Decatur Livestock Market
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In order to maximize the benefits of your weaning and preconditioning your calves, we will designate a portion of the first sale of each month to feature weaned calves.

Minimum requirements:
1.  Weaned at least 45 days.
2.  Delivered to DLM prior to 5 p.m. on the Saturday preceding the 1st sale of each month (ie, December 1 for the December 3 sale).  Cattle will be sold first in – first out.

Any vaccination program you follow will be announced as your cattle are presented (Buyers recommend vaccinations against respiratory disease.).

Whether you have 1 calf or 100, if they meet the minimum requirements they can be included in this featured segment of the sale – the more cattle offered the greater the buyers’ interest.

                                Click here to print off a copy of the weaned certification card that we use
                                to merchandise your cattle.

Local Livestock Markets - The most secure way to sell livestock at fair market value, true price discovery.

The recent default and bankruptcy of one of the largest livestock brokers is a testimony of the advantage of selling through livestock auction markets.  Over 700 livestock producers and several auction markets were not paid for cattle - in the amount of approximately $200 million.  Yet the producers who sold their cattle through an auction market were paid in full.
Livestock markets protect the seller by acting as the agent to transfer ownership from seller to buyer.  The auction market assumes the risk of non-payment.  The seller receives payment within 24 hours of sale, out of a bonded and regulated custodial account.
Paid in full.  Paid on time.  Merchandising your livestock to receive fair market value.  Not a bad return for cost of commission!
Managing Shrinkage on Cattle:

One of the hidden costs when selling cattle is shrinkage; weight lost in transit or going off of feed.

When contracting to sale cattle in the country it is standard practice to calculate a 2 or 3% shrink factor, ie weigh the cattle then reduce paying weight to compensate for weight lost in transit.  For a short haul the initial shrinkage may be recovered quickly but for each hour on a truck shrinkage increases beyond just loss of body waste and takes longer to recover.

Of course shrinkage on weaned cattle is less and their recovery is much quicker than for unweaned calves.

Weather condition also affects shrinkage with cold wet weather requiring energy for warmth instead of weight gain whereas extreme heat reduces appetite.  There are ways to recover this lost revenue.  We recommend bringing your cattle in a day or two before sale date so they will have time to settle in and regain what they lost enroute to the sale.  

Even with the recent extreme heat you can avoid the loss.  We had an opportunity to demonstrate this recently.  With permission from a consignor we weighed his calves upon arrival in order to compare arrival weight with their sale weight on Monday.  

Receiving weight = 50270#
Selling weight = 51335#
Temperature = 103-105 degrees
On the yard 2 days prior to the sale
Weight gain = 1065# @ $128/cwt average prices = $1365
Cavles weaned 30-40 days, average gain 19-23# each. 11 head of unweaned calves average gain 2# each.

In more moderate temperature the gains would be even more significant.
Thank you - Mgmt & DVM
Weaned Certifcation Form
Weaned Certifcation Form
If you would like to be added to our email list to receive
weekly market reports, advertising for early consignments for our regular sales,
as well as consignment details for our special sales,
please send an email to
with "Weekly Mailing" in the subject line.

We will also use this method to keep you informed of bad weather closings
and any other times we close throughout the year (July 4th and Christmas).
​2018 Weaned Calf/Yearling Segment Sale Schedule:

To meet the requirements for this sale, calves must be weaned (separated from their mamas) for a minimum of 45 days and arrive the Saturday before the sale. 

We do not require any certain vaccinations but do have a certification card for you to fill out and sign upon arrival with the information about their weaning date as well as any vaccinations you have given. This form is also available below.  
Sale Date:

January 8
February 5
March 5
April 2
May 7
June 4
**July 9
August 6
September 3
October 1
November 5
December 3

**No sale July 2

Weaned By: 

November 25
December 23
January 20
February 17
March 24
April 21
May 26
June 23
July 21
August 18
September 22
October 20

Arrive By:

January 6
February 3
March 3
March 31
May 5
June 2
July 7
August 4
September 1
September 29
November 3
December 1

​Market Changes

During or after any major weather catastrophe (ie, drought, flooding, etc) or any major changes in the global market (ie, changes to tariffs, markets closing to USA, etc), it is not unusual for our market to react to these events just like every other market. Have you ever noticed the prices of vegetables fluctuate based upon what is happening in the area they originate from?

We've experienced many questions/comments regarding the drop off in prices documented the past few months. We'd like to try to explain a little of what happens on our end during these times. 

When the drought conditions worsened back in July, people began bringing calves to town that they normally would've raised a little bigger. The reasoning is to try to maintain the cow's body condition by pulling her calf off earlier than normal. That would also save the some of the grass that would get them through the hardest summer months. 

In response to the large number of calves we saw - vast majority were 2-5 weights - the market on light weight calves dropped. Questions were asked about why. One reason is that, typically in the summer months, light weight calves are bought to be turned out on grass to grow. This year, many areas that this normally occurs in were also enduring a drought, so those buyers were unable to buy like they normally do. If there's no grass, the feeders who buy these calves have to put them on grain at a grow yard. Imagine how much it costs to feed a 300# calf until it weighs 700# and gets moved to a feed yard. 

The counter side to selling light weight calves is to sell older cows. During this drought, we and most other barns around here saw a huge increase in cows coming to town. On average, we run around 250 adults each week, these past few months we've averaged closer to 350. If every barn sees this kind of increase, that's a lot of cows being shipped. 

Some have asked why no one local is buying cows....if you are selling because you are out of grass or water, chances are your neighbor is out of grass or water also.  

Since about the end of August, the packing houses have been waiting longer to pick up the cattle they purchase on Mondays. They are behind in the harvesting process because of all the cows being sold and because of the recent tariffs put into place by the President. Without major export markets in play, boxed beef is stacking up. Storage at the packing houses is staying full. When they do pick them up, they are taking them to their feed pens and the cattle are having to wait there to be processed.  

The market adjusts with this because they now have to feed the animals until they are able to be processed. For instance, I've got a cow that is older and body condition of 2 (a shell), she won't grade out because of her body condition. She will be discounted because of the risk involved in hauling her and having to care for her until she can go through the process.  

Cattle that don't grade well, cattle that are crippled or have some major defect, cattle that don't look they'd make the trip - these are some of the cattle that will get discounted due to the increased risk involved. Unfortunately, we are seeing more of this kind coming to town, almost as if they have been kept too long. 

One way to help the market is to EAT MORE BEEF!