The benches around the auction ring at the Stratton sales yard were packed Saturday, with 13 of the 19 bulls up for bid finding buyers at the 20th-annual Rainy River Bull Evaluation Centre’s sale.
A Charolais bull raised by Wayne C. Meyers fetched the highest bid at $2,200. The next highest went to a Black Angus bull raised by Bob Irvine for $1,850.
The rest of the bulls in the sale were sold within $100 of the $1,600 reserve bid.
“There’s only three bulls that went to the States,” noted Tammy Hunsperger, secretary/treasurer of the evaluation centre. “The rest stayed local.”
This marked the seventh year the sale was open to heifers. Two Black Angus heifers from Bob Irvine were sold for $900 apiece, also going to local buyers.
Hunsperger said she “hasn’t heard anybody complaining” about Saturday’s sale, noting most people thought it went fairly well. But bidding wasn’t what you’d call fast and furious despite the good turnout.
“We had lots of people there but it was up to them if they wanted to bid or not,” Hunsperger noted. “A lot of them sit on their hands thinking they can get bull cheaper later on.
“But as the season goes on, the bulls get more a expensive,” she warned.
The bull sale here comes a few weeks ahead of the Douglas test station in Manitoba. While this may give local farmers a jump to sell their bulls on the market, it leaves a certain cloudiness about prices.
“You can’t say the prices are lousy or good because you have nothing to compare it to,” Hunsperger said. “It hasn’t been established yet.
“It would be simpler if it were three sales down the road,” she laughed. “But I haven’t heard any of the producers complaining or the buyers.”
Kenny Fisher’s bull won the award for Top Expected Progeny Difference (EPD) Charolais. It also took the Rainy River Cattlemen’s Association award for the sale’s top EPD bull.
Jack Hansen’s Simmental bull won an award as top EPD in its breed while Gordon and Kim Cornell snagged top EPD trophies for the Red Angus and Hereford categories.
Meyers’ Charolais bull won an award for top weight.