About the Fed Cattle Exchange

The Fed Cattle Exchange is the only weekly fed cattle online auction for the cattle industry.

Since 2016 the Fed Cattle Exchange has provided the cattle industry with weekly, cost-effective cattle auctions that provide a platform for price discovery through competitive bidding. Prices determined in the weekly auctions benefit the entire cattle industry and livestock futures markets by providing a transparent baseline price for weekly negotiated live cattle markets.

There are three marketing options available for Fed Cattle Sellers to choose from:

  1. Live Weight: cattle are sold on a live-weight basis, for current delivery, usually less than 14 days from the auction date.
  2. Bid-The-GridTM: cattle are sold on a live-weight base price against a standardized quality and yield grade grid, for current delivery, usually less than 14 days from the auction date.
  3. Forward Contract: cattle are sold on either a flat price or basis price against the CME Live Cattle futures contract. Cattle are for future delivery, usually more than 30 days from the auction date.

Quick Links

Current Grid prices

With the Bid-The-GridTM marketing option, fed cattle may be sold through a virtual grid. Click here to view the current grid for the Fed Cattle Exchange.
View Grid

Browse Listings

Showlists for the week's Fed Cattle Exchange sale are submitted weekly and posted each Monday. Browse and view the listings for the next sale.
Browse Listings

Register and view sales

Please register to view the Fed Cattle Exchange sale. It's free and allows access to view the sale.
How does a Feedyard use the Fed Cattle Exchange?

Feedyards wanting to offer fed cattle for sale may sign up for the Fed Cattle Exchange at no cost to the feedyard.

Once the feedyard is approved as a user, fed cattle can be listed on the site at any time.  The feedyard can choose the sale date for fed cattle on any available dates offered by the Fed Cattle Exchange.  The offering feedyard must have cattle listed by 12:00 PM noon Central on Monday prior to the sale.

Effective January 1, 2022, a one-time listing fee of $3.00 per head for the use of the Fed Cattle Exchange platform will be charged to the listing feedyard by 10:00 AM Central following the listing deadline in the form of an ACH transaction initiated by the Fed Cattle Exchange.  If a given listing is not sold, that specific listing may be relisted for any subsequent Fed Cattle Exchange sale at no cost per the one-time listing fee pricing schedule.  The Fed Cattle Exchange reserves the right to cancel the sale of listed cattle if the license fee is not received by the published deadline.

How does a Buyer use the Fed Cattle Exchange?

Potential buyers wishing to procure fed cattle on a sale day must first contact us to register for a user account with the Fed Cattle Exchange.  Central Stockyards and the Fed Cattle Exchange will provide a User Agreement and a Privacy Policy to all registrants.

Upon request, the Fed Cattle Exchange will also require an incumbency certificate from the buyer that will provide evidence of authority to buy.  User agreements will automatically renew for a two-year period unless terminated in writing.  Central Stockyards and the Fed Cattle Exchange or the User may terminate the agreement at any time with written notice.

A show list will be published for buyers on Monday afternoon following the 12:00 PM Central deadline for sellers to list fed cattle.  Buyers wanting to visually inspect fed cattle or ask questions about a listing may contact the listing feedyard at any time before the scheduled sale to obtain additional information.

The Fed Cattle Exchange will generate a seller and buyer trade confirmation at the conclusion of each sale that will be automatically sent to each listing feedyard and each buyer via email.  If there are any discrepancies on the seller or buyer trade confirmations, the listing feedyard and the buyer must be in contact with each other as soon as possible after the conclusion of the sale.

How will fed cattle be offered for sale?

Fed cattle will be offered for sale on a listing-by-listing basis. 

Each listing and/or individual pen of fed cattle will be offered in an order determined Monday evening when the show list is published.  The sale order will be determined by an automated and computerized lottery system.

Bidding will commence with a Fed Cattle Exchange-generated opening price.  The Fed Cattle Exchange will utilize a “Reserve Price” feature for all transaction types including both, live weight and Bid-The-Grid™ marketing methods.

With all Fed Cattle Exchange sales, sellers will set a reserve price for each listing.  The seller can modify their reserve price through the Fed Cattle Exchange up until the time a given listing is up for active bidding.

If the reserve price is met, once the countdown timer for that listing has expired, the listing is sold.

If the reserve price is not met, once the countdown timer for that listing has expired, sellers have the option to select the “Accept Highest Bid” feature.  In this situation, and if the seller chooses to accept the highest bid, this action by the seller effectively lifts the reserve price, resulting in a completed transaction.

If the reserve price is exceeded, once the countdown timer for that listing has expired, the listing is sold.

There is no option to PO (“pass out”) the listing by the seller.

The first listing in each Fed Cattle Exchange sale will be a practice listing to allow buyers to verify their bid buttons are working properly. Buyers are encouraged to make practice bids on this practice listing. After the practice listing, subsequent listings will be offered one after the other in 30-second timed electronic sales.

Bidding for each listing will end via a horse race finish: any bids received within the last 15 seconds of the sale will automatically restore the countdown timer to approximately 15 seconds and there will be approximately 30 seconds before the next listing’s countdown timer begins.

What are the guidelines for Bid-The-Grid transactions?

If the seller wishes to offer fed cattle on a Bid-The-Grid™ listing, they are required to choose "Bid-The-Grid™" in the dropdown menu labeled "Marketing Method" under the "General Tab" while creating a listing.

All Bid-The-Grid™ transactions are purchased and sold as FOB the feedyard (buyer pays the freight) unless otherwise explicitly stated in the listing details.  All Bid-The-Grid™ transactions are to be delivered, FOB the feedyard, to a slaughter plant within 225 road miles of the feedlot from which the cattle originate.

If a buyer wants to deliver the cattle to a slaughter facility outside of the 225 road mile limitation, the buyer should make arrangements with the potential seller before bidding on the cattle during the Fed Cattle Exchange auction. If no prior agreements between the buyer and seller occur before the buyer bids on the cattle, the seller retains the right to cancel the trade resulting in a no-sale. Arrangements and agreements may include adjustments to the standard terms of the grid, hot yield allowances or adjustments, or other considerations between buyer and seller. Central Stockyards and Fed Cattle Exchange are not required to be informed of such agreements and will not be responsible for negotiating any adjusted terms between buyer and seller.

The grid utilized by a Bid-The-Grid™ listing will be updated each week on Monday morning upon the release of USDA AMS report "LM_CT169" titled 5-AREA WEEKLY WTD AVERAGE DIRECT SLAUGHTER CATTLE - PREMIUMS AND DISCOUNTS. LM_CT169 is used to generate the premium and discount structure for the Bid-The-Grid™ offering each week, excluding the Choice-Select spread. "LM_XB459" is released by USDA AMS every Friday and will be used to determine the Choice-Select spread for the Bid-The-Grid™ offerings for the week's sale(s) the week following the release of the report.

Central Stockyards will publish a listing of the premiums and discounts along with a sample settlement spreadsheet on the Fed Cattle Exchange site each Monday. This information is intended to assist sellers in determining which marketing method they would like to use or confirm they are comfortable with the marketing method chosen if the seller listed cattle before Monday. Sellers can change the marketing method after the cattle have been listed and before the publication of the sale order.

Can speculators bid for cattle on the Fed Cattle Exchange?

No. Only qualified packer buyers can bid and buy fed cattle on the Fed Cattle Exchange

What is the Fed Cattle Exchange sale schedule?

The Fed Cattle Exchange will be held each week on Wednesday beginning at 10:00 AM Central. Additional Fed Cattle Exchange sales will be offered on a weekly basis as warranted given anticipated volume growth.

Listing Deadline: Every Monday at 12:00 PM Central

Sale Time: Every Wednesday at 10:00 AM Central for a multi-region sale

The feedyard manager will be contacted by the potential buyers through traditional means with questions about cattle listed on the Fed Cattle Exchange. Since the Fed Cattle Exchange does not warrant the accuracy of any listing, feedyard managers may need to provide additional information to potential buyers.

The show list and subsequent sale order will be published on Monday afternoon for the upcoming Wednesday sale. Due to the speed of the Fed Cattle Exchange sale, sellers should be attentive to the progress of the sale.  On the day of the sale, feedyard managers must be logged into the Fed Cattle Exchange site to represent their customers during the sale so buyers will know immediately if a bid to buy cattle has been accepted or rejected by the seller through use of the Accept Highest Bid or Reserve Price Met features.

What else is important to know about the Fed Cattle Exchange?

The Fed Cattle Exchange is not registered with the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration and is not acting as a dealer or as an agency that is selling on commission.

The Fed Cattle Exchange is not bonded for the protection of the seller or buyer of cattle on the Exchange. Fed Cattle Exchange does not collect money from buyers on behalf of sellers and makes no representation or warranty about the financial soundness or prospects of payment from the buyer.