Cattle prices have dropped

We ended up with 1,246 animals at the Stratton sales barn on Saturday, with the value in sales being $1,350,931.77.
Unfortunately, prices have dropped and all indications are they will be staying this way for a long time.
People selling their own yearlings or fall calves did OK, but the difficult part are those who purchased cattle last fall at the top of the market and now are having difficulty getting their money back out of them.
I do sympathize with them. The cattle business is tough and it is hard seeing people losing big bucks.
We are so fortunate to have strong local support at our sale–having local buyers puts more demand on our cattle and our heifer prices might have been a bit better than current market values for them.
We are lucky to have people adding heifers to their herds and people feeding cattle. Of course, some of this is because we have a strong feeder/breeder co-op here in Rainy River District.
The only positive thing about lower markets is we might see more cattle through our local abattoir. We barely are keeping the doors open and if we were slaughtering more of our local cattle, it would be a step in the right direction.
Thanks to everyone who supported our cattle sale over the weekend. Things went well despite the market conditions!
• • •
I was pleasantly surprised by a quick visit from our tile drainage contractors Friday afternoon.
They drove in from Thunder Bay, borrowed a backhoe from Brielmann Agriculture, and found a major blockage near the main outlet!
The water was gushing out and we have a temporary fix–thankfully!
Once the company returns to our district this summer, we will have a new main installed. But at least this will drain the station until then.
• • •
Other than our two yearling ewes (and we bred them later), all our lambs arrived last week.
Two sets of triplets and the rest twins has resulted in a barn full of sheep! This attracts a lot of people and we spent the day Sunday touring people around the bouncing babies.
Maddie and Marlee were out so all the new lambs have names now, but it’s a challenge keeping track of them all.
It looks like our friend from Thunder Bay who comes in and does our shearing will be here next week—and that will be another job off the list!
The mother ewes are finding it pretty warm in the barn with their full winter coat still on.
• • •
Take a few minutes and visit the website of the Cloverbelt Local Food Co-op, as well their mapping website, at www.cloverbeltlocalfoodcoop.com and www.clfs.maps.arcgis.com
The Cloverbelt program has been very successful and we hope we might end up with this program here in our district, as well.
The map shows where you will find producers and what products they are distributing.
Without our own Clover Valley Farmers’ Market in Fort Frances any more, this might be a good option for everyone to still be able access local meat and produce.
Stay tuned. I will try to keep you informed on the progress of this.

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