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Fall Field Work Wrapped Up, Cattle Traffic Rises

Activity at Manitoba’s cattle auction yards picked up during the week ended Oct. 15, as good weather conditions across the province finally allowed many producers to finish their fall field work.

Robin Hill, manager of Heartland Livestock Services at Virden, said prices were fully steady on the week for the most part, with a few of the higher-end cattle seeing some improvement. Hill said volumes were still running a little behind normal for this time of year, but should increase soon.

With nice weather over the first two weeks of October, most producers were busy with harvest operations or fall field work. Now that the harvest is complete or nearing completion, across most of the province Hill expected to see more cattle coming into the auction yards. However, he added, there is still some uncertainty regarding how many cows have been taken out of the system altogether over the past few years.

Any increase in numbers at the auction yards could put some pressure on prices, but Hill said he expected demand would remain firm. However, as volumes increase, buyers will become pickier. Wider discounts were likely for poor-quality animals, he said.

“The light cattle are at a very aggressive trade these days and it looks like everyone is getting revved up for the grass weight,” said Hill. Cull cows and bulls have also held in very well to date, he said.

The strong Canadian dollar, which touched parity with its U. S. counterpart during the week, was limiting U. S. buying interest in the cattle markets. “With the U. S. paying even money, they’re not wanting our cows and bulls as much as they have,” said Hill.

The lack of U. S. demand was not yet hampering prices in Canada, as the marketings were being met by domestic demand, said Hill. The largest concern going forward will be the increasing price of feed grains and the resulting rise in the cost of gain, he said.

Another issue will be getting consumers to pay for higher-quality cuts of meat. “We need to get the consumer eating more, and they need to pay what the good cuts of meat are worth as well,” said Hill.

FROM THE AUCTION FLOORS

Note:AllpricesinCanadian dollarsperhundredweight (cwt).Thesepricesalsogenerally representthetopone-third ofsalesreportedbytheauction yard.

Ashern Livestock Mart:An estimated 2,300 head of cattle were sold at the sale held Oct. 13. Included in the sale were 130 slaughter cattle and 2,170 feeders.

In the slaughter market, older shelly cows sold for $30 and up; age-verified D1 and D2 cows, $45-$54; D3 and D5 cows, $38-$45; and good bulls, $65-$70.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. ranged from $94 to $103.10; 800-900 lbs., $103-$111; 700-800 lbs., $105-$116.25; 600- 700 lbs., $113-$129.25; 500-600 lbs., $110-$137.50; 400-500 lbs., $140-$150; and 300-400 lbs., $144-$150.

Feeder heifers weighing 800- 900 lbs. brought $90-$102; 700- 800 lbs., $90-$106.50; 600-700 lbs., $99-$113; 500-600 lbs., $98-$117; 400-500 lbs., $100- $120; and 300-400 lbs., $111- $122.

Gladstone Auction Mart: The Oct. 12 sale saw a total of 942 head of cattle sold at the Gladstone yard. In the slaughter market, bulls sold from $60 to $64 while cows brought $30- $54.50.

Feeder steers in the 900-to 1,000-lb. weight category traded from $85 to $106; 800-900 lbs., $85-$109.50; 700-800 lbs., $85- $117.50; 600-700 lbs., $95- $122.50; 500-600 lbs., $120-$142; 400-500 lbs., $120-$154.50; and 300-400 lbs., $125-$161.

Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. sold from $75 to $94.50; 800-900 lbs., $75- $105.50; 700-800 lbs., $80-$109; 600-700 lbs., $80-$109.50; 500- 600 lbs., $80-$117; 400-500 lbs., $90-$123; and 300-400 lbs., $106-$128.50.

Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart:There were 86 slaughter cattle and 517 feeders sold at the Grunthal yard on Oct. 13. In the slaughter market, fleshy export cows traded from $48 to $54; lean export cows, $40-$50; mature cows, $38-$47; feeding cows, $48-$57; export bulls, $52-$65; and mature bulls, $50- $60.

Feeder heifers weighing 800- 900 lbs. sold from $85 to $106; 700-800 lbs., $95-$106.50; 600- 700 lbs., $95-$110; 500-600 lbs., $105-$114; 400-500 lbs., $110- $127; and under 400 lbs., $115- $135.50.

Feeder steers weighing 800- 900 lbs. ranged from $95 to $107; 700-800 lbs., $106-$116; 600-700 lbs., $104-$117.50; 500- 600 lbs., $115-$136; 400-500 lbs., $125-$143; and under 400 lbs., $120-$155.

Heartland Livestock Services, Brandon:A total of 1,353 cattle were on offer in Brandon during the week. In the slaughter market, A1-A2 steers sold from $80 to $85; A1-A2 heifers, $78- $83.50; D1-D2 cows, $52-$56.75; feeder cows, $46-$51; shells, $35-$45; and good bulls, $62- $65.25.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. ranged from $94 to $103; 800-900 lbs., $100-$110.75; 700-800 lbs., $102-$119.25; 600- 700 lbs., $112-$124.75; 500-600 lbs., $115-$135; 400-500 lbs., $125-$145.50; and 300-400 lbs., $130-$149.50.

Feeder heifers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. brought $88-$95.50; 800-900 lbs., $90-$102; 700-800 lbs., $92-$107.50; 600-700 lbs., $98-$107; 500-600 lbs., $100- $112; 400-500 lbs., $110-$124.50; and 300-400 lbs., $115-$128.

Heartland Livestock Services, Virden:There were about 1,481 cattle sold at the sale held Oct. 13.

Butcher steers brought $82- $85 while butcher heifers sold from $81 to $84. Age-verified/ young cows sold from $53 to $57; D1-D2 cows, $50-$55; D3 cows, $47-$50; shelly cows, $35-$47; and mature bulls, $62- $67.50.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. brought $97-$105.75; 800-900 lbs., $103-$112; 700-800 lbs., $108-$118; 600-700 lbs., $113-$120; 500-600 lbs., $117- $130; 400-500 lbs., $125-$145; and 300-400 lbs., $130-$159.

Feeder heifers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. traded from $88 to $95.50; 800-900 lbs., $92-$101; 700-800 lbs., $97-$105.50; 600- 700 lbs., $100-$108.50; 500-600 lbs., $104-$115.50; and 400-500 lbs., $110-$126.

Killarney Auction Mart: There were 759 cattle sold at the Oct. 14 sale. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows ranged from $48 to $54; D3 and D4 cows, $31-$47; and bulls, $64.75-$68.75.

Feeder steers weighing over 900 lbs. sold for $94 to $97; 800- 900 lbs., $90-$108.50; 700-800 lbs., $99-$115; 600-700 lbs., $110.50-$120.50; 500-600 lbs., $116-$129.50; 400-500 lbs., $132-$154.50; and 300-400 lbs., $146-$155.

Feeder heifers weighing 800- 900 lbs. brought $96; 700-800 lbs., $94-$103; 600-700 lbs., $95- $107; 500-600 lbs., $93-$116; 400-500 lbs., $93-$134; and 300- 400 lbs., $94.50-$136.

Ste. Rose Auction Mart:Ste. Rose did not hold a sale this week.

Taylor Auctions, Melita:The sale held Oct. 14 resulted in 48 slaughter cattle and 400 feeders being sold. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows sold from $48 to $56; D3 and D5 cows, $42-$48; and good bulls, $62-$70.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. brought $95-$105; 800-900 lbs., $100-$110; 700-800 lbs., $110-$118; 600-700 lbs., $115-$125; 500-600 lbs., $125- $135; 400-500 lbs., $135-$145; and 300-400 lbs., $145-$158.

Feeder heifers weighing 800- 900 lbs. traded from $95 to $100; 700-800 lbs., $100-$105; 600-700 lbs., $105-$108; 500-600 lbs., $105-$112; 400-500 lbs., $110- $118; and 300-400 lbs., $115- $125.

Winnipeg Livestock Sales: Prices for the sale held Oct. 15 were unavailable.

———

– Robin Hill, Heartland Livestock Services, Virden

Weneedtogetthe consumereating more,andtheyneed topaywhatthe goodcutsofmeat areworthaswell.”

About the author

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Phil Franz-Warkentin - MarketsFarm

Phil Franz-Warkentin writes for MarketsFarm specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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