The amount of cattle sold at several of Manitoba’s livestock auctions was mixed for the week ending Feb. 22. Some of the auctions witnessed good increases in the number of head marketed, while other auctions saw significant drops.
Gladstone had a strong increase in the number of cattle that went through its auction. For its Feb. 19 sale, it handled almost 1,370 head, compared to 940 the previous week.
“Ours was up way more than what we expected. That was just due to the fact a few weeks ago it was very cold and nobody wanted to move any cattle,” said Dave Nickel of Gladstone Auction Mart.
“I’m expecting runs not to be as big this time of year as compared to last year. A lot of the cattle moved already due to the lack of feed.”
Ashern Auction Mart also reported a sizable jump in cattle, with nearly 2,100 cattle for its Feb. 20 sale, up from 1,245 on Feb. 13.
Heartland Livestock Services saw lower numbers for its Brandon and Virden auctions. The Brandon auction sold about 780 head on Feb. 19, well down from the 2,280 that passed through on Feb. 12. While Virden handled about 2,950 cattle on Feb. 13, it only saw 1,040 for its Feb. 20 sale.
As for prices, some of the heavyweights fell back. At the Ste. Rose Auction Mart on Feb. 21, feeder steers in the 700- to 800-lb. range garnered $175-$194 per hundredweight (cwt). The week before, those steers sold for $180-$200.
At Brandon, however, feeder steers and heifers in the 800- to 900-lb. category were unchanged between sales. Steers went for $165-$182/cwt and heifers sold for $150-$167.
At Gladstone, feeder steers in the 500- to 600-lb. range improved between weeks. On Feb. 19 the steers brought $175-$241.50/cwt, up from $170-$215 on Feb. 12.
Demand for grassers — cattle to be placed in pasture — has been steady, according to Nickel.