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Herd Liquidations Seen In Near Future

– Buddy Bergner,Ashern Livestock Mart

“These individuals are sick of putting out money for feed, only to lose that value in the poor price for the animal.”

Activity at Manitoba’s cattle auction yards picked up somewhat during the week ended Aug. 21, with some of the increased volume associated with feed concerns and continued discontent about the state of the cattle sector itself.

The reopening of a number of auction yards that had been closed for the summer also contributed to the pickup in trade.

“The beginning of some big runs was evident this week and we are likely to start seeing some even bigger runs in the following week,” said Rick Wright, a cattle buyer with Cattlex Ltd. at Hamiota. “We’re not going to see a lot of calves, but the number of yearlings and cows will certainly be up.”

The movement of yearlings was seen about a week to 10 days ahead of schedule just because of dry pasture conditions in certain areas and producers’ growing nervousness about pricing conditions, Wright said.

There were also a lot of bred-herd liquidation sales coming up, he noted, with some of that selling tied to the lack of feed, but also to the unpredictable pricing on calves.

Some cattle producers have been wanting to leave the business for a while as well and have decided to finally move forward with those plans, Wright said.

“The cattle business goes through cycles, but it appears the cycle was disrupted by BSE, and because of that, the down cycle continues,” he said. The cattle business in Manitoba also continues to be hurt by the economic crisis in the U. S. and cheap, competitive pork meat.

Wright also felt the cattle industry, as a whole, continues to suffer greatly because of the Canadian dollar. “If the Canada unit was back trading at roughly the US85-cent level, a lot of Manitoba’s cattle price woes would be over with,” he said.

SHORT ON HAY

Buddy Bergner of the Ashern Livestock Mart said cattle producers in Manitoba are only likely to keep the animals they have hay for. The cattle they don’t have hay for are going to be sold.

“These individuals are sick of putting out money for feed, only to lose that value in the poor price for the animal,” he said.

In the Arborg and Riverton areas, Bergner said, producers were looking at a disaster in terms of coming up with hay for cattle.

Statistics Canada on Aug. 20 said the number of cattle and calves on farms in Canada as of July 1 totalled 14.84 million head. That would be down from the 15.195 million head at the same time a year ago, but was up in comparison to the Jan. 1, 2009 inventory which totalled 13.18 million.

The number of cattle and calves on farms in Manitoba as of July 1 totalled 1.43 million head, the government agency said. This compares with 1.515 million at the same time a year ago and 1.28 million head as of Jan. 1, 2009.

FROM THE AUCTION FLOORS

Note: All prices in Canadian dollars per hundredweight (cwt). These prices also generally represent the top one-third of sales reported by the auction yard.

Ashern Livestock Mart: An estimated 130 head of cattle were sold at the sale held on Aug. 19.

In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows sold for $40-$47, while D3 and D5 cows traded from $32 to $40 and good bulls sold from $45 to $54.

Feeder steers weighing 700-800 lbs. ranged from $70 to $89.50; 600-700 lbs., $75-$95; and 500-600 lbs., $80-$98.

Feeder heifers weighing 600-700 lbs. traded at $80-$91 and 500-600 lbs., $79-$90.50.

Gladstone Auction Mart: No data was available.

Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart: No data was available.

Heartland Livestock Services, Brandon: A total of 300 cattle were on offer in Brandon during the week.

A1-A2 steers went for $74-$79; A1-A2 heifers, $74-$78.75; D1-D2 cows, $45-$52; feeder cows, $38-$45; shells, $30-$38; and good bulls, $58-$61.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. went for $88-$94.50; 800-900 lbs., $90-$96.50; 700-800 lbs., $92-$102; 600-700 lbs., $95-$105; 500-600 lbs., $100-$107; and 300-400 lbs., $100-$107.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. sold for $85-$92.75; 700-800 lbs., $85-$93.50; 600-700 lbs., $85-$91; 500-600 lbs., $88-$93.50; and 400-500 lbs., $88-$94.

Auctions will be held on Tuesdays only at Brandon during the summer months.

Heartland Livestock Services, Virden: Ther e were about 1,477 cattle sold at the sale held on Aug. 19. Butcher steers brought $75-$78.50 while butcher heifers sold from $74 to $77.50. Ageverified/ young cows sold for $45-$50; D1-D2 cows, $40-$45; D3 cows, $36-$40; shelly cows, $28-$35; and mature bulls, $56-$62.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. brought $89-$95.75; 800-900 lbs., $93-$100.50; 700-800 lbs., $94-$103.50; 600-700 lbs., $97-$107; 500-600 lbs., $100-$112; and 400-500 lbs., $103-$118.

Feeder heifers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. traded from $83 to $91; 800-900 lbs., $86-$95; 700-800 lbs., $86-$96; 600-700 lbs., $87-$98; 500-600 lbs., $87-$98; and 400-500 lbs., $88-$98.

Pipestone Livestock Sales: There were 381 cattle sold at the sale held on Aug. 17. Included in the sale were 81 slaughter animals and 300 feeders.

In the slaughter market, D1 cows brought $40-$44.50; D2, $35-$40; D3 cows, $20-$34; and bulls, $54-$62.75.

Feeder steers weighing over 900 lbs. fetched $86-$93.50; 800-900 lbs., $89-$97.75 and 700-800 lbs., $91-$103.50.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. got $80-$91.50; 700-800 lbs., $84-$93; 600-700 lbs., $83-$103.50; and 500-600 lbs., $80-$93.

Ste. Rose Auction Mart: A total of 366 cattle sold at the Aug. 20 sale.

In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows ranged from $38 to $45.50, while D3 cows brought $28-$37 and bulls sold from $50 to $58.50.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. traded from $89 to $95; 800-900 lbs., $90-$100; 700-800 lbs., $90-$100; and 600-700 lbs., $95-$107.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. brought $88-$94; 700-800 lbs., $88-$95; 600-700 lbs., $90-$99; 500-600 lbs., $89-$95.50; and 400-500 lbs., $90-94.50.

Taylor Auctions, Melita: The sale held on Thursday, Aug. 20 resulted in 136 slaughter cattle and 190 feeders being sold.

In the slaughter market, A1-A2 steers over 1,000 lbs. traded at $75-$78.50; A1-A2 heifers over 850 lbs., $73-$76.50; D1 and D2 cows sold from $45 to $50; D3 and D5 cows, $35-$45; and good bulls, $55-$61.50.

Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. brought $90-$95; 800-900 lbs., $95-$102; 700-800 lbs., $98-$104; 600-700 lbs., $100-$105; and 500-600 lbs., $100-$107.

Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. traded from $85 to $92; 700-800 lbs., $88-$94; 600-700 lbs., $90-$95; and 500-600 lbs., $90-$96.

Winnipeg Livestock Sales: There were about 235 head of cattle sold at the sale on Tuesday, Aug. 18.

In the slaughter market, dry fed cows brought $35-$43; good fleshed, $30-$35; lean, $24-$30; young age verified, $40-$49.50; and good bulls, $50-$55.75.

Feeder steers weighing 700-800 lbs. brought up to $95; 600-700 lbs., up to $100; and 500-600 lbs., up to $109.50. Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. went for up to $88.

Cattle auctions will be held once a week on Tuesdays at Winnipeg during the summer months.

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