Bred Heifers In Demand As Prices Continue Strong

Values for the cattle marketed in Manitoba during the week ended March 25 held up pretty well and in some instances managed to firm. Strong demand for slaughter cows and bulls was also evident.

There continued to be strong demand for bred heifers as producers across the province maintained their efforts to rebuild herds. Most of that rebuilding has come on the heels of the strong prices for the various types of cattle, according to Buddy Bergner at Ashern Livestock Mart.

“It’s nice to see these producers be able to get some sort of financial return on their investment, given all that’s gone on,” Bergner said. However, he indicated these strong values will need to continue for at least another two to three years in order for some to break even.

The strength in cattle prices reflected the tight supply of certain animals, especially in the slaughter sector.

“The demand from western packers has been extremely strong for slaughter cows and bulls, and that is being reflected in the values being paid for these animals,” he said.

Strong ground beef prices continue to stimulate that buying interest from the packers, he said.

Very few of the slaughter animals were making their way into the U.S., Bergner said, with the strong Canadian dollar making it a very expensive proposition for U.S. buyers.

Bergner felt the number of cattle being marketed was likely to begin slowing soon, but will ultimately depend on when the spring melt starts in earnest.

Warnings of extremely heavy snow during the week did result in some slowing of cattle being marketed and the cancellation of the sale at Heartland Livestock at Virden during the week.

Some of the movement in other regions of the province was tied to producers wanting to move animals ahead of the implementation of spring road restrictions. However, in areas where road bans have been installed, movement of cattle was a bit lighter than normal.

Bergner was particularly concerned about excessively wet conditions in the Interlake region of the province and a strong chance of flooding.

“The question then becomes, what do the producers do with the cattle?”

FROM THE AUCTION FLOORS

Note:AllpricesinCanadian dollarsperhundredweight(cwt). Thesepricesalsogenerallyrepresent thetopone-thirdofsales reportedbytheauctionyard.

Ashern Livestock Mart:An estimated 2,110 head of cattle were sold at the sale held March 23. Included in the sale were 450 slaughter cattle and 1,650 feeders.

In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows sold anywhere from $60- $70; D3 and D4 cows from $50 up; age verified, $70-$78; and good bulls, $70-$91.25. Heiferettes traded up to $92.

Feeder steers weighing 800- 900 lbs. sold from $115 to $122; 700-800 lbs., $111-$132.25; 600- 700 lbs., $124-$145; 500-600 lbs., $130-$165; and 400-500 lbs., $139-$150.

Feeder heifers weighing 800- 900 lbs. traded from $104 to $115; 700-800 lbs., $105-$126; 600-700 lbs., $113-$136; 500-600 lbs., $119-$139; and 400-500 lbs., $120-$149.50.

Gladstone Auction Mart: The March 22 sale saw a total of 660 head of cattle sold at the Gladstone yard. In the slaughter market bulls sold from $65 to $80 while cows brought $35-$68.

Feeder steers in the 900-to 1,000-lb. weight category traded from $95 to $112; 800-900 lbs., $105-$123.50; 700-800 lbs., $110-$135.50; 600-700 lbs., $110- $145.50; 500-600 lbs., $110-$148; 400-500 lbs., $115-$169; and 300- 400 lbs., $120-$162.50.

Feeder heifers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. went for $79-$98; 800- 900 lbs., $93-$114; 700-800 lbs., $100-$117.50; 600-700 lbs., $100- $132; 500-600 lbs., $110-$135; 400-500 lbs., $115-$151; and 300- 400 lbs., $127-$145.

Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart:There were 104 slaughter cattle and 622 feeders sold at the Grunthal yard on March 23. In the slaughter market, fleshy export cows fetched $62-$65,50; lean export cows, $57-$61; mature cows, $52-$58; feeding cows, $68- $78; and export bulls, $78-$83.

Feeder heifers weighing 800- 900 lbs. traded from $100 to $112; 700-800 lbs., $110-$122.50; 600-700 lbs., $120-$134; 500-600 lbs., $130-$144; and 400-500 lbs., $138-$153.

Feeder steers weighing 800- 900 lbs. fetched $105-$118; 700- 800 lbs., $115-$130; 600-700 lbs., $128-$139.25; 500-600 lbs., $135- $155; 400-500 lbs., $144-$163; and under 400 lbs., $140-$169.

Heartland Livestock Services, Brandon:A total of 700 cattle were on offer in Brandon during the sale held March 23. In the slaughter market, A1-A2 steers brought $92-$99; A1-A2 heifers, $90-$96.45; D1-D2 cows, $63-$72; D3 cows, $56-$62; feeder cows and heiferettes, $68-$85; shelly cows, $30- $55; and good bulls, $79-$85.75.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. ranged from $102 to $112; 800-900 lbs., $112-$122; 700-800 lbs., $120-$134; 600-700 lbs., $132-$145.50; 500-600 lbs., $140-$155; 400-500 lbs., $145- $169.50; and 300-400 lbs., $155- $177.

Feeder heifers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. brought $98-$107; 800-900 lbs., $102-$114; 700-800 lbs., $110-$118; 600-700 lbs., $118- $129; 500-600 lbs., $125-$136.50; 400-500 lbs., $130-$144; and 300- 400 lbs., $135-$151.

Heartland Livestock Services, Virden:No sale was held this week due to snowstorm concerns.

Killarney Auction Mart:There were 253 cattle sold at the March 24 sale. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows ranged from $68.50 to $73 and slaughter bulls sold for $82.50-$86.

Feeder steers weighing 800-900 lbs. sold from $117.50 to $118.50; 700-800 lbs., $121.50-$129.50; 600-700 lbs., $133-$141; 500- 600 lbs., $144-$151.50; 400-500 lbs., $150-$167; and 300-400 lbs., $163-$170.

Feeder heifers weighing over 900 lbs. brought $92.50-$98.50; 800-900 lbs., $103-$109.50; 700- 800 lbs., $114.50-$117.50; 600- 700 lbs., $120.50-$126.50; 500- 600 lbs., $123-$132; 400-500 lbs., $133-$140; and 300-400 lbs., $135-$140.

Ste. Rose Auction Mart:A total of 1,005 cattle were sold at the March 24 sale. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows ranged from $63 to $72; D3 and D4 cows, $54-$61; canners $40-$52; and slaughter bulls, $82-$87.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. fetched $103-$112; 800-900 lbs., $112-$123.50; 700- 800 lbs., $122-$137; 600-700 lbs., $130-$147; 500-600 lbs., $144- $161; and 400-500 lbs., $150- $172.

Feeder heifers weighing 700- 800 lbs. brought $110-$127; 600-700 lbs., $114-$126; 500-600 lbs., $121-$133; 400-500 lbs., $130-$155; and 300-400 lbs., $125-$158.

Taylor Auctions, Melita:The sale held March 24 resulted in 84 slaughter cattle and 250 feeders being sold. In the slaughter market, A1-A2 steers over 1,000 lbs. sold from $98 to $106; A1-A2 heifers over 850 lbs., $94-$104; D1 and D2 cows, $68-$75; D3 and D5 cows, $60-$68; and good bulls, $82-$87.50.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. brought $100-$115; 800-900 lbs., $115-$127; 700- 800 lbs., $125-$140; 600-700 lbs., $135-$148; 500-600 lbs., $145-$155; 400-500 lbs., $150- $165; and 300-400 lbs., $155- $169.

Feeder heifers weighing 800- 900 lbs. traded from $105 to $117; 700-800 lbs., $110-$128; 600-700 lbs., $115-$130; 500- 600 lbs., $120-$135; 400-500 lbs., $135-$140; and 300-400 lbs., $140-$150.

Winnipeg Livestock Sales: A total of 1,560 head were sold March 25, of which 260 were for the slaughter sector and 1,300 went as feeders. In the slaughter market, dry fed cows brought $62-$65; good fleshed cows, $58- $62; lean cows, $53-$58; young age verified, $58-$71; and good bulls, $78-$90.80.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. sold from $100 to $114; 800-900 lbs., $115-$125; 700-800 lbs., $125-$138; 600-700 lbs., $135-$149; 500-600 lbs., $140- $160; and 400-500 lbs., $140- $157.

Feeder heifers in the 900-to 1,000-lb. category brought $92- $103; 800-900 lbs., $105-$119; 700-800 lbs., $115-$125; 600-700 lbs., $120-$130; 500-600 lbs., $130-$149; and 400-500 lbs., $135-$153.

———

– Buddy Bergner, Ashern Livestock Mart

It’snicetoseethese producersbeable togetsomesortof financialreturnon theirinvestment,given allthat’sgoneon.”

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