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Manitoba Producers Keep Eye On Hay Harvest

DWAYNE KLASSEN RNI

“The numbers being marketed are just not enough to fill the trucks.”

The summer doldrums continued to dominate the cattle auction yards in Manitoba during the week ended July 24. The number of marketings hitting the auctions continued to be on the light side, with values for most classes of animals seeing some downward pressure.

“There was some downward pressure on all classes of cattle this week given that the value of the Canadian dollar strengthened significantly,” one official with the Manitoba cattle industry said. “Fed cattle and cows in particular lost some ground.”

The Canadian dollar on July 17 was trading at US89.54 cents. On July 24, the value of the Canadian dollar had appreciated to as much as US92.39 cents.

The Canadian dollar moved to its highest level in seven weeks, after the Bank of Canada declared Canada’s recession to be virtually over, and in view of the central bank’s mostly upbeat view on the world economy, financial analysts said.

Demand for the cattle that were on offer was said to be mainly from local buyers and the odd producer, with most major feedlots taking a break from the market in view of the summer slowdown.

“It comes down to the numbers; the larger feedlot buyers like to make it worth their while,” the official said. “The numbers being marketed are just not enough to fill the trucks.”

The local buyers are either storing the animals at the auction yard or moving them to their own yards until the numbers are big enough to order the trucks, the official said.

Some concern was expressed by producers in parts of the province over the lack of hay being harvested. Hay crops in Manitoba, in general, continued to be a number of weeks behind in development.

“Hay crops in areas west of Brandon are in pretty bad shape, with some indicating yields are only half of what they would be normally,” the official said. The poor hay quality was being blamed on the absence of significant moisture.

The absence of a decent hay harvest could result in producers in those areas increasing their cattle marketings in the fall to accommodate the reduced feed situation, the official said.

However, he also indicated that producers can also be quite a resourceful group, and will work hard to secure enough feed supplies from alternative outlets in order to make it through the winter.

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: Closed until mid-August.

Gladstone Auction Mart: The last sale was held July 7. Auctions will start again on Aug. 12.

Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart: Data is not available for the sale held July 22. Cattle auctions will be held every other week until mid-August.

Heartland Livestock Services, Brandon: A total of 250 cattle were on offer in Brandon during the week.

A1-A2 steers went for $76-$80; A1-A2 heifers, $75-$78.25; D1-D2 cows, $44-$54; feeder cows, $37-$43; shells, $30-$37; and good bulls, $58-$63.50.

Feeder steers weighing over 1,000 lbs. brought $82.50; 800-900 lbs., $92-$101.25; 700-800 lbs., $95-$105.75; 600-700 lbs., $100-$110; 500-600 lbs., $100-$111.50; and 400-500 lbs., $105-$113.

Feeder heifers weighing 700-800 lbs. sold for $88-$96; 600-700 lbs., $90-$96; and 500-600 lbs., $95-$105.

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

Heartland Livestock Services, Virden: There is no data available for the sale held July 22. There will be no changes to the cattle auctions during the summer months.

Pipestone Livestock Sales: Closed until Aug. 10.

Ste. Rose Auction Mart: There will be no auctions during the month of July.

Taylor Auctions, Melita: There will be no auctions during the month of July.

Winnipeg Livestock Sales: There were about 300 head of cattle sold at the sale July 21. In the slaughter market, dry fed cows brought $42-$46; good fleshed, $37-$42; lean, $27-$37; young age verified, $45-$58.50; and good bulls, $53-$59.50.

Feeder steers weighing 800-900 lbs. brought $90-$98.50; 700-800 lbs., $94-$102; 600-700 lbs., $105-$115.50; and 500-600 lbs., $105-$120.50.

Heifers weighing 700-800 lbs. brought $78-$83.50; 600-700 lbs., $90-$95.75; and 500-600 lbs., $94-$104.

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

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