Mike Samples has been in the cattle game 40 years, and he's never seen the market so high.

"I'm pretty chipper," Samples says as he reflected on cattle sales at Farmers and Ranchers Livestock Commission in Salina, KS.

Recent sales have fetched prices up to $1.25 to $1.28/lb. for a steer weighing 825 lbs., which is nearly an all-time high.

"Right now, we're having the best cattle market we've ever had," Samples says. "These are awfully good times."

Steers at a typical finish weight of 1,200 lbs. were heading out of feedyards to slaughter for $1.18/lb. in early March, he says. This past week, the price dropped to $1.12 to $1.14, Samples says. He anticipated some lower-weight feeder cattle could eclipse $1.30/lb. this week at Farmers and Ranchers.

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