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David Sparks Ph.d Spring Cattle Auctions
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Idaho Ag Today
Date: May 04, 2017

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Springtime means cattle auction barns are moving what's referred to as light weight cattle… calves ready to go on grass. Judy Hinman of Seven Rivers Livestock auction in Idaho says it is what they see every spring: “A lot of people held their calves last fallBecause the market had fallen so much and they are slowly coming in.” Auctioneer Eric Dreese says the Emmett Valley of Idaho has a lot of small property owners with a few acres of grass that fill the seats at spring auction. "The Emmett Valley is well known for that, lots of little to three and 5 acre places. People want the cattle to keep their pastures eaten down, ditch banks eaten down and they use them as a form of weed control, fire control and by light calves and run them on grass all summer. Make a yearling out of them and they will sell them as a eight or nine weights for fall delivery.” Sam Matthews buys a few head each spring to put on his small acreage. "By them in the spring and sell them in the winter. “I hope I can get a little bit of meat on them by getting them out and grazing. It's just for extra money.” Hinman is saying that the hard winter is resulting in adult cattle for auction this spring but will mean fewer feeder cattle come fall. “We are seeing some more cull cows that people are getting rid of because they lost their calves. This fall it will affect the market quite a bit because there were a lot of people who lost calves.” With plenty of spring rain, cattle producers are now waiting for warmer weather to make the grass grow. Beef, it's what's for dinner at the family barbecue.

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