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Cattlemen gearing up for spring sale

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With about 700 head of cattle already lined up, the annual spring sale at the Stratton sales yard already is shaping up to be a good one for both buyers and sellers.

“The prices still are being steady,” Peter Spuzak, president of the Rainy River Cattlemen’s Association, said yesterday.

“We have seen quite a few years where the prices were flat and everybody thought that would happen last fall,” he noted. “But they’ve actually increased and stayed steady.

“We might see some better return for our investment [this year],” he added.

Spuzak noted the demand for cattle seems to be everywhere, especially with the soft grain market right now.

Meanwhile, as president of the Feeders’ Finance Co-op, Spuzak said he knows a lot of local producers are applying for loans to buy large numbers of cattle to put on grass this spring, which is good because there are lots of sellers who have calves ready to be put on grass up for sale.

Spuzak also expected several calves will be ready to go straight to a feed lot for fattening up.

“I know there are going to be buyers there from southern Ontario and from the west looking for those cattle, too,” he added.

“One thing about this spring sale, it’s given us a six-month window of marketing instead of once a year,” he remarked. “A lot of farmers are gearing their operations like that now.”

A large spring sale will go a long way towards furthering the perception that Rainy River District is good cattle country, Spuzak said, which, in turn, will attract more buyers here--and that means a shorter trip to market for local producers.

“I think they’re a better animal for that short trip of marketing than to send them on a six-hour trip,” he noted, adding the shrink on cattle over a long distance makes quite a difference.

A healthy spring sale also complements the Feeders’ Finance Co-op, which increases the activity in the cattle business.

“There’s a good cycle between those two where people can raise larger numbers of cattle and get a better return on what they’re doing,” Spuzak said.

“They’re two good things happening in the district as far as I’m concerned,” he stressed.

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