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Cattlemen have few beefs over cattle

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Bidding was strong and prices were high as close to 950 head of cattle moved through the Stratton sales yard Saturday at the second-annual spring sale held by the Rainy River Cattlemen’s Association.

Buyers’ row was close to full when the sale started, with the first head of cattle being sold for $1.07/lb.

The second animal in the ring seemed to stall for a minute at $0.96/lb but a sudden interest from another buyer pushed its price to $1.03/lb.

About 15 minutes later, another steer went for $1.1250/lb.

“It went very good,” RRCA sales yard manager Russell Richards said. “[Prices] were up. The buyers were pleased and the sellers were pleased, too.”

“They buyers seemed happy and the consignors seemed happy,” echoed Kim Jo Calder, who had five of her own cattle in the sale. “I thought it went really well.”

Calder, who worked the scales at the sale, said most of the cattle were yearlings in the 600-700 pound range.

The best price for a steer that size at the Winnipeg Livestock yards has been just over $1.26/lb. Richards said the highest bid at the Stratton sale got to $1.30/lb.

“The buyers were in Winnipeg the day before and said we were higher,” he said. “We were about two cents [a pound] higher.”

“Our prices were really well,” Calder said. “The five we sold we’re selling to get rid of [because] we didn’t think we’d have enough pasture.

“But then we figured too bad we didn’t have more when we saw the prices,” she added.

That’s not to say a few animals went for low prices, Richards said, noting the price farmers got for their cattle was indicative of what shape the animal was in when it was sold.

“[The buyers] are very picky,” he said. “Quality sells the animal on its own.”

Most of the cattle were bought from out-of-town buyers but 170 of them went back to local producers, Richards said.

He noted the spring sale has strengthened since its inception last year. And with Saturday’s success, it gives the Stratton sales yard an even better reputation in the cattle market.

“I think with every sale we get through, the numbers are going up,” Calder said. “If people start to realize spring sales are viable, local farmers could have cattle to sell two times a year.

“It gives more options,” she added.

“[And] they don’t have near the freight bill,” Richards stressed. “The producer comes home with extra money in his pocket.”

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