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Interlake Producers Brace For Spillover From West

The spring season is now more than halfway complete, but that has not stopped flooding problems, creating a number of challenges for producers in the Interlake.

With the Assiniboine River rising to record levels, officials have been forced to fill the Portage Diversion in Portage la Prairie to its capacity, flowing north to Lake Manitoba.

“The Portage diversion is sending too much water this way, and then Lake Manitoba gets too high and floods onto the land,” said Buddy Bergner at Ashern Auction Mart. “The lakes are flooding, and there could be trouble with pastures. If it floods too much, a lot of pasture land is going to be under water.”

If water levels continue to rise, producers will have to take action, he said. “Guys will have to look for pasture elsewhere, move their animals to higher ground, or sell the cattle. It’s as simple as that.”

As for volumes, auction marts in Manitoba were certainly not flooded with numbers during the week ended May 9, but Bergner was not surprised now that the calendar has turned to May.

“Numbers are getting pretty low, but it is just a seasonal thing. Nothing more than that,” he said. The sale at Ashern on May 4 saw a total of 868 cattle come through the gates, the largest amount of animals moved at any Manitoba auction market during the week.

Although numbers were lower, Bergner said prices and demand were still strong, but the strong Canadian dollar kept animals from going to the U.S. The loonie eclipsed the US$1.05 level during the week, before pulling back.

“Demand is still good. They’ve been going east and west, but nothing south (U. S.),” he said.

High flood waters weren’t the only concern cattle producers were facing, Bergner said. The price of corn has been moving higher, and Bergner said that could have an effect on how much farmers pay for feed.

“Corn could drive the feed prices higher (for cattle), because the ethanol plants are taking so much of it right now,” he said.

FROM THE AUCTION FLOORS

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

Ashern Auction Mart:An estimated 868 head of cattle were sold at the sale held on May 4. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows sold anywhere from $70 to $77; D3 and D5 cows, $65-$70; age verified, $76-$81; and good bulls, $74-$80.

Feeder steers weighing 700- 800 lbs. brought $115-$139; 600- 700 lbs., $128-$148; 500-600 lbs., $130-$164; and 400-500 lbs., $135-$149.

Feeder heifers weighing 700- 800 lbs. brought $99-$115; 600- 700 lbs., $105-$132; 500-600 lbs., $108-$138; and 400-500 lbs., $100-$137 .

Gladstone Auction Mart: The May 3 sale saw a total of 229 head of cattle sold at the Gladstone yard. In the slaughter market, bulls sold from $65 to $88.25 while cows brought $50- $73.25.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. sold from $80 to $94; 800-900 lbs., $105-$112.25; 700- 800 lbs., $90-$125; 600-700 lbs., $115-$142.75; 500-600 lbs., $113- $147; and 400-500 lbs., $136- $148.50.

Feeder heifers in the 900-to 1,000-lb. category traded from $78 to $95.25; 800-900 lbs., $78- $98; 700-800 lbs., $95-$114.50; 600-700 lbs., $100-$121; 500-600 lbs., $109-$130; and 400-500 lbs., $110-$132.

Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart:There were 78 slaughter cattle and 352 feeders sold at the Grunthal yard on May 4. In the slaughter market, fleshy export cows traded from $68 to

$73.50; lean export cows, $62- $67; mature cows, $57-$62; and export bulls, $87-$92.

Feeder heifers weighing 700- 800 lbs. brought $104-$114; 600- 700 lbs., $112-$125.25; 500-600 lbs., $120-$130; 400-500 lbs., $125-$137; and under 400 lbs., $120-$135.

Feeder steers weighing 700- 800 lbs. ranged from $115 to $126; 600-700 lbs., $124-$134; 500-600 lbs., $135-$145; 400-500 lbs., $133-$144; and under 400 lbs., $128-$140.

Heartland Livestock Services, Brandon:A total of 383 cattle were on offer in Brandon at the May 3 sale. In the slaughter market, D1-D2 cows went for $74- $79.50; D3 cows, $64-$73; feeder cows, $55-$63; and good bulls, $84-$89.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. ranged from $105 to $111; 800-900 lbs., $110-$120; 700-800 lbs., $118-$143; 600-700 lbs., $130-$150; 500-600 lbs., $140-$158; 400-500 lbs., $148- $166; and 300-400 lbs., $155- $169.50.

Feeder heifers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. brought $90-$99.75; 800-900 lbs., $103-$112; 700-800 lbs., $112-$121; 600-700 lbs., $122-$138; 500-600 lbs., $130- $143; 400-500 lbs., $133-$146; and 300-400 lbs., $138-$148.

Heartland Livestock Services, Virden:There were about 792 cattle sold at the sale held on May 4. Butcher steers brought $93-$98.50 while butcher heifers sold from $91 to $96.75. Ageverified/ young cows ranged from $68 to $74; D1 and D2 cows, $67-$73; D3 cows, $62- $66; shelly cows, $42-$60; and mature bulls, $84-$88.75.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. brought $101-$110.75; 800-900 lbs., $107-$119; 700-800 lbs., $121-$135; 600-700 lbs., $130-$147; 500-600 lbs., $140- $158; and 400-500 lbs., $142- $162.

Feeder heifers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. traded from $94 to $104; 800-900 lbs., $98-$110.75; 700-800 lbs., $109-$118.75; 600- 700 lbs., $116-$132; 500-600 lbs., $123-$137; and 400-500 lbs., $125-$141.

Killarney Auction Mart:There were about 377 cattle sold at the sale held on May 5. D1 and D2 cows sold from $64 to $75.25; D3 cows, $35-$62; and mature bulls, $68-$87.25.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. brought $84-$103; 800-900 lbs., $95-$108.50; 700- 800 lbs., $117-$123; 600-700 lbs., $124-$143; 500-600 lbs., $128-$143.50; 400-500 lbs., $140-$155.50; and 300-400 lbs., $142.50-$152.

Feeder heifers weighing 800- 900 lbs. traded from $98 to $106; 700-800 lbs., $105-$116; 600- 700 lbs., $117-$132.50; 500-600 lbs., $123.50-$133; 400-500 lbs., $126-$137; and 300-400 lbs., $123-$132.

Ste. Rose Auction Mart:A total of 286 cattle were sold at the May 5 sale. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows ranged from $70 to $77; D3 and D4 cows, $55-$70; canners, $35-$53; and bulls, $86-$96.

Feeder steers weighing 600- 700 lbs. brought $133-$140; 500- 600 lbs., $135-$145; and 400-500 lbs., $140-$159. Feeder heifers weighing 600-700 lbs. brought $110-$123; 500-600 lbs., $121- $132; and 400-500 lbs., $120- $135.

Taylor Auctions, Melita:The sale held May 5 resulted in 137 slaughter cattle and 300 feeders being sold. In the slaughter market, D1 and D2 cows sold from $68 to $78; D3 and D5 cows, $60- $78; and good bulls, $84-$88.

Feeder steers weighing 900- 1,000 lbs. brought $100-$108; 800-900 lbs., $110-$120; 700-800 lbs., $120-$135; 600-700 lbs., $125-$138; 500-600 lbs., $135- $148; 400-500 lbs., $145-$160; and 300-400 lbs., $150-$165.

Feeder heifers weighing 800- 900 lbs. traded from $105 to $118; 700-800 lbs., $110-$125; 600-700 lbs., $115-$130; 500-600 lbs., $120-$135; 400-500 lbs., $125-$140; and 300-400 lbs., $135-$145.

Winnipeg Livestock Sales: There were about 664 cattle sold at the sale held May 6. In the slaughter market, age-verified/ young cows ranged from $60 to $75; D1 and D2 cows, $68-$71; D3 cows, $63-$68; shelly cows, $57-$63; and mature bulls, $88- $93.

Feeder steers weighing 800- 900 lbs. brought $100-$115; 700-800 lbs., $123-$136; 600-700 lbs., $128-$144; and 500-600 lbs., $135-$155. Feeder heifers weighing 700-800 lbs. traded from $100 to $115; 600-700 lbs., $118-$130; and 500-600 lbs., $120-$135.

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BRENT HARDERCNSC

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– Buddy Bergner, Ashern Auction Mart

Ifitfloodstoomuch,alotofpasture landisgoingtobeunderwater.”

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