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Floods Spur More Cattle, Fewer Buyers To Markets

The high Assiniboine River has not only caused a number of citizens to evacuate their homes in southern Manitoba, but also forced one Manitoba cattle auction mart to cancel its sale during the week ended May 16.

Heartland Livestock Services, whose Brandon location is just south of the Assiniboine River, decided it was in its best interest to close its doors to livestock for what officials have called a one-in-300-year flood.

“The entire area got evacuated,” said Keith Cleaver, manager of Hear tland in Brandon. “And if something ever did happen and you had a bunch of cattle in the barn, then you have a real wreck.”

Another factor behind the closure was an effort to reduce traffic volumes, as one of two routes into the city from the north has been closed due to the rising water.

No decision had been made for upcoming sales, as it is still not clear when the Assiniboine is to crest in the Wheat City, Cleaver

said. He didn’t believe the auction mart itself was at risk of being flooded, saying the dike that had been built should be enough to keep the water at bay.

The lack of a sale meant producers wanting to sell their animals had to look to places other than Brandon to do so, and one unit that saw an increase in volumes because of this was the Gladstone Auction Mart. A total of 889 cattle came through the gates at Gladstone’s May 10 sale, compared to just 229 one week previous.

Unit manager Dave Nickel said some high water in the area was another factor behind the surge in numbers.

“We had a lot of feeders show up from around Portage la Prairie because producers had to move them with the rising water out there,” he said.

Producers near the communities of Westbourne and Woodside are being affected by flooding from the nearby Whitemud River, and that added to high volumes, he said.

While the high water levels were prompting many producers to sell their animals, Nickel said it was not easy finding buyers to take the livestock.

“The market dropped off about five cents (per pound), because it is just so wet. No one wants to have to worry about moving cattle,” he said.

FROM THE AUCTION FLOORS

Note:Allpricesin Canadiandollarsperhundredweight (cwt).These pricesalsogenerallyrepresent thetopone-thirdof salesreportedbytheauction yard.

Ashern Livestock Mart:An estimated 1,030 head of cattle were sold at the sale held on May 11. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows sold anywhere from $60 to $69; D3 and D5 cows, $50- $57; age verified, $72-$78; and good bulls, $80-$92.75.

Feeder steers weighing 700-800 lbs. brought $110- $130; 600-700 lbs., $119- $144.50; 500-600 lbs., $125- $143; and 400-500 lbs., $138- $153.

Feeder heifers weighing 700-800 lbs. brought $100- $116; 600-700 lbs., $105- $126; 500-600 lbs., $110- $132; and 400-500 lbs., $120- $136.50.

Gladstone Auction Mart: The May 10 sale saw a total of 889 head of cattle sold at the Gladstone yard. In the slaughter market, bulls sold from $75 to $83.75 while cows brought $45-$72.50.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. sold from $85 to $101.50; 800-900 lbs., $90-$121; 700-800 lbs., $100-$128.50; 600-700 lbs., $100-$142; 500-600 lbs. , $105-$143.75; 400-500 lbs., $105-$158; and 300-400 lbs., $110-$166.

Feeder heifers in the 900- to 1,000-lb. category traded from $80 to $97; 800-900 lbs., $90-$104; 700-800 lbs., $90- $112; 600-700 lbs., $95-$131; 500-600 lbs., $105-$136.25; 400-500 lbs., $110-$137; and 300-400 lbs., $120-$140.

Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart:Prices not available from May 11 sale.

Heartland Livestock Services, Brandon:There was no sale during the week, due to flooding in the area.

Heartland Livestock Services, Virden:There were about 619 cattle sold at the sale held May 11. Butcher steers brought $92- $96.75 while butcher heifers sold from $91 to $95.50. Age-verified/young cows ranged from $68 to $77; D1 and D2 cows, $67-$73; D3 cows, $62-$66; shelly cows, $42-$60; and mature bulls, $83-$88.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. brought $98-$109; 800-900 lbs. , $107-$118; 700-800 lbs. , $116-$130; 600-700 lbs. , $127-$144; 500-600 lbs. , $130-$152; and 400-500 lbs., $135-$157.

Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. traded from $94 to $104; 800-900 lbs., $99-$112; 700-800 lbs., $108-$120; 600-700 lbs. , $115-$129; 500-600 lbs. , $122-$136; and 400-500 lbs., $125-$139.

Killarney Auction Mart: There was no sale held during the week ended May 16. Next sale to be held May 19.

Ste. Rose Auction Mart:A total of 435 cattle were sold at the May 12 sale. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows ranged from $67 to $77; D3 and D4 cows, $55- $66; canners, $35-$53; and bulls, $80-$91.25.

Feeder steers weighing 800-900 lbs. brought $107- $118; 700-800 lbs., $115- $129; 600-700 lbs., $120- $133; and 500-600 lbs., $135- $140.

Feeder heifers weighing 700-800 lbs. brought $105- $113; 600-700 lbs., $110- $120; 500-600 lbs., $110- $123; and 400-500 lbs., $115- $128.

Taylor Auctions, Melita: The sale held on May 12 resulted in 70 slaughter cattle and 129 feeders being sold. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows sold from $65 to $75; D3 and D5 cows; $58-$65; and good bulls, $85-$90.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. brought $105-$115; 800-900 lbs. , $108-$120; 700-800 lbs. , $110-$125; 600-700 lbs. , $115-$135; 500-600 lbs. , $120-$140; 400-500 lbs. , $125-$145; and 300-400 lbs., $130-$150.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. traded from $100 to $110; 700-800 lbs., $102-$117; 600-700 lbs. , $105-$120; 500-600 lbs. , $110-$125; 400-500 lbs. , $115-$135; and 300-400 lbs., $120-$140.

Winnipeg Livestock Sales: There were about 600 cattle sold at the sale held May 13. In the slaughter market, age-verified/young cows ranged from $58 to $72; D1 and D2 cows, $66-$69; D3 cows, $62-$66; shelly cows, $55-$62; and mature bulls, $83-$90.

Feeder steers weighing 600-700 lbs. brought $122- $128; 500-600 lbs., $125- $135; and 400-500 lbs., $135- $142.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. traded from $95 to $102; 700-800 lbs., $108- $113; 600-700 lbs., $115- $125; and 500-600 lbs., $118- $128.

———

– Keith Cleaver, Heartland Livestock Services, Brandon

“…ifsomethingeverdidhappenand youhadabunchofcattleinthebarn, thenyouhavearealwreck.”

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