Backup from bad weather is leading to record-size sales at Kist Livestock in Mandan.
“It’ll be a big sale,” said Kist field representative Matt Lachenmeier. “It’s wild.”
Lachenmeier said last week’s sale brought in 7,000 feeder calves and lasted from 8 a.m. Wednesday until 4:30 the next morning.
Snowy weather has kept ranchers away, putting sales behind at the end of the year.
Kist expanded pen space, taking on heavier loads since the closing of several other sale barns in the state. Even with the additional space the barn has been full.
Lachenmeier said the barn hasn’t capped sales. But if ranchers call in, staff members are asking them to wait to bring cattle until the sale day after more lots have been sold and there is room to move the animals around.
High prices also are drawing ranchers in.
“Prices are good,” Lachenmeier said. “They want to take advantage and get them sold.”
A 600-pound calf has been going for $1.85 to $1.90 a pound and a 700-pound calf has been bringing $1.70 to $1.75 a pound. That’s about 20 cents higher than a year ago, Lachenmeier said.
This Wednesday’s sale was the last of year and Lachenmeier said the first two sales of the new year are already full.
“We’re going to be busy through spring,” he said. The sale was expected to go into this morning.