Cattle auctions in Manitoba have seen a lot of activity recently, thanks in part to colder weather making it easier to retrieve cattle from mucky pastures. That’s pressuring prices lower for some weight classes.
“We’re seeing big numbers, which is applying quite a bit of pressure to the market,” said auctioneer Tyler Slawinski of Gladstone Auction Mart.
Feed shortages and subsequent skyrocketing prices are to blame for a steady supply of cattle to auction. Over the past month, feed grain prices have jumped up by $10-$15 in some areas.
“Guys are sending cows to town that probably won’t pay their way, to save that feed for whatever else they’ll keep through the winter,” Slawinski said.
“A lot of guys would like to maintain or increase their cattle herds, but the feed shortage is going to play a major role in that this fall and winter.”
This week, the Gladstone auction accommodated 1,482 head of cattle. About a month ago, fewer than 1,000 cattle headed to auction.
Slawinski expected cattle volumes to remain high right up until Christmas, with bred cattle auctions a feature in weeks to come.
“We have some bred cow sales booked, but it’s kind of a grey area. Everyone is waiting to see what they’ll bring price-wise.”