Activity was very limited at cattle yards across the province during the week ended July 13, with only a pair of auction marts holding sales.
Much of the province was hit by a heat wave throughout the week, that brought with it temperatures well into the 30 C range, and even higher humidex readings. However, John Lamport, senior market representative at Heartland Livestock in Brandon, said the heat didn’t have a big impact on numbers at its weekly sale.
A total of 278 cattle was sold at Brandon’s sale on July 10. Lamport expects to see the numbers take a big spike in the fall.
“Once we get into the fall run and the calves start coming off the cows, and as the season progresses, that’s when we’ll see the heavy run of cattle,” he said.
Of the animals that did come to market, Lamport said there is good demand for the butcher cows.
“There were some cleanup cattle moving through. We put a bunch of them (butcher cows) on the market this week and that reflected things as far as the market goes,” he said.
Perhaps one of the reasons for the higher prices on butcher animals is the lack of numbers, according to Lamport.
“There aren’t as many fat cattle out there as there used to be,” he said. “The way things have been going the last couple of years with the cost of production and the way the fat cattle have been working, they seem to be getting to be a bigger handful and there aren’t as many ‘Ma and Pop’ kind of operations as there used to be.”
“Half a crop”
Hot weather throughout the province has been impacting the hay crop in the area, he added. Some areas are seeing decent crops, he said, but others are having worse yields than last year.
Farmers are saying there is “kind of a half a crop of hay,” he said. “It’s not as optimistic as everyone was thinking by the sound of it.
“A lot of the younger stands of hay are pretty good, but some of the older ones are not what they should be. This heat sure burns it off in a hurry as well.”
It’s important for producers to harvest a good hay crop this year, Lamport said, as the price of feed could very well be going up.
“Corn seems to be getting higher every day, so that could have an effect on the feeder cattle,” he said. “The higher cost of production is going to play into the feeders.”
The only other auction mart that had a sale in Manitoba during the week was Winnipeg, where a total of 160 cattle were sold.