Cattle numbers for the first official week of the fall run at auction marts across Manitoba were in line with years past and values were steady from the previous week.
“I think that’s just kind of part of the volume that’s going to be coming at every auction in the next six weeks. Every auction mart is going to be filled up,” said Robin Hill of Heartland Livestock Services at Virden.
About 14,000 head of cattle moved through the province’s eight major auction marts for the week ended Oct. 12, up from the previous week where about 10,600 head were sold.
The Virden market was at capacity, with Hill saying it couldn’t take any more cattle if it wanted. Hill expects to stay busy right up until the end of November.
“We’re selling lots of cull cows and the cull cow market has flipped some here in the past three weeks or so. And same thing with volume, or I guess it’s more the supply and the demand,” Hill said.
Snowy weather hasn’t much affected sales at Virden, as the day on which most snow fell in the area was a sale day, so any cattle the market had on hand left soon afterward.
“If our sale day was Thursday, it would have affected it greatly, but because the snow hit on the Wednesday (it didn’t affect the sale numbers). So personally that weather hasn’t affected our numbers by any means,” Hill said.
However, if the weather does turn warmer and drier, volumes could go down slightly as mixed-operation farmers get back into the fields.
“There is canola and the beans that are out there (still). I hope it gets done, but I also don’t think that that’s going to affect our cattle numbers greatly anyways,” Hill said.
Sales this week were going east and south to the U.S., but most animals were still headed west.
There had been concerns for the last few months about feed supplies for winter, but Hill said he hasn’t heard as much talk about that lately.
“If (producers) had a shortage I think they’ve been dealing with it. With these last three weeks of moisture, everything’s looking a little better,” he said.