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Price instability creating challenges for producers

There appears to be little correlation between 
prices this year and previous years

There were more animals of lesser quality at the most recent sheep and goat sale held Feb. 1 at the Winnipeg Livestock Auction.

Producers delivered 212 animals, compared to just 141 at the previous sale in January, but the quality was noticeably lower. Markets have been very unstable and producers appear to be finding it very difficult, if not impossible, to predict future prices because of this volatility.

In the sheep sale, the ewe class was represented equally by wool and hair ewes and there appeared to be no noticeable price difference between the two. Groups of pregnant Katahdin-cross ewes drew little interest from buyers and bidding did not reach the average range. This class showed poor quality and many other issues.

There was a 130-pound Cheviot-cross ram delivered for this sale. The bidding on this ram was based upon the condition of the animal and was disappointing.

A 105-pound Suffolk-cross lamb brought $1.62 per pound.

Market lambs provided a good selection for the buyers. There did not appear to be a price difference between wool and hair lambs. Prices ranged from $1.64 to $1.81 per pound.

Two groups of lambs were delivered as feeder lambs. However, only one group of 28 88-pound Dorper-cross lambs are worth mentioning. These lambs brought $1.62 per pound. Once again, quality was clearly not evident with other lambs in this classification.

The lightweight lambs were limited and many groups did not reach the average price bidding. Quality was the main issue.

Turning to goats, the number of animals was very limited, following several very active past sales.

As was expected, there were few goat does on offer due to it being kidding season, and the absence of buyers for this classification translated into low prices.

The Boer-cross goat wethers were uniform in growth and body structure. Their appearance in the arena gained the full attention of all buyers and created major interest.

A 75-pound Alpine-cross buck showed that some filling and fattening would have been a positive factor for other animals at the sale.

The Ontario Stockyard Report also showed that, with limited sheep and lambs on offer, prices have been lower in recent days. Market lambs were the lone positive 
note, with slightly stronger prices.

The selling results with limited sheep and lambs available did not reach the high bidding by the Ontario Stockyard Report. Market lambs were more positive, with slightly stronger prices.

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