Cattle prices almost mirroring those from 2017

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - While cattle prices have been down the last few weeks, they are looking similar to what we saw in 2017.

South Dakota Stockgrowers Association executive director, James Halverson, say "calves right now per pound are somewhere between that $1.60 to maybe not quite up to $2.00 a pound. The older cows are probably in that $1.10 to $1.20 range."

While the price per pound is almost the same, feed prices have varied.

Hay prices decreased for buyers due to the wet year, corn is similar to last, and range cubes went up in cost.

Overall the break even's are up.

South Dakota Stockgrowers Association president, Gary Deering, explains “the break evens anymore have prepped way up around that 700-800 and in some cases 900 dollars a cow. We're getting pretty tight margins in this business."

The biggest different between last year and this one is how comfortable ranchers are heading into the winter season.

"The crystal ball looks a lot better than it did last winter when there was some unknowns. I mean we were hitting, at this time last year, we were a little bit unsure we could foresee May, possibly June. But if we weren't going to see some moisture at that time last year, the uncertainty was a booger last year. That was tough and this year we can see a little bit further,” states Deering.

Deering says with the increased amount of snow in the last two winters, food cost have gone up during that time, but adds they are ready for whatever weather comes their way.