Beef prices remain strong for ranchers

Father and son ranchers Clint and Gary Ellis say they enjoyed strong sales a few weeks ago

It’s been a good ranching season so far, said Tatla Lake area cowboy and broker Clint Ellis.

“The cattle are good, the prices are good,” Clint told the Tribune as he and his father Gary Ellis, also a rancher from the 150 Mile area, were among buyers at the B.C. Livestock Producers Co-op Association sale in Williams Lake Thursday.

The Chilcotin was hammered with the 2017 wildfires and Ellis said they lost between 30,000 to 50,000 hectares of range land.

“But this year in the areas that weren’t excessively hot for too long a period of time, in areas where the fire just went over really fast because it was on the move and the wind carried it more than anything, the regrowth is really, really good,” Clint said.

Last year they managed to keep the fire off the hay fields and this year the yield is way up, he added.

“Luckily we’ve had enough moisture with a big snow pack out there and the melt was later because of the late spring, whereas a lot of ranches that are closer to Williams Lake didn’t get that amount of moisture, so their crops are down quite a bit. We are one of the few guys where our crops are actually up this year, so we’re really fortunate that way.”

Read more: Ranching workshop tackles wildfire recovery

Gary’s ranch along the Likely Road did not get burned out in 2017, although they did get some dry pastures.

“They fought it back so it didn’t come into our place,” he said of firefighting efforts.

Echoing his son, Gary said cattle are selling well.

“We sold 135 already about two weeks ago,” he said.

Clint sold out earlier as well.

“We run about 1,000 mother cows out west and sold our calves a couple of weeks ago. The market seems just as strong right now, if not stronger.”

At the sale, there were 84 calves, 181 heifers, 200 steers, 80 cows and 38 bulls up for bid. The next sale takes place on Thursday, Sept. 20.

Read more: Bull sale and show net results

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