Bull sale aims for $1 million mark
Red Bluff event expected to fetch good prices for third year in a row
By TIM HEARDEN
RED BLUFF, Calif. -- Amid tighter supplies pushing cattle prices upward, next week's 72nd Red Bluff Bull and Gelding Sale will try to top the $1 million mark in sales for the third straight year.
This year's sale Jan. 22-26 will feature about 485 bulls, nearly 90 geldings and mules, 20 stock dogs and dozens of feeder and replacement heifer lots that will be auctioned in the fifth annual online sale.
"We've got a lot of bulls," sale manager Adam Owens said. "I would expect (prices for) the upper-end bulls to be very strong as they have been in the last two or three years. We'll see about overall demand, but it should be good."
Thousands of people come to Red Bluff each January for the week of the sale. The annual trade show last year featured about 160 businesses, and a Western art show will return for the third year.
However, art in the show won't be auctioned off this year but will be priced beforehand by consigners, Owens said.
At last year's sale, 344 bulls sold for a combined $1.24 million, although the average bull price of $3,616 was slightly below the 2011 mark of $3,745. Eleven bulls brought $7,000 or more.
The 87 geldings and five mules auctioned off last year generated $511,400 in sales, registering a slight uptick in average prices as well as total volume from 2011. Eighteen working dogs brought a total of $75,750 last year, obliterating the previous year's total volume of $50,800.
Feeders and replacement heifer lots in 2012 went for as much as $193 per hundredweight for weaned steers and $180 per hundredweight for weaned heifers.
Started by local ranchers as a way to boost their sales in a post-Depression environment, the Red Bluff sale has become one of the West's biggest livestock events.
Other activities this year will include a kickoff breakfast, cow horse clinics and a bull riding competition. The week builds up to the all-breed bull sale all day Jan. 26 in the Don Smith Pavilion at the Tehama District Fair grounds.
The Red Bluff event marks the start of a series of livestock sales and farm shows in the region. Vendors and some attendees will proceed to the Klamath Bull and Horse Sale Jan. 31-Feb. 3 in Klamath Falls, Ore., the Colusa Farm Show Feb. 5-7, the Sierra Cascade Logging Conference and forest products expo Feb. 7-9 in Anderson, Calif., and the World Ag Expo Feb. 12-14 in Tulare, Calif.
Red Bluff Bull and Gelding Sale: http://www.redbluffbullsale.com/