Went to the sale yesterday

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Alan

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I hauled 7 polled hereford calves to the sale yard at Woodburn yesterday, I was a very good day. I was a little worried at first because I had to wait in line for about an hour until it was my turn to unload, so I figured there would be lots of cattle going through and it may effect prices. I had 2 bull calves and 5 heifers. The 5 wt bulls brought $150 cwt and the heifers averaged $134 cwt. I was a great feeling driving home with a $3600 check in my pocket for a few calves. The two bulls brought top dollar, no dock for RWF or nuts. I was nice to see them go for the same price as the good black calves went for, I saw nothing go higher than a $150cwt, but I didn't see the whole sale spent some time dancing in the parking lot! :D :banana: :banana:

But I can't help to wonder what going to happen to beef price in the super markets, time to grain up another steer.
 

Dave

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I took some calves to Toppenish last week. 460 lb steers $1.60, 550 lb steers $1.55, 700 lb steers $1.40, 480 lb heifers $1.50, 540 lb heifers $1.48, and 620 lb heifers $1.35. I saw one lot of 4 weight steers bring $1.78. Calves were running pretty strong in the $1.60-1.40 range through the whole sale. They had about 2,500 calves that they sold in just about 3 hours.

I have another 20 or so going over the hill next week. I hope the prices hold.
 
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Alan

Alan

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Are the prices that much better in Toppinish than they are in Centralia? I think Centralia is the bigger sale of the two in that area. I'm just wondering if the cost of fuel warrants the higher prices? I have thought about hauling to Madras.
 

Dave

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Toppenish is generally about 20 cents higher. I know a guy who makes a living buying here, hauling them over the hill, and selling at Toppenish. Centralia has been shut down for 4 or 5 years. Chehalis is the only sale left in SW Washington. The Chehalis yard can only handle 400-500 head. I have been to Toppenish when they had over 3,000 head. So they get more buyers and the big volume buyers.
The commission is less at Toppenish. I figured it out a couple years ago. With everything figured in; trucking, feed, commission, etc, it cost me a penny a pound more to ship and sell at Toppenish than to sell at Chehalis. There are trucks bringing butcher cows over from Toppenish to Walt's in Woodland nearly every day. We put together a pot load for their back haul. I always ship weaned calves and send them the day before the sale. That way they go to the feed bunk and fill back up before selling. It saves a bunch on shrink.
 

chukar

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Alan,

Not that I am an expert on the COLA sale, but at least down here in Klamath Falls, anything that comes from over the hill is discounted. Same goes for further on down I-5. I say it is another reason for the buyers to dock a seller, but their claim is that if they are buying for something to stay East of the Cascades, it is tougher to get the "over the hill" cattle to acclimate to our larger temperature swings.

Some of it might be that guys hauling over the hill have fewer calves and the smaller the bunch, or singles for sure, get discounted off the top; but there might be something to their health concerns.

I think that the guys at COLA have done an excellent job promoting their sale, and if you saw their report from the 10/1 feeder sale I think you would agree. Just something to think about with fuel at $4/gal+
 

Dave

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Chukar,

I bought into that whole west side calves don't sell well on the eastside for years. Then my friend started buying westside calves and hauling them over the hill and he makes money doing it. Two years ago a buyer who lives in Madras bought my light steers at Toppenish. He paid $134.75 for them (remember this was 2 or maybe 3 years ago). Pretty much topped the sale that day. Three days later he bought calves the same size and sex that I thougth were better calves than mine at Chehalis and he paid $1.03. The difference was that no one pushed him higher.

I have another friend that I have known for 40 + years who lives right close the COLA. He feeds cattle, trades cattle, and buys for other people. He makes regular buying trips to the west side because he can buy cattle cheaper over here. His only trouble is getting enough on a trip to fill a pot.
 

chukar

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Dave,

I wasn't trying to say it isn't a good deal if you can get it all worked out logistically. I just know that the sales I have been to on the East side of the hill have reflected the discount. I am not trying to say that top quality calves won't bring top $ at any given sale, but like you said, buyers are only going to pay as much as they "have to". I did make the comment that the guys at COLA have done an excellent job at promoting their sale (also read getting buyers in the seats), because it takes more than one person to have an auction.

Either way, good job on your calve Alan.
 

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