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8,000 Calf Buyers in One Place!

Would you like to expose your weaned calves to more buyers when it’s time to sell? Maybe you should listen to the story of Superior Livestock Auction. This video auction company has 8,000 registered cattle buyers who potentially could see your calves on an internet video and bid on them.

Joe Lichtie of Superior explains that with the system, a Superior representative comes to your farm or ranch, usually in early or mid-summer, and shoots a comprehensive video in a pasture or pen. The video can show the calves, the cows, and even the sire if you want.

Then, at a time of your choosing, your video is shown online and the calves are offered for sale, just like in a sale ring auction. Over a set period of time, one of those 8,000 buyers can watch, click, and bid. 

You’ve also set the delivery time. You can have them videoed in July, auctioned in August, for delivery in November, after you’ve weaned and preconditioned them.

In practicality, of course, not all 8,000 registered buyers are prospective buyers of your calves. They are subject to the limitations of delivery to the buyer (it’s at his or her expense) and other factors. Still, the potential for exposure to more buyers is great.

Superior’s online auctions are growing, says Lichtie. “In the summer, we may auction 250,000 calves in a week,” he says. Some auctions are held in different places around the country (such as one in Council Bluffs, Iowa) to attract sellers and buyers from that region. 

“What we do best with is 550-pound weaned calves. It’s 70% of our business. Another 20% is yearling cattle, and the remainder is breeding stock,” he says.

It does help if your herd is large enough to make a semiload of cattle – buyers like the efficiencies of that. That means putting together a group of 70 or more steer calves. Herds of 100 to 200 cows are at the small end of being able to do that. Sometimes, three or four neighbors with similar breeding can pool calves to build a semiload for an online Superior auction. The Superior commission is 2% of sales value, plus a $2-per-head consignment fee.

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