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Cattle Inventory Stats Bear Out Supply Concerns

Prices at auc t ion marts across Manitoba continued to see steady increases, with diminishing volumes across the country a key reason why, according to Ross Taylor, manager of Taylor Auction Service at Reston.

Backing up Taylor’s thoughts were data released by Statistics Canada on Feb. 17. The government agency’s cattle inventory report showed there were 1.16 million animals in Manitoba as of Jan. 1, 2011, a 4.9 per cent decline from the 1.22 million exactly one year previous. The 4.9 per cent decline was the largest of any province in the country.

The numbers in Manitoba are lower compared to the 2.58 million in Saskatchewan and 4.95 million in Alberta, although those provinces also saw a retraction in numbers from the previous year.

In total, there are 12.46 million cattle in Canada, down 3.4 per cent from one year ago, according to StatsCan.

Although Taylor said demand was growing because of a lack of product, he said the company’s auction mart at Melita has not seen a decline in volumes.

“We aren’t seeing that in our market here, but part of the increase at our unit is the fact that Pipestone closed last year, so we are getting a few extra from there,” Taylor said. “We didn’t see a big increase, but a steady one for sure.”

When asked who had been doing the buying, Taylor said, “The grass boys are hard at them because they think there aren’t going to be enough cattle around, and they are probably right.”

Meanwhile, in the province’s southeast, Harold Unrau with the Grunthal Auction Mart said demand has been very strong on all animals, resulting in the solid prices.

“A lot of them are staying around here, and some are going to the west,” Unrau said.

Volumes have been very good as well in Grunthal, he said, but he expected numbers to start to decline in a few weeks.

“Calving season is just starting, as a lot of guys get going in March, so they are getting ready,” he said. “The numbers will start to fall off in the middle of March, I would expect.”

“I would guess in the next month we will see a dramatic downturn in volume,” echoed Taylor. “Most guys are getting busy with calving operations.”

One concern growing for cattle producers across Canada is the cost of feed for animals.

“The cost of feed is going up every week, but there aren’t really any feed concerns around here,” Unrau said.

Taylor agreed, stating, “There’s lots of feed. The only problem is feed grain prices are so high.”

FROM THE AUCTION FLOORS

Note: All prices in Canadian dollars per hundredweight. These prices also generally represent the

top one-third of sales reported by the auction yard.

Ashern Livestock Mart:An estimated 2,208 head of cattle were sold at the sale held Feb. 16.

In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows sold anywhere from $54 to $62; D3 and D5 cows, $40- $50; age verified, $62-$70; and good bulls, $50-$86.

Feeder steers weighing 800- 900 lbs. brought $105-$118; 700- 800 lbs., $110-$133; 600-700 lbs., $125-$141; 500-600 lbs., $131- $161; 400-500 lbs., $145-$170; and 330-400 lbs. brought $150- $173.

Feeder heifers weighing 800- 900 lbs. brought $110-$117; 700- 800 lbs., $106-$120; 600-700 lbs., $110-$129; 500-600 lbs., $120- $143; and 400-500 lbs., $123- $146, while 300-400 lbs. brought $120-$144.

Gladstone Auction Mart: The Feb. 15 sale saw a total of 1,301 head of cattle sold at the Gladstone yard. In the slaughter market, bulls sold from $60 to $77 while cows brought $30-$65.

Feeder steers in the 900-to 1,000-lb. category traded from $90 to $105; 800-900 lbs., $100- $124.25; 700-800 lbs., $100- $134.25; 600-700 lbs., $100- $143.25; 500-600 lbs., $120-$159; 400-500 lbs., $130-$171; and 300- 400 lbs., $130-$167.50.

Feeder heifers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. brought $80-$100; 800- 900 lbs., $85-$112.50; 700-800 lbs., $100-$118.25; 600-700 lbs., $100-$129; 500-600 lbs., $105- $135; 400-500 lbs., $110-$140.50; and 300-400 lbs., $110-$141.

Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart:There were 125 slaughter cattle and 1,201 feeders sold at the Grunthal yard on Feb. 16. In the slaughter market, fleshy export cows traded from $58 to $61.25; lean export cows, $54-$58; mature cows, $50-$55; feeding cows, $55-$64; export bulls, $72- $77; and mature bulls, $65-$72.

Feeder heifers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. sold from $100 to $112; 800-900 lbs., $110-$122; 700-800 lbs., $118-$129; 600-700 lbs., $127-$143; 500-600 lbs., $138- $163; 400-500 lbs., $155-$171; and under 400 lbs., $160-$171.

Feeder steers weighing 800- 900 lbs. ranged from $100 to $116; 700-800 lbs., $115-$125; 600-700 lbs., $125-$135; 500-600 lbs., $132-$146; 400-500 lbs., $140-$160; and under 400 lbs., $140-$155.

Heartland Livestock Services, Brandon:A total of 1,456 cattle were on offer in Brandon at the Feb. 15 sale. In the slaughter market, D1-D2 cows fetched $60-$68; D3 cows, $50-$57; and good bulls, $68-$73.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. ranged from $105 to $116.25; 800-900 lbs., $115-$124; 700-800 lbs., $122-$134; 600-700 lbs., $128-$143; 500-600 lbs., $142-$165; 400-500 lbs., $150- $168; and 300-400 lbs., $160- $175.

Feeder heifers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. brought $95-$110; 800-900 lbs., $108-$119; 700-800 lbs., $112-$123.50; 600-700 lbs., $118-$133.25; 500-600 lbs., $128- $140.50; 400-500 lbs., $135-$152; and 300-400 lbs., $136-$153.

Heartland Livestock Services, Virden:There were about 3,241 cattle sold at the sale held Feb. 16. Butcher steers brought $94- $98.75 while butcher heifers sold from $93 to $97.75. Age-verified/ young cows ranged from $63 to $69; D1 and D2 cows, $61-$66; D3 cows, $55-$60; shelly cows, $45-$55; and mature bulls, $76- $83.75.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. brought $110-$119; 800-900 lbs., $116-$126; 700-800 lbs., $121-$134; 600-700 lbs., $132-$147.50; 500-600 lbs., $140- $159; 400-500 lbs., $148-$168; and 300-400 lbs., $160-$181.

Feeder heifers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. traded from $98 to $107; 800-900 lbs., $107-$117; 700-800 lbs., $112-$123.50; 600- 700 lbs., $118-$131; 500-600 lbs., $127-$143; and 400-500 lbs., $130-$148.

Killarney Auction Mart:There were about 883 cattle sold at the sale held Feb. 17. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows sold from $59 to $64.75, while D3 and D4 cows fetched $35-$58.50. Slaughter bulls sold from $73.50 to $82.25.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. brought $91-$111; 800-900 lbs., $113.50-$121; 700-800 lbs., $117-$127.50; 600- 700 lbs., $133-$145; 500-600 lbs., $140-$158; 400-500 lbs., $154.50-$169; and under 400 lbs., $159-$176.

Feeder heifers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. traded from $88.75 to $100.50; 800-900 lbs., $96-$114; 700-800 lbs., $117.50-$121.50; 600-700 lbs., $124-$130.50; 500- 600 lbs., $130.50-$144; 400-500 lbs., $135-$149.50; and 300-400 lbs., $135-$149.

Ste. Rose Auction Mart:A total of 1,844 cattle were sold at the Feb. 17 sale. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows ranged from $61 to $70; D3 and D4 cows, $54-$61; canners, $40-$52; and bulls, $80-$86.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. brought $108-$118; 800-900 lbs., $112-$123.50; 700- 800 lbs., $120-$135.50; 600-700 lbs., $135-$146; 500-600 lbs., $145-$161; 400-500 lbs., $150- $174; and 300-400 lbs., $155- $175.

Feeder heifers weighing 800- 900 lbs. brought $102-$118; 700- 800 lbs., $110-$122; 600-700 lbs., $120-$135; 500-600 lbs., $130- $142; 400-500 lbs., $140-$156; and 300-400 lbs., $125-$145.

Taylor Auctions, Melita:The sale held Feb. 17 resulted in 170 slaughter cattle and 1,336 feeders being sold. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows sold from $58 to $68; D3 and D5 cows, $50-$60; and good bulls, $72-$80.50.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. brought $105-$118; 800-900 lbs., $110-$124; 700-800 lbs., $115-$134; 600-700 lbs., $128-$145; 500-600 lbs., $140- $155; 400-500 lbs., $155-$165; and 300-400 lbs., $165-$178.

Feeder heifers weighing 800- 900 lbs. traded from $100 to $118; 700-800 lbs., $115-$125; 600-700 lbs., $120-$130; 500-600 lbs., $125-$135; 400-500 lbs., $130-$145; and 300-400 lbs., $135-$150.

Winnipeg Livestock Sales: Prices unavailable from this week’s sale.

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