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Light action at auctions ahead of long weekend

Conditions on Manitoba pastures and hayfields vary from region to region

With the summer shutdown now well underway, only four of Manitoba’s cattle auctions hosted sales this past week: Brandon, Grunthal, Virden and Winnipeg. Auctions at Ashern, Gladstone, Killarney, Pipestone and Ste. Rose remain closed for the balance of the summer.

“Everything is out to grass now. Until pastures either start to run out or if the market does get higher, that might pull calves in early,” Scott Anderson of Winnipeg Livestock Sales said.

Butcher cows were down a few dollars from last week, Anderson said, noting that’s “sometimes quality indicative.”

For example, at Winnipeg’s June 19 auction, D1 and D2 cows went for $80-$85 per hundredweight (cwt) compared to $83-$88 at the June 12 sale.

Quality was also an issue for feeder cattle, particularly in male calves. Some weren’t castrated prior to arriving at auction, as many farmers were still busy in the fields, Anderson said.

Heavier feeder cattle were mostly steady, with 800- to 900-lb. steers going for $155-$172/cwt on June 19, compared to $155-$174 a week earlier.

Some good Holsteins were also sold at auction, fetching $115-$125/cwt, Anderson said.

The four auction markets still operating throughout the summer won’t be holding sales for the week of June 29 to July 3.

Conditions on the province’s pastures and hayfields varied from region to region, according to the weekly crop report from Manitoba Agriculture. Pastures in the northwest, east and Interlake regions were reported as fair at best to struggling due to dry conditions, according to the report issued June 23.

Hayfields were expected to be below average, just as cutting hay for beef cattle was about to get underway.

In the province’s southwest and central regions pastures were reported as good with cattle grazing. Hay cutting for beef cattle was close to starting in the southwest and was underway in the central region. The quality of the new crop improved on that of the old crop, the province said.

About the author

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Glen Hallick - MarketsFarm

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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