DWAYNE KLASSEN RNI
“A lot of Manitoba’s producers do not like the idea of having to (age verify) but if they don’t, the price for their cattle may all of a sudden be discounted by a larger percentage than they would like.”
– Scott Anderson, Winnipeg LIVESTOCK SALES
The numb er of cattle making their way to the auction yards in Manitoba continued to be only a trickle during the week ended July 3. There was an improvement in the values for cows while feeders managed to hold mostly steady price levels.
The number of cattle sold during the reporting period continued to be capped by a significantly reduced number of sales in the province.
In the coming weeks, sales volumes were expected to be made up mostly of “odds and ends,” according to the various auctioneers. With the exception of Heartland’s operations in Virden and Brandon, and Winnipeg Livestock Sales, very few auction marts in Manitoba will be holding sales every week during the months of July and August.
Some of the increase in cow values during the reporting period was linked to the precipitation in Saskatchewan and Alberta, according to Scott Anderson, general manager of Winnipeg’s livestock yards. “The rain may have held some cows back from being marketed, creating a bit of a run on the supply that was available in those areas.”
However, auctioneers cautioned that if dry conditions continue in Alberta and the western half of Saskatchewan, more and more producers were likely to start unloading cattle due to the lack of pasture and good-quality hay.
Harry Brook of Alberta’s provincial Ag-Info Centre at Stettler confirmed that producers in Alberta were putting cattle out on last year’s insurance-claimed hay crop due to the absence of good pasture land.
The pullback in the value of the Canadian dollar also continued to improve the price outlook for cattle, Anderson said.
The Canadian dollar hit US86.64 cents during the start of the week and bottomed out at US86.05 cents on Friday.
Buyers for the animals that were available in Manitoba continued to come from packers in the U. S., as well as from Eastern Canada. Demand for cattle from western Canadian end-users was down a bit.
Brook indicated that producers in Alberta have been aggressively culling cows as well as moving cow-calf pairs to the packers due to the absence of pasture and hay.
Anderson urged producers to be aware that it will be very important for them to have their cattle age verified this fall, especially if they expect animals to be sold to outlets in Alberta.
“I know a lot of Manitoba’s producers do not like the idea of having to do that unless they are getting paid for it, but if they don’t, the price for their cattle may all of a sudden be discounted by a larger percentage than they would like,” Anderson said.
Certain buyers in Alberta, he added, will no longer accept cattle unless they qualify for the Alberta Gold program, in which all animals have to be age verified.
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: No data is available. Gladstone’s last sale this month was to be held July 7; auctions will start again on Aug. 12.
Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart: No data is available. There will not be a cattle auction here the first week of July; they will be held every other week until mid-August.
Heartland Livestock Services, Brandon: A total of 280 cattle were on offer in Brandon during the week. A1-A2 steers went for $80-$85; A1-A2 heifers, $80-$83.50; D1-D2 cows, $45-$56.75; feeder cows $35-$45; shells $20-$35; and good bulls, $62-$67.50.
Feeder steers weighing 900-1,000 lbs. sold at $85-$90.50; 800-900 lbs., $92-$97.50; 700-800 lbs., $95-$102.50; 600-700 lbs., $98-$103.50; 500-600 lbs., $98-$104; 400-500 lbs., $100-$110; and 300-400 lbs., $100-$114.
Feeder heifers weighing 800-900 lbs. sold for $88-$96; 700-800 lbs., $90-$98; 600-700 lbs., $92-$103.75; and 500-600 lbs., $95-$104.
Auctions will be held on Tuesdays only during the summer months.
Heartland Livestock Services, Virden: No sale was held this week because of the Canada Day holiday. The next sale was to be held Wednesday, July 8. There will also be no changes to the cattle auctions during the summer months.
Pipestone Livestock Sales: Closed until Aug. 10.
Ste. Rose Auction Mart: No data available. There will be no auctions during the month of July.
Taylor Auctions, Melita: Closed during the month of July.
Winnipeg Livestock Sales:
There were about 275 head of cattle sold at the sale on June 30. In the slaughter market, dry fed cows brought $45-$50; good fleshed, $40-$45; lean, $30-$40; young age verified, $44-$55; and good bulls, $54-$64.50.
There were too few feeders on offer this week to establish a price range.