Cattle auction sales stay steady, bounce back despite drought

Latest showers helped, auctioneers say

A group of cows are shown to a crowd as the auctioneer rattles off bids at the Callaway Livestock Center's auction Monday. Auctioneers said that despite the rise in cost for hay and lack of grazable land following this summer's drought, auction numbers have held steady.

A group of cows are shown to a crowd as the auctioneer rattles off bids at the Callaway Livestock Center's auction Monday. Auctioneers said that despite the rise in cost for hay and lack of grazable land following this summer's drought, auction numbers have held steady.

Despite record temperatures and week after week without any significant rainfall, the cattle auction industry in Callaway has avoided flat-lining — though the rains and cooler temperatures in the past few weeks have certainly helped.

Officials at the Callaway Livestock Center in Kingdom City said that major spikes in hay prices and a lack of forage, cattle have been healthy and sales have been fair.

Callaway Livestock Center auctioneer John Harrison said that about 2,200 head of cattle were brought for sale at Monday’s weekly sale.

The past summer saw several rainless weeks of 100-degree weather, resulting in hay prices higher than normal. In their Missouri Weekly Hay Summary released Sept. 21, the USDA have reported that “recent rains have improved conditions around the state” and that “many fields are once again green as enough moisture has been provided to start grass growing once again,” but still reported that market prices for hay were upwards of $175 to $275 per ton bales for premium alfalfa and $100 to $190 for good quality mixed grass hay.

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