Compared to last week, steers and heifers sold 2.00 to 6.00 higher; getting back all of last week’s losses. It didn’t matter what weight cattle were this week, they were in demand and auction barns were willing to fulfill those orders. From the grazing kind to the 1000+ pounders, feedyards were ready to take on some inventory after the last couple weeks of horrid weather in the Central U.S. Many auctions had reputation strings and large bunches on offer this week allowing buyers to make full pens of uniform cattle. Most auctions that were held this week noted demand was good to very good. On Wednesday at the St Joseph (Mo.) Stockyards, a group of 531 lb thin fleshed steers sold at 198.25, while a small package weighing 520 lbs sold at 199.00. On Monday at Keoco Auction Company in Sigourney (Iowa), a package of 602 lb steers sold at 178.50. On Wednesday at South Central Regional Stockyards in Vienna (Mo.), a package of 605 lb thin fleshed steers sold at 177.50. On Thursday at Lamoni (Iowa) Livestock Auction, a large half load of 653 lb steers sold at 173.75. On Monday at Callaway Livestock in Kingdom City (Mo.), a package of 716 lb fancy steers sold at 169.00. On Thursday at Ogallala (Neb.) Livestock Auction Market a short load of 756 lb steers sold at 158.00. On Thursday at Mitchell (S.D.) Livestock Auction a half load of 866 lbs steers sold at 149.25, while a load of 934 lb steers sold at 142.00. Also, a load of 1004 lb steers at that location sold at 135.00. Plenty of sunshine this week in a lot of places nationwide has taken the attention away from the devastation that many Iowans, Nebraskans and Missourians are living right now. Anecdotes of cattle herds being affected are no doubt true, however analysts are trying to decipher to what extent it will make a difference in cow/calf numbers moving forward. Flooding has not only affected the cattle producer but the grain farmers as well. Grain bins that were still full of last year’s harvest will be unsaleable; leaving a big hole in the balance sheet. Lack of passable roads in Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota have left many “stranded on islands” but the farmer is a resilient one and will find a way to adapt and overcome. Some ethanol plants are dealing with transportation issues as the rail lines are affected as well. Total flooding losses are estimated at topping one billion in Nebraska and 1.5 billion in Iowa, and estimates always seem to be on the low side when you go into a situation such as this. The Cattle-on-Feed for February 1 released today with On Feed reported at 101 percent of a year ago; Placements at 102 percent and Marketings at 101 percent. Cold Storage Report for February was released today with total red meat supplies in freezers up 2 percent from previous month and up 2 percent from last year. Total lbs of beef in freezers were down 6 percent at 479.3 million lbs from previous month and up 4 percent from last year. Frozen pork supplies were up 9 percent at 616.0 million lbs from last month, and 1 percent higher than last year. The CME Feeder Cattle contracts saw their largest weekly gain since September. The deferred May through October contracts were 5.60 to 6.10 higher on the week and infused a much needed optimism into the cattle feeding sector. Auction volume this week included 52 percent weighing over 600 lbs and 45 percent heifers.Source: USDA Livestock, Poultry and Grain Market News Division, St. Joseph, Mo.