We finally got a break in the rain pattern to where we got a few days in a row without rain. There are very few times in my life that I have been able to say that.
I am not for a lot of new laws but one law that I wish they would pass is to make it illegal to use a computer to call your phone. And a lot of these scammers even get a local number so they can even more so mislead the person answering the call.
There is more talk and concern about this fake meat being developed now. Even at least one of our largest packers has invested in this process. All of us including individuals and definitely cattle organizations need to get off high center and get involved in this.
You say what can I do to change this manipulation of our fat cattle? You say, I am only a small operator and nobody is going to listen to me. I feel the same way at times but I also see what happens if we do nothing.
I don’t mind taking less for cattle when I think there is a good reason such as over-supply. But it does make me mad when the packer is making $300 per head plus part of the offal and we are losing money or breaking even.
One of my buyers from the sale barn said, “You cannot really blame this downturn in the cattle futures on the packer and retailer because of all the extra fund trading in our business.”
R-CALF USA has filed a class action lawsuit against America’s four largest packing companies claiming their actions since 2015 depressed prices paid to ranchers.
As I was coming to the sale this morning on the radio the ag guy quoted choice beef at $230 and select at $221. What they need to quote is a price for the packer and another beef price for the feedlot seller.
Running a sale barn can be somewhere between interesting to challenging to frustrating. For several months I thought our middle aged bred cows were cheap enough and maybe still. But finally this week we had several more bidders on bred cows and good pairs. We had a dispersal of 4- to 5-year-old bred cows to calve September and October that brought from $1,260 to $1,325.
A man called me this morning and said he had been reading the articles I had written over retail and packer control. He had made several calls to different people and organizations about this also.
There are a lot of different and interesting scenarios in life. We have one guy who hangs around the sale barn that one of our workers has just been extra nice to.
I am driving through the country 100 miles south of Woodward and the wheat does have a very pretty green color to it. My grandpa loved to farm and also liked cattle. My dad only farmed to run cattle. I think that’s the part I inherited. Green wheat is very pretty to me just as green grass is, mostly cause it’s a sign we can buy more cattle.
The bred cows and pairs seem to be in more demand the past few weeks. Tuesday we sold some pairs for $1,700 per pair. I think a lot of ranchers don’t realize how much effort and time it takes to match up a set of cows to their calves and get it right. And it can often cost them money if they…
I was talking to a cattleman who starts a lot of calves. We were talking about how sometimes it is so difficult and expensive to start cattle. He thinks a lot of these higher quality cattle with great genetics have lost some of their ability to survive.
I heard one person on the radio who said there is a lot more interest in animal traceability now than there was five years ago. I can very bluntly tell you I am not one of those people pushing for this.
On the concern of packer and retailer control and manipulation of the fat cattle market, it was suggested to me that instead of sending a dollar to the checkoff, how about collecting that money to build a packinghouse?
I got a call from a very well-respected man who managed and owned a large feedlot for years. He just called to say what I wrote recently in High Plains Journal was very much on target on packer and retailer control and how their manipulation of the market is going to push the individual out …
It’s that time of year to stop and think of all the things we have to be thankful for. I am very thankful for being born in America where we have so much freedom and opportunity.
Sometimes I feel the longer I’m in this business the less I know. It is so hard to predict what factors sometimes affect the market and at times those same factors don’t bother it at all.
I started out my Monday morning feeding some cattle when I noticed a 200-pound calf still nursing his mother was sick. I had strung out some cake and was counting them walking down the line when I noticed another calf that was even more sick.
It is still very frustrating to trade fat cattle at $111. We have no bargaining power the way we do business. Luckily, we have a very competitive feeder market. Our 800- to 850-pound feeder steers brought $156.50 to $159 and the 700- to 750-pound weights topped at $167.
Last Thursday an hour before the sale started we went out to sort enough cattle and push them up toward the ring so we would never run out of cattle and have to stop the auction. One of the heifers that was sorted off the day before was blind and was mixed with other odds.
Driving in to the sale early Tuesday morning an ag reporter said Choice beef was quoted at $206 with Select being $198. If you figure $206 on Choice and multiply that times yield of 64.5 percent, that would figure $132.87.
Packer margins on fat cattle were $200 per head and some say now it is $300 per head. Is this supposed to be the norm and we just sit back and be satisfied with what they give us?
Luckily a lot of our area is actually doing good as far as moisture. Three months ago we were very dry. But where I live, a neighbor said we had received 5 inches of rain in the past two weeks.
After buying cattle for ranchers and feedlots for 20 years and then owning the sale barn for 18 years and dealing with lots of different people and situations, you would think I have seen and heard everything.
The feeder market has gained some strength. And with most all cattle auctions shut down for Independence Day this past week, perhaps we should have some empty pens and some willing takers.