Total receipts down but Livestock Sale stayed strong

A regression was expected in this day and age of the novel coronavirus pandemic, but Yuma County’s youth still came out all right at the Junior Livestock Sale, Monday night during the Yuma County Fair & Rodeos.
Initial total receipts provided by Tri-State Livestock Exchange show $286,650, well below last year’s $322,400. A record of $328,700 was set in 2018. That was the first record sale since 2015, which topped out at $310,845.

However, this year’s total receipts are still above the 2016 sale that came in $264,250, before bouncing back above the $300,000 mark in 2017.
After the past few years, it appeared the total receipts were going to stay above $300,000.
However, then came the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to a widespread economic downturn, including the ag industry and its many supporting businesses. It also resulted in fair organizers working diligently in the months leading up to the fair to come up with a format that at least allowed the backbone of the fair — 4-H and FFA projects — to proceed as normal as possible.
Local buyers still stepped up to the plate Monday night at the well-attended livestock sale.
Youth participation stayed consistent as total lots came in at 146, just nine below last year’s 155, which was four above the 2018 sale. Animals sold included sheep, swine, goat, beef, poultry and dairy. Missing this year were rabbits, which were eliminated from the fair this year due to rabbit hemorrhagic disease.
That put this year’s average sale at a still-healthy $1963.36. That is below last year’s average of $2,080, and 2018’s $2,176.82, but above the 2017 average of $1,893.87.
A total of 15 lots of poultry sold for $9,950, an average of $663.33, well above last year’s average of $416.66. Two dairy cows sold for a total of $3,300.
Ten head of sheep, down three from last year, brought a total of $13,300, an average of $1,330. Last year’s average was $2,023.08. The sheep numbers were impacted because neither the Grand Champion nor Reserve Grand Champion, both shown by Rylie Robson, were in the sale as they are going to the state fair.
A total of 55 hogs, the same as last year, were sold for a total of $96,600, an average of $1,756.36. Last year’s average for the 55 hogs was $1,973.64, but the 2020 average still was on par with 2017. Lea Richardson sold her Grand Champion Market Swine for $6,000 to Southwind Insurance and Legacy Seed. Richardson also showed the Reserve Grand Champion, which was not sold Monday night.
Jayci Mekelburg and Shelby Clark both sold their Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion goats, respectively, helping 28 head total $44,000. That is an average of $1,571.43. The same number of goats sold last year for exactly $100 less, but neither the Grand Champion nor Reserve Grand Champion were sold in 2019.
Mekelburg sold her Grand Champion for $3,900 to Armstrong Equipment, Baucke Funeral Home and Monuments, Wagner Equipment, AMA Consigments and Auctioneer Miller & Associates. Clark sold her Reserve Grand Champion for $1,700 to Chamberlain Concrete.
Ema Richardson sold her Grand Champion Market Beef on Monday, after not selling her Grand Champion in 2019. A total of 36 head of beef, five less than last year, sold for a total of $119,500, an average of $3,319.44, actually above last year’s averge of $3,231.71. Richardson’s Grand Champion sold for $10,000 to Auctioneers Miller & Associates, Premier Farm Credit, Zwirn Show Cattle, Schamm Feedlot, EZ Irrigation, Chamberlain Concrete and Nutrien Ag. The Reserve Grand Champion, showed by Lea Richardson, was not sold Monday.
The sale was run efficiently by the Tri-State Livestock Exchange crew, and buyers faithfully stuck it out to the end, with the sale wrapping up well before midnight.