Video auction sales grow

Aug 3, 2012
by WLJ

Selling cattle on video auctions was just one of the marketing options discussed at the South Dakota State University Extension Seminar held recently in Mitchell, SD, providing producers with information on many of the marketing opportunities available today. Bill Hardy, regional manager and representative with Superior Livestock Auction for the past 24 years, outlined how cattle are sold on video auctions.

Superior Livestock Auction is the largest cattle marketing entity in the world, selling more than 1.5 million head of cattle annually with several special sales selling over 200,000 head of cattle over a three- or four-day period. With this video auction format, cattle are presented to more than 7,000 buyers who have registered with Superior and the cattle never leave the ranch until delivery. For example, cattle sold on an August sale for October delivery will stay on the ranch after they are sold until they are picked up on the October delivery date. Hardy expressed that cattle do not experience shipping and movement during the selling process. Therefore they stay fresh and do not have the added step and stress of handling along the way.

Producers interested in listing their cattle with a video auction company such as Superior Livestock should first contact the company and locate the local representative. Superior has representatives nationwide who will make site visits to ranches to view the cattle and discuss the selling agreement. Producers sign a one-page contract outlining all the descriptions on the cattle that are then highlighted in the sale catalog listing. The representative will take video footage of the cattle, and this is displayed on the RFD-TV channel and the internet during the selling of that specific lot of cattle. When the producer’s lot is selling, the producer is on the phone with the seller representative and has the opportunity to decide whether they will accept the bid received or no sale the cattle. If the cattle are sold, Superior collects a flat 2 percent commission on the gross proceeds, and an additional $2/head fee is also collected to cover the videoing costs, satellite expenses and other costs. The $2/head fee is not refundable if the cattle are not sold.

Producers should plan to contact the marketing company at least 10 days in advance of the video auction to get cattle listed and videoed. Cattle must sell in load lots of approximately 50,000 pounds. For example, a producer selling 500-weight calves would need to consign 95-100 calves; however, joint consignments with one or more consignors to meet the load lot sizes is allowed.

Superior Livestock Auction has adopted many new technologies over the past 25 years. For more information on Superior Livestock Auction, visit www.Super — B. Lynn Gordon, South Dakota State University