117 $102-1095 $108-116 $101-108 $89-995
TN* 14,000 $121.21 $114.04 $107.78 $110.74 $103.97 $98.974
NE 12,100 $141.95 $122.182 $123.27 $128.20 $120.944 $116.91
FL* 11,600 $100-120 $98-106 $90-103 $90-112 $93-103 $94-1044
MS* 10,500 $115-1251 $105-115 $100-1154 $105-1101 $95-105 $90-954
GA*(***) 10,200 $105-129 $100-120 $95-1036 $100-122 $92-110 $90-1074
KS 9,300 $132.24 $126.15 $119.85 $124.08 $115.67 $112.36
AR 9,000 $122.71 $114.69 $109.34 $111.54 106.31 $101.03
LAND 8,000 $105-125 $103-1202 ** $100-116 $98-1182 **
IA 7,600 $138.82 $134.80 $126.01 $129.09 $120.72 $118.20
Carolinas* 6,900 $102.50-125 $100-1173 $90-1085 $100-112 $86-106.50 $76-101.505
WY* 5,500 $136.43 $130.512 $119.13 $125.25 $119.162 $111.686
VA 5,200 $125.25 $118.52 $113.72 $110.82 $105.26 $102.15
CO 4,700 $134.26 $123.69 $121.44 $123.66 $122.812 $112.51
WA* 2,700 ** $118.292 $102.76 $111.24 $107.992 $98.61
NM 2,100 $122.05 $117.532 ** ** $111.572 **
MT 1,800 $135.57 $124.342 ** ** $119.232 $108.16

* Plus 2
** None reported at this weight or near weight
(***) Steers and bulls
NDNo Description
1500-600 lbs.
2550-600 lbs.
3600-700 lbs.
4650-700 lbs.
5700-800 lbs.
6750-800 lbs.
7800-850 lbs.