Last Friday was the first that the Inquilpata market was open since March. That’s nearly eight months of closure. There were only a few people there last week and pretty well no animals.
Percy and I talked about the potential of selling some of Lamar’s heifers at the market. With it being only about a kilometer away, it would be easier to sell them there than to find another market.
The oldest several heifers are bred now and are a nice size. We’ve had numerous people come to the farm to look at them, but they’ve all said they aren’t milk animals, only beef. They have their certain markers they look for.
Percy came at 5:30 to do chores, then Lucrecia and their oldest daughter came a bit later to get the heifers ready. The three of them walked the heifers to market. I followed them later in the truck after I was done milking.
They said they had a time and a half once they got to the road. These heifers are not used to seeing traffic and bolted at the first sign of vehicles. It took awhile to wrangle them, but thankfully they weren’t hit by a passing truck.
I was surprised at how full the market was. I have never seen it that packed. I had to park quite a distance away and walk in. Every square foot of the market was put to use. I think the only empty space I noticed was the stand where Lamar’s tables were. We had hoped to remove them yesterday, but it was so full, we decided to wait until a day next week.
There were a lot more animals than Percy and I expected. This was the first time many of these people were able to sell in over half a year. Animals were moving quickly.
The price we were asking was 40% more than the going rate. There were many, many interested people who haggled and argued price. They wanted these heifers, but they said the price was too high. Lamar wants to wait a few months to see if the prices go up when the market isn’t flooded.
Percy and I were thinking to buy some young stock to raise up to sell next year, but we’re going to hold off until we can sell Lamar’s animals. We have enough animals in the field as it is.
So, back to the farm. Percy found a truck, and I hired it to take the heifers back to the farm. It was too dangerous to try to walk them home again. Before we left, we each did some shopping.
I actually didn’t buy anything except a few bowls, but I wanted to check prices for chickens and ducks and goats. There were zero goats, but there were many sheep. The sheep, chickens, ducks, and guinea pigs were all more expensive than before the lockdown.
Percy and I left Lucrecia while we took the heifers back. I then took everyone home in my truck. They were happy to get a larger sack of potatoes than usual because they didn’t have to carry it on their backs. I dropped them off at their house first before coming home shortly before lunch.
A full morning. We learned a few things. And it looks like the market is back to normal.