To Allan Munroe of Killarney Auction Mart, the fall run for 2021 is about two weeks ahead of normally where it would be.
“It’s nice to get some cattle moved in September and them through the system,” he said.
“We’re hoping that means we’ll spread out the market a little bit,” he added, noting a big glut of calves could be avoided this year.
Killarney auctioned 1,018 head on Sept. 20, compared to the 535 the week before.
“We had a pretty good sale. We had a lot of good cattle,” he said, with cattle headed to the East as well as to the West and the South.
Producers are trying to manage their pastures a little bit and getting the bigger calves off of the cows, he said. In the meantime, producers are working at their corn silage after taking the summer to get their pens in shape.
However, the feed situation in Manitoba, as elsewhere across the Prairies, remains far from ideal, Munroe said. Severe drought and intense heat limited the amount of hay, which led producers to seek alternative sources.
“Guys were cutting their sloughs that they haven’t cut for a while,” Munroe said.
Another plus has been that Manitoba’s corn crop has proved better than what many expected it to be — but in the end, he said, there’s still a feed shortage.
“We’re a long ways from good, but we’re not as bad as we thought we would be,” he said.
Prices for feeder cattle at the Killarney auction on Sept. 20 were largely steady, with heavy steers selling for $185-$201 per hundredweight (cwt) compared to $175-$208 the previous week. Heavy heifers fetched $170-$184/cwt this week versus $185-$197 on Sept. 13.
It was a similar story for lighter cattle, as steers garnered $219-$243/cwt this week compared to $219-$238 seven days earlier. Heifers that sold for $194-$211 one week ago brought in $190-$204 on Sept. 20.
The amount of cattle sold during the week ended Sept. 23 was also higher; 5,350 head passed by the auctioneers, compared to 4,583 the previous week.