One month ago, the Rugby Livestock Auction in Rugby, North Dakota was moving 1,000 cow/calf pairs at auction. “Unheard of” at the time. In the weeks following, owner Cliff Mattson says the auction barn moved 12,000 head of cattle, much of that due to the drought. “That’s everything: slaughter cows, yearlings and cow calf pairs in June. About half of the 12,000 head we’ve moved are cow-calf pairs.” There’s been a slowdown at auction with Monday’s sale moving about 170 cow-calf pairs. Many local ranchers moved cattle out to pasture. Mattson says ranchers are hoping to have enough grass to get a point where calves can be weaned. “Some farmers already weaned calves. As the summer goes on, we may see a few more pairs come to town, not as drastic. We could also see a big run up of calves, with the fall cattle run happening earlier than usual.”
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