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Auction sales are an important marketing medium for livestock in this country today. This method of selling is not a new or a novel one. The selling of livestock through auctions was probably adapted from Great Britain, and first used in this country in the early nineteenth century. These sales were most often held to dispose of imported and domestic breeding stock. The first regularly scheduled auction sale with publicly consigned merchandise was established at Union, Iowa, in 1904. From this beginning the number of livestock auctions increased, especially after 1930, This increase was particularly rapid in the twelve Western States where only about eight auctions were in operation in 1925; 119 were reported in 1937 and 456 in 1949. The volume of business handled by these Western auctions totaled $847,277,000 in 1948. Some individual auctions had annual sales of over $20,000,000 but the average of all sales for 1948 v/as $1,895,500. The average gross value for each sale held was $34,400 for all auctions in the West. In South Dakota the number of livestock auctions and volume of livestock marketed through them have similarly increased over the past years. The number of cattle sold by South Dakota livestock auction agencies from 1938 to 1954 shows an increase in volume for almost every year.

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South Dakota State College


Agricultural Economics