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SHARON, N.D. -- It's déjà moo for Chris Johnson.

For the second straight year, the Sharon, N.D., rancher and his family have seen a torrent of twin calves that far exceeds what's normal.

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marketcattle_regThe spring feeder cattle marketing season in the Northern Plains is wrapping up, as most backgrounded cattle reached market weights and have been sold to feedlot buyers. Many auction markets are reporting sales volumes at 20 to 30 percent of peak runs in February. And the percentage of heifers selling is outnumbering steers as the heavier weight steers were sold earlier.

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The hot-iron brand, the West’s most recognized ownership stamp for 150 years, isn’t grading well with federal officials searching for uniform ways of identifying livestock.

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas – A conference that will address the growing trend of grass-fed beef production is scheduled June 8-9 at Texas A&M University in College Station.

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0611pc_marketreport_1Cattle prices peaked-out at the end of the first quarter with all classes posting impressive new all-time highs that far surpassed previous records. However, April saw market levels begin to retreat with pressure looming from higher inputs (grains and fuel) and the tapering-off of demand for stocker cattle and calves. The first week of April marked the first time since the winter storms cleared-up that the demand for feeder cattle actually outweighed that for stockers. Feedlot replacement cattle sold $1 to $4 lower for the month, while lighter-weights lost $3 to $8 of value. Fed cattle ended April $8 off their late-March highs, but feedlots were mostly able to keep cash sales at a premium to the Board.

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