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(June 24)--Just when I thought it was bad--on fat cattle, because of the price--when I called the feedlot this week I was informed that this heat had caused several to die. Perhaps $82 per cwt. wasn't as bad as I thought--that is, compared to zero.

The wheat harvest in our area has been disappointing for several farmers around. I have heard of only a few fields doing well, with most getting about half as much as normal. Between the dry weather and the late freeze, it's a good thing wheat is very hardy or else it would probably be worse.

Feeder cattle prices are very good, particularly compared to fat cattle prices. Several northern buyers have been down in this area the past few weeks buying feeders. Cattle futures show that our prices on fat cattle should be better when these feeders get fat. The cattle on feed report that just came out shows that we have less in the feedlot. Logically, our prices should be better later. However, I am getting wore down on always thinking it should get better. But that is normally when it finally gets better--when most give up.

We need cattlemen all across the board to start making money. But that is not only true in cattle but also in a lot of areas like the stock market. I get to thinking that it is bad. Then I look around at people that really do have problems and then I feel guilty for thinking so negative. If you have good health, then you are lucky. And there are some families where no one has a job. A lot of times we cannot see anything else for looking down and feeling sorry for ourselves.

I knew my eyesight wasn't as good these past few years as it used to be. You could ask most any cattle customer around and they could tell you that. However, if you have kids, they will always tell you the truth. The other day my youngest son said, "Dad, you need to shave your ears."

Editor's Note: Jerry Nine, Woodward, Okla., is a lifetime cattleman who grew up on his family's ranch near Laverne, Okla.

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