In the largest cattle-producing states, as much as 80% of the livestock sold are sold at a local livestock auction. Local auction markets provide the most trusted and secure way to get the best price for producers’ livestock. In addition, local livestock markets are a major part of rural communities’ economies.
Many livestock markets are adding new technology to their traditional way of doing business. By going online, the auctions offer a tremendous customer service to their consignors, giving them real-time opportunities to monitor market prices and watch their own cattle be sold. The online auction also broadens the buyer base by opening up each sale to a limitless audience of prospective buyers.
The USDA Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA), which oversees commission-based livestock sales, lists 1,246 livestock commission sales in the U.S. Of those businesses, the Livestock Marketing Association estimates that only 1,000 are regular weekly livestock auction markets. The GIPSA 2008 statistical report shows that about 33 million head of slaughter and nonslaughter cattle and calves were sold at auction that year, with an additional 3 million sheep and lambs.
Cattle Market TV
To watch a livestock auction live, go to www.LMAAuctions.com and enter username "AgWeb" with password "agweb". Then click on the auctions at the top of the page to view the live feed.