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Last auction bids farewell to 2018

It was a year of change for sheep and goat producers in Manitoba

Winnipeg Livestock Auction capped 2018 with one final sale December 19 with 300 animals delivered for auction.

There have been many changes through the year, as some established producers chose to close the farm doors while others just started production for the first time and some chose this as the time to grow their business.

Most of the classes at this sale saw significant local bidding to fill local holiday demand.

With the approach of the coldest days of winter, wool ewes were of more interest at this sale, in stark contrast to summer sales. Prices ranged from $1.09 to $1.11/lb. An exception was two 133-pound Dorper-cross ewes that brought $1.44/lb. These ewes were clearly being eyed by local buyers intent on building their herds.

The ram class was represented by three large individuals that were of fine structure and frame. As each ram entered the arena their royal presence could be truly noticed. A 235-pound Suffolk-cross ram brought $1.46/lb. A 230-pound Dorper-cross ram brought $1.45/lb. A 215-pound Suffolk-cross ram brought $1.35/lb.

A group of five 169-pound Suffolk-cross heavy lambs brought $1.49/lb. Two 138-pound Cheviot-cross lambs brought $1.54/lb.

The market lambs had a better showing compared to the last sale. The local buyers had to fill their markets and that meant strong bidding. Buyers wanted intermediate weight lambs and not lightweight lambs for future use. The average price ranged from $1.61 to $1.65/lb. However, there were six 96-pound Cheviot-cross lambs that brought $1.75/lb.

The selection of feeder lambs was very limited for this sale. The local buyers were not as interested in this weight class compared to the market lambs. Even compared to the last sale, the bidding was lower at this sale. The price for 88-pound lambs was $1.79/lb. and the 81-pound lambs brought $1.88/lb.

The lightweight lambs saw bidding very similar to the previous sale. The 70-plus lambs kept the average price range from $1.86 to $1.93/lb. There was a very noticeable decline in the hair lambs presence in the lighter-weight classes.

The 60-plus lambs tried to maintain the price bidding but was slightly lower. The average price ranged from $1.82 to $1.89/lb. Three 95-pound Katahdin-cross lambs brought $1.95/lb. The attraction could have been the horns, noticeable when they entered the arena.

Four 55-pound lambs brought $1.84/lb.

The 40-plus lambs had no evident bidding pattern. There was more joking and chuckling about these lower-weight lambs being Christmas stocking stuffers. Even the lower-weight lambs were of no bidding interest to local buyers. The Christmas stocking stuffer comments kept the audience in a joyous mood.

Turning to goats, local buyers had little interest in the heavier goat does, of any class, at this sale. The younger goat cross does were a view for a possible future. The local buyers appeared not interested in any carry-over issues, rather just a direct sale. Further development of the dairy goat cross does might have increased the bidding.

The meat class goat bucks had no outstanding characters or noticeable factors. The average price ranged from $1.98 to $2.05/lb. based upon the number of goat bucks.

The goat kid class had a good selection in all weight classes for this sale. The bidding was slightly stronger than the last sale, for comparison. However, the goat kid prices are quite lower than the start or mid-year. The small goat kids, especially the pygmy-crosses, got the Christmas stocking stuffer jokes too. But many of these cute little pygmy goat kids could have fit in a person’s pocket or the typical Christmas stocking. A practical gift under the Christmas tree for any young farm child.

The Ontario Stockyard Report indicated that new-crop lambs had been delivered and were ready for selling. Quality was good for the buyers to determine that bidding was going to reach some high figures. Similar to the Winnipeg sale, the heavy lambs or immediate-use lambs created some buyer interest. The bidding was creating some better prices than what has been seen for the past few sales in Ontario. The lighter lambs could not reach or maintain these prices. Goats, as usual, just maintain a steady price line/basis.

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