Put safety first to avoid accidents
By Jerry Nine
(June 12)—I tell you this story only that it might save someone else’s life. Last week a man was hauling round bales of hay. Like a lot of hay haulers do, they were stacked two high.
If you straddle one in the center of both bales on top, this makes the hay haul better and the weight of the bale on top helps keep the hay from falling off the sides. However, in order to be more efficient and less costly most of us stack two bales on top all the way down. This makes it harder to keep from leaning and the load shifts easier. In agriculture we are very vulnerable to accidents being around machinery, equipment and unpredictable cattle a lot. When he was taking straps off, the hay on top fell off, knocking him down and killing him.
I say this only so you might remind your family and yourself to be careful. I was talking to his daughter and she said, “I can’t believe this, as Dad was very careful.” I said, “I’m sure he was.”
But in agriculture there so many chances every day that we could get hurt. And often things become such a routine that we might not realize what could have happened. Cell phones while working or driving are a big risk these days whether it is you or the one you are meeting. Also, power takeoffs can roll your clothes up in them in the blink of an eye. My hat is off to Bob—he was a very good guy.
The feeder cattle market has rebounded making it more enjoyable from the sale barn side. This has been a very challenging year for the cattle business. There has been so many ways that a feedlot could make a mistake with grains high and feeder cattle earlier way too high to even lock in a breakeven. Hopefully, there will not be very many who will go out of business because of this but I do look for some. It is discouraging for the cattle feeder to have fat cattle on all-time highs and still be losing a lot of money. Hopefully this turn will be good. We need every cattle feeder we have to stay in business if we want a competitive market.
A week ago, we finally moved the dry line farther west allowing us to receive more than 2 inches of rain in a lot of places. We still need a lot more but this is a start.
Please pray for rain for a big area out west, as it is terrible out there. I do not like to see anyone to have to sell cattle because of the drought.
A friend of mine was talking about this one gal we both knew. He said, “You know she has been married six or seven times and I guess she still hasn’t found Mr. Right.” I said, “I guess not but I think those six or seven definitely found Ms. Wrong.”
Editor’s note: Jerry Nine, Woodward, Okla., is a lifetime cattleman who grew up on his family’s ranch near Laverne, Okla.