It’s been awhile coming, but cattle producers are getting in on the run-up in commodities prices.

That’s only right, says Ken Wintersteen, owner of the Menno Livestock Auction, a small, family-run salebarn that he's operated for more than 20 years.

“Feeder cattle are as high as they’ve ever been,” Wintersteen says. Feeder cattle are weaned calves that must be fattened prior to slaughter. Feeder cattle up to 800 lbs. have been selling for $1.20 to $1.25/lb., he says, depending on the market.

Fat cattle — cattle that are ready for slaughter — were selling for around $1.03 recently and about $1.05.

“That’s exceptional,” says Bill Slovek, of Philip, 2011 president of the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association, who believes the run-up in cattle prices is long-overdue and well-deserved.

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