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By Jerry Nine

(Sept. 26)--I am trying to get ready for my high school class reunion this weekend. And I volunteered to have our class come to my house after the football game and also Saturday noon. And if you are like I am, I am trying to make the place at least look decent. So in other words, I am doing things that should have been done two or three years ago. That's the great thing about having things at your house--it forces you to clean the place up. I am very particular in a lot of ways and kind of a slob in others. I called a female friend from high school and asked if she was coming to the reunion. We were strictly friends, but as a joke, when she answered the phone I said, "This is your ole high school boyfriend. Don't you remember? We went parking a lot." Needless to say, she guessed who I was and needless to say, she also remembered that we never went parking. Oh, well. That's the story of my life. I am expecting the rest of my class to look so old, and I imagine they will all say to me, "How do you look that young?" I will let you know.

I talked to a rancher this morning who said another friend had referred to him as a rancher. He said, "I am not a rancher--I am a cattle baron." He said, "I am grazing all my cattle on barren ground, so I am definitely a cattle 'baron.'"

Tuesday cattle were down some on the futures market, and before the end of the day fell 200 to 300 points. Some said the market went past some points that made a lot more sell. I do not have a clue. I simply know that it went down. But grains have fallen for the past two days also.

All I know is we need a rain. We have a chance again for the next two days. Calf prices are good but would get better if we could get rain over a large area.

Our killing cows and bulls were a little cheaper but are still a very good price for as dry as it has been over a very large area. Feeder cattle are a very good price, particularly when you figure in a cost of gain where most predict. Most will tell you that cattle should feed between $125 to $135 per hundredweight. If the cost of gain is higher than what you are selling fat cattle for, then most are willing sellers and even trying to sell their fat cattle early. At the sale barn we have insurance for any cattle that die as a result of something we did wrong. And 95 percent of the sellers will say, "There was nothing wrong with that calf when I unloaded him." In the feedlot you do not get charged an insurance fee. You simply get a piece of paper that says a calf died. Generally, they give a reason but not much of an apology--just simply, "It died." I told a partner once, "Next year we are going to give all of them Micotil here so that we know they got at least one shot." I was joking but we didn't laugh much that year.

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

Date: 10/1/2012

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