Sheldon, Iowa — Many businesses have had to close down due to COVID-19. But livestock auctions are not one of those.
Governor Kim Reynolds says livestock auctions are part of the food production supply chain and may continue.
(as said) “They need to practice social distancing,” Reynolds said yesterday during her daily news conference. “They need to adhere to the guidelines that have been in place by the Department of Agriculture as well as the Department of Public Health.”
Mike Koedam, who is the co-owner of Sheldon Livestock, Tri-State Livestock in Sioux Center and Sioux Falls Regional Livestock in Worthing, South Dakota tells us they have had to deal with a few changes.
(as said:)”As far as cattle sales, they have probably been down a little bit because the COVID obviously affected the Board of Trade has come down quite a few dollars in the last thirty to sixty days which ranchers, farmers not quite sure if they should sell or hold onto the cattle. Most of them have been kind of holding out a little bit to see what happens but it does kind of keep trickling down seems like every week on the Board of Trade so some cattle have been selling but our numbers are definitely down [from what] typical sales are before the COVID.”
He says that there are changes being implemented at their facilities as well.
(as said:)”We got to start following rules put on by the LMA or Iowa Livestock Marketers Association that does require us to let a certain amount of people in the auction. They kind of recommend that we let in mainly buyers in. Sellers [they] prefer to stay out of the arena area just to keep the numbers down and it did come out with here as of April 3rd that were allowed to have around 25 people present at a sale. So we got that’s you know, another issue we have to deal with moving on here the next 30 days. So yeah, it has affected us. Obviously the numbers have been down a little bit. We got to kind of watch the foot traffic in our auction markets and try to keep that to a minimum.”
For more information on Sheldon Livestock, you can visit them on the web at www.sheldonlivestock.com.