When Manitoba’s fall run starts in September, Rick Wright of Heartland Order Buying Co. has a little bit of trepidation when it comes to the social distancing guidelines set by the province.
“There are a percentage of people who are not respecting the social distancing requirements, and it’s putting the markets in a bad position,” Wright said, noting the auctions are held accountable by the province for assuring those guidelines are met.
Currently, each auction facility is permitted up to 50 people inside, provided they can maintain the required two metres distance apart. Some facilities are too small to adequately fit that many people, he said.
“It’s not a problem right now because the volumes are light. But when we get into the fall run, it’s certainly going to be a challenge,” Wright said.
As for prices, he said they have been volatile, but “(slaughter) prices rebounded back to where they were a couple of weeks ago.”
Wright chalked part of that up to True North Foods, a processing facility near Carman, Man., as it has been helpful in buying as many local cattle as it can.
“That’s kept prices competitive and made for a real good cow market in Manitoba,” Wright said.
Of the slaughter market for the week ended July 9, D1 and D2 cows ranged from $70 per hundredweight on the low end to $94/cwt on the high end. D3 to D5 cows garnered $60-$82/cwt. Mature bulls fetched $98-$125/cwt.
Only three auctions were held during the week, one at Grunthal and one each at Heartland in Brandon and Virden. Fewer than 850 head in total were sold.