Easter lamb prices disappoint producers

There were 700 sheep and goats delivered to the Winnipeg Livestock Auction for the March 20 sale. Ontario price trend carried over to result in low bidding. The Easter lambs fell short of past Easter lamb sale prices. The high demand and interest for the goat kids continue, similar to the past few sales. April 3, 2013 is the next sale, which is before the Orthodox Easter season. The lightweight lambs might be of more interest for this sale, as indicated by the auctioneer.

The buyers were interested with the quality ewes, similar to the last sale. The higher-quality ewes at this sale price ranged from $0.51 to $0.90 per pound. These ewes ranged in weight from 110 to 200 pounds. The ewes that were placed into the lower class, had a price range of $0.30-$0.49 from the bidding. There were numerous further culled ewes, receiving much lower prices per pound, at this sale.

The limited selection of rams did not increase bidding. This sale had three rams. A 105-pound Katahdin-cross ram brought $78.75 ($0.75 per pound). A 205-pound Katahdin-cross ram brought $153.75 ($0.75 per pound). A 215-pound Rideau-cross ram brought $137.60 ($0.64 per pound).

The wool lambs dominated the heavyweight classification. The bidding on the heavier-weight lamb was lower than for the lighter-weight lambs. The 140-pound lamb brought $1.07 per pound, while the 115-pound lambs brought $1.17 per pound.

The market lambs were high on demand. The price ranged from $1.10 to $1.21 per pound for lambs in the weight ranging from 95 to 110 pounds. The five 107-pound Dorset-cross lambs produced the highest price in this classification. These well-developed lambs brought $129.47 ($1.21 per pound). The auctioneer clearly indicated the quality of the market lambs throughout the sale.

Once again, the Dorset-cross lambs led the way to some strong prices and the highest bidding in the feeder lamb classification. All feeder lambs showed high quality and the producers were awarded for these lambs. The price ranged from $1.12 to $1.40 per pound, with a weight ranging from 84 to 93 pounds. The audience was given a treat when two groups of Jacob lambs entered the arena. However, the buyers showed very little interest for these Jacob lambs. The 20 76-pound Jacob lambs brought $63.84 ($0.84 per pound) and the six 60-pound Jacob lambs brought $48.60 ($0.81 per pound).

The lambs in the 70- to 78-pound range produced a price range from $1.18 to $1.25 per pound. Demand for this weight classification was strong and the bidding maintained proper prices.

Lambs that were much lighter, the prices declined from the lack of interest in the lower weights. The prices for the 60- to 66-pound lambs could not continue this pattern. The lambs in this weight class brought a price range from $1 to $1.325 per pound.

Five 52-pound Dorset-cross lambs brought $59.80 ($1.15 per pound). Three 58-pound Dorper-cross lambs brought $71.05 ($1.225 per pound). A group of two 58-pound Cheviot-cross and Rideau-cross lambs brought $87.50 ($1.50 per pound).

The arrival of the new-crop lambs is supposed to indicate that spring has arrived under the influence of the Easter season.

But new-crop lambs were not drawing the high prices of previous years. Five 65- pound Dorset-cross lambs brought $124.80 ($1.92 per pound). Fourteen 63-pound lambs brought $94.50 ($1.50 per pound). Eleven 59-pound Suffolk-cross lambs brought $95.88 ($1.625 per pound). Twelve 59-pound Suffolk-cross lambs brought $94.40 ($1.60 per pound).

Goats

In the classification of goats (does), there appeared to be no major differences between the milking varieties and the meat does. The quality of the does was the major influence in the price bidding and the heavyweight does were producing lower prices.

The Boer-cross does were representing the heavier animals, in the weight range of 145 to 200 pounds, with a price range from $0.55 to $0.59 per pound. The goats (does) in the weight range from 83 to 130 pounds produced a price range from $0.60 to $0.83 per pound.

Goats (does) that were showing an age or physical defect, were quickly classified as culls and reduction in the bidding. The buyers clearly expressed their lack of interest with price ranging from $0.20 to $0.40 per pound.

Whenever there is a package sale such as an Alpine-cross doe with small kid bidding goes a little wild. The 110-pound package deal brought $105 ($0.96 per pound).

The quantity of the goat bucks provided a great selection for the buyers. The demand on the lightweight goats (bucks) created stronger price bidding than the heavier bucks.The bucks that were in the weight range from 68 to 93 pounds brought a price range from $1 to $1.77 per pound. An exception was a 68-pound La Mancha-cross buck which brought $50 ($0.67 per pound).

The heavier bucks, in the weight range from 95 to 160 pounds, produced a price range from $0.76 to $0.97 per pound.

The interest for dairy breeds in the classification of doelings was consistent with past sales. A 65-pound Alpine-cross Boer doeling brought $100 ($1.54 per pound). A 40-pound La Mancha-cross doeling brought $80 ($2 per pound). Yet, a 70-pound Boer-cross doeling brought $52.50 ($0.75 per pound).

Bidding remained steady for kid goats. Kid goats in the weight range from 61 to 68 pounds brought $1.08 to $1.71 per pound.

Goat (kids) in the 50- to 58-pound range brought $1.36 to $1.72 per pound. An exception was a 55-pound Boer-cross kid that showed physical disability, which brought $42.50 ($0.77 per pound).

Goat (kids) in the 40- to 48-pound range brought the price range from $1.03 to $1.77 per pound. An exception was a 40-pound Boer-cross goat (kid) that brought $35 ($0.88 per pound).

A group of five 35-pound goat (kids) brought $47.50 ($1.36 per pound). A 35-pound Alpine-cross La Mancha goat (kid) brought $40 ($41.14 per pound). A group of nine 36-pound goat (kids) brought $46 ($1.28 per pound).

A group of three 25-pound goat (kids) brought $42.50 ($1.70 per pound). A group of 28-pound goat (kids) brought $40 ($1.43 per pound).

The Ontario Stockyard Report indicated that there was some improvement in the sheep prices at its last sale. However, the heavier lambs continued to show some declining prices. The well-developed new-crop lambs brought a strong bidding from the buyers, price ranging from $1.79 to $2.39 per pound ($179 to $239/cwt). Once again, the bidding on the goats was steady.

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