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By Jerry Nine

(Jan. 23)--One thing you would have to say, if nothing else, is that the cattle market is most always interesting. Last week, Cargill made an announcement that they would close their Longview, Texas, packing plant on Feb. 1. Earlier last week, cattle futures had already fallen some. Then, at one time on Thursday after their announcement, cattle futures were limit down. They reported they were closing the facility because of a lack of cattle. The drought has taken a lot of cattle out of this area. Plus, higher corn prices have fewer cattle being fed in the area with some cattle being shipped north where more corn is grown. Some said with fewer cattle available, this should be positive rather than negative for the industry. However, with this plant killing 4,000 head per day, those cattle will have to go to other plants. Perhaps the other plants may increase the kill hours to take up part of the slack. A small portion of the 4,000 head were cows being slaughtered.

Last week with the futures going lower, a friend of mine seemed to be down and not smiling much. I said in a joking manner, "I guess you are not going to kill yourself over this market are you?" He said, "Well, if I do I am going to take you with me." Since then I have spent more time trying to keep him happy.

Wheat is a very hardy crop. It would have to be hardy to be able to survive in our area. There is a wheat field 100 miles east that looked like it had been sprayed. The whole field was very yellow except for a low spot in a terrace bottom. I had decided it was definitely dead from the drought. However, after that inch to half-inch rain we received around the first of the year, that field is starting to turn back to green--at least some all over the field.

I saw a sign this morning that said, "God put me on this earth to do a few things. I'm so far behind I will never die."

My sister took her daughter to Florida where she sang and also did some interviews for commercials and most anything that dealt with entertaining. She sent me a picture on my phone where they were, with palm trees and a nice swimming area where they were relaxing. My 13-year-old son and I were sorting cattle at the sale. So I got as close to the rear end of a calf and sent her a picture back and said, "Here is the view that we have." My son thought it was very funny. Unfortunately, I think I am rubbing off on him.

Date: 1/28/2013

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