Cattle prices were steady to slightly higher at Manitoba’s cattle auctions during the week ended Oct. 24, with supply chain bottlenecks causing concern on both the supply and demand side.
The rush of cattle volumes coming to auction have been delayed due to producers struggling with late harvests and muddy pastures.
“Sometimes there’s standing crop between pastures, or it’s too muddy to haul them out,” commented Allan Munroe of Killarney Livestock Auction Mart.
“So the run is behind.”
Since Manitoba’s feedlots are functioning near capacity, producers have relied on demand from buyers in Ontario and Quebec. But pen space is limited in the East as well, as packing plants in Ontario aren’t moving cattle as quickly as anticipated.
“Once this weather straightens out and Manitobans get the corn chopped and pens dried up, that’ll open up a lot of pen space,” Munroe said.
While the fall run is behind schedule, more cattle will likely be headed to auction as producers feel the squeeze of short hay supplies heading into winter.
“Breeding has already happened, so you have to be careful maintaining enough body condition this winter,” said Glenn Friesen, forage industry development specialist with Manitoba Agriculture.
“If you don’t have enough feed, let’s learn a lesson of culling. Make sure you have the records to know which cows are the least productive, and you may need to make a tough decision to let them go.”