Calves round up strong prices in Stratton

“It was a perfect sale!”
That was the best way Rainy River Cattlemen’s Association president Tom Morrish could describe the calf sale last weekend in Stratton.
Some 1,070 head moved through the sales barn and left for new homes as far away as South Dakota.
“Prices were very good,” said Morrish, who sold some of his own cattle Saturday. “I am very happy with what I received for mine.”
That sentiment was echoed throughout the sales barn, with many local producers happy with the prices they received.
Prices went as high as $1.72 per pound and averaged in the $1.35 range. “That is about 10-15¢ higher than other markets have been getting in the area,” Morrish noted Monday.
That higher price was mainly on steers. Heifers tended to match, or were slightly higher than, Winnipeg prices.
Morrish said the RRCA likes to have about 1,000 head at a sale.
“That is big enough to draw buyers in and not too big that we get congestion in the yard,” he reasoned.
He also noted the sale was over by about 5 p.m. Often if they have more than 1,300 head, the sale can go much later and producers pay for that with lower prices.
The weather also co-operated, dropping little or no rain leading up to and during the sale Saturday. That meant the pens were dry and cattle came in looking clean.
Morrish added the warm fall also allowed the calves to gain good weights, which made them look even better.
“A guy told me once that this whole thing is just a fashion show. If cattle look bad, it can mean 5¢ less per pound,” he stressed.
Morrish noted the average weight of the calves at Saturday’s sale was about 500-600 pounds. Based on an average price of $1.35, an average weight of 500 pounds, and 1,070 head, about three-quarters of a million dollars changed hands in Stratton.
“It was a very positive sale and I feel pretty good about it,” Morrish concluded.
In related news, a reminder the “Top of the Line” cattle sale, originally slated for Oct. 19, has been rescheduled for Nov. 2 to avoid a conflict with the Rainy River Federation of Agriculture’s dinner/dance in Devlin.