Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Fort Pierre sales barn seeing higher numbers as drought drives cattle in

Jared Bourland took all his cows to market on Friday, selling them at Fort Pierre Livestock Auction, along with many other ranchers who were selling off cows they normally would be keeping to raise another calf crop. “It’s dry out there,” he said of the area on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation where he ranches, near Parade and Eagle Butte, about 90 miles northwest of Fort Pierre. In his case, he’s mostly making a long-term move out of ranching to go back to school in his mid-30s, said Bourland. But he was caught up on Friday with many other ranchers, in the rush to market that depressed prices. “I was hoping to get a little more, around $2,000 (per cow/calf pair),” he said “If I would have brought them in two weeks ago, I would have got that.” He averaged $1,749 for each of the 82 cow-calf pairs he brought in, according to the report from Fort Pierre Livestock. Many other ranchers were selling cows off on Friday because of the dry conditions. “There’s no question about it,” said Dennis Hanson, an owner of the Fort Pierre Livestock Auction. “The places where they haven’t got rains, they are getting critical and they are moving pairs.” Ranchers are selling off their breeding herds, or parts of them, the cows with their young calves born this spring, out of the typical sales schedule...more

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