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Spring slowdown around the corner for auctions

The province’s markets have chewed through the annual calf run

Most cattle auctions in Manitoba will soon see fewer head coming in and one auction has moved to sales once every two weeks.

“We’re getting things tidied up. A lot of the big strings of calves are gone now,” said Allan Munroe of the Killarney Auction Mart, which sold 275 cattle on April 15.

At its previous sale 375 head were auctioned.

Although Heartland Livestock Service’s Virden auction processed 1,881 cattle, that number was down from the previous week’s 2,712 head. Grunthal Livestock Auction Mart and Heartland’s Brandon site witnessed upticks, while Gladstone Auction Mart held steady. The Ashern Auction Mart, Ste. Rose Auction Mart and Winnipeg Livestock Sales did not have auctions last week.

With good prices Munroe noted there has been a lot of optimism in the province’s cattle industry and he expects that to carry into the fall when the auctions resume selling in full force.

The Killarney Auction will now have a sale every second week, with four left before wrapping up for the summer break. The auctions will be April 29, May 13, May 27 and June 10.

Pipestone Livestock Sales had a strong week with 676 cattle auctioned on April 15, which well exceeded its April 1 sale of 123 head.

Pipestone’s Brock Taylor said numbers will now drop off as there are few cattle left and farmers are busy with spring planting.

He said the grass market and the cattle futures have gone up over the last little while.

Bids for feeder steers less than 600 pounds pushed upwards to C$255 per hundredweight (cwt) at several auctions for the week ended April 19. Bids at Pipestone reached C$269 cwt for steers in the 400- to 500-pound range.

Feeder heifers, also less than 600 pounds, brought in good money as well. They generally peaked around C$225 cwt, although Grunthal reached C$279 cwt for those in the 300- to 400-pound category.

About the author

Columnist

Glen Hallick writes for MarketsFarm specializing in grain and commodity market reporting. He previously reported for Postmedia newspapers in southern Manitoba and the province’s Interlake region.

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