No More Cattle Accepted, Livestock Sales Breaking Auction Records

Wichita Livestock has confirmed they are no longer accepting anymore cattle for sale, unless a seller has made prior arrangements with staff members.

This comes as livestock sale barns have been seeing their busiest year yet.  The drought is forcing many cattle owners to sell off their animals because they simply can't afford to keep up with supplying water and food.  Newschannel 6 first told you about this story earlier this month and as the weeks have gone by, cattle sells have gone up.

Last week Wichita Livestock Sales saw 3,500 head of cattle come in for their weekly auction and they're expecting the same this week.  Usually they see 1,500 to 2,000.  In the 11 years the livestock barn has been open owners have never seen anything like this before.
"We've been as busy as you can be in a 24 hour period," said Owner of Wichita Livestock, Billy Easter.

All day Tuesday cattle raisers dropped off their herd one truckload at a time.  Chris Mooney brought a 50 foot trailer with 45 cows.  He hauls cattle around for clients, and says work lately has been nothing short of hectic.

"We're hauling to the sale barns and feed yards every day.  Everyone has run out of grass and run out of water," he said.

And for the owner of this sale yard, it's record breaking auctions at or near capacity of 3,500 and it's not slowing down.  Recently auctions have been lasting nearly 24 hours; from 9am Wednesday morning to 7am Thursday.  They usually end about 7pm Wednesday.

"It makes for a long day because we still have to check the cattle and get them loaded on trucks the next day.  It kind of wears everybody out," said Easter.

We're now 17.5 inches below normal rainfall.  It's a cattle raisers worst nightmare.

"This is by far the worst year," said Mooney.

There is good news.  Livestock sales are not being affected by mother nature, "They're bringing in good money, awful good money," said Easter.

Those who are buying the cattle are coming as far away from Mississippi, Colorado, and Missouri.  Wichita Livestock's weekly auction kicks off on Wednesdays at 9am.

There are concerns for the cattle raisers who are selling off their herd.  Some may not be able to purchase their livestock back and it could potentially put some people out of business.

Crystal Hall Newschannel 6.