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livestock, auctions, commodities, price analysis


Livestock prices are established through various market channels, such as terminal markets and auction markets. Auction sales account for 74% of all cattle purchases and 64% of all cattle sales by South Dakota producers (Clauson, 1983). Livestock auctions are also an important market channel for feeder pigs, slaughter hogs and slaughter lambs. The major purpose of this research was to determine which factors, controllable or noncontrollable, have a significant impact on livestock prices established at auction market outlets in South Dakota. Factors to be tested include market location, month of sale, sex, weight, breed and lot size. Data on sale prices and selected characteristics of animals sold were obtained for each lot of cattle, hogs and lambs sold at seven auction locations in the second week of the months of January, May, August and November, 1981. The auctions were located in the South Dakota cities of Watertown, Huron, Yankton, Kimball, Belle Fourche, St. Onge and Sturgis. Most types of cattle (steer and heifer calves, feeder and slaughter steers and heifers, cull slaughter cows and cull slaughter bulls) were sold in all seven auctions. Data for heiferettes (first calf heifers culled from the breeding herd) were useful from only four auction locations (Huron, Belle Fourche, St. Onge and Sturgis) due to a very low number of heiferettes sold at the other three auctions.


Economics Research Report 89-2