With the help of the Farm Bureau, auction markets, and local extension agents, local cattle producers are marketing their animals in truckload lots. The Mississippi Homeplace Producer and Cattlemen's Exchange Sales are examples of two such sales in the state. Extension agents help local farmers by matching the cattle of similar characteristics and raising practices together to complete each lot, allowing more farmers to take their cattle to auction. These auctions are managed as board sales by marketing cattle while they are not on site. Each 50,000 pound lot is represented by video or pictures that are shown while the lot sells. The fact that the cattle are not moved to the auction house reduces the stress due to handling and comingling prior to shipping, increasing the cattle’s’ overall health. It also decreases the cost for the farmer. No longer does the farmer have to worry about transportation, insurance, holding fees, etc., but rather just pays a flat fee for the processing of paperwork, reducing the expenses typically associated with taking cattle to auction, and placing more profit in the hands of the farmer.
Another advantage of this type of sale is that it is able to accommodate cattle that would not otherwise make the cut at auction time. As the cattle sell, delivery dates are flexible and can be established several weeks in the future to allow more cattle to be sold. Other advantages include the ability to establish a reputation that could bring the same buyer year after year, willing to pay more for calves from producers whose cattle have performed well in the past, as well as, the ability to have consignments from across the state with loads that are assembled with regard to region and type of cattle, simplifying the purchasing process.
If you are interested in learning more about the marketing opportunity presented, check out the Mississippi Feeder Calf Board Sales website.