There’s a plus side to the below-average temperatures southern Manitoba has been experiencing of late — it has made it easier to move cattle, said Harold Unrau of Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart.
Wet conditions, especially in the southeast region of the province, have been the bane of cattle producers over the last several weeks. The cold has made the ground a great deal firmer, which has allowed producers to transfer cattle to winter feeding areas and to auctions.
“I just hope the weather stays cold like this and it doesn’t thaw. Makes it a lot easier for the producers,” Unrau commented.
However, with the cold temperatures, water supplies for cattle such as sloughs and dugouts have largely frozen over, according to Manitoba Agriculture’s Nov. 5 crop report.
Despite the trying conditions, the fall run at Grunthal has been in full swing for about two weeks, Unrau said. With 1,399 head for the Nov. 5 auction the number of feeders was slightly down from the 1,505 cattle that passed through the previous week. And there was an increase in the slaughter number, from 159 to 209 head.
Unrau noted the prices for the butcher cows at Grunthal dropped by five to seven cents per pound at this Tuesday’s auction. However, the feeder market was a little stronger, especially for the lighter cattle, he said.
For example, feeder heifers in the 440- to 500-pound range went for C$160 to C$225 this week. At the Oct. 29 auction, those heifers garnered C$170 to C$200.50.
Several of the other prices remained either steady or declined a little.