Cattle market staying strong
By Jerry Nine
(Oct. 30)—Running a sale barn is interesting and sometimes a better word is challenging and sometimes frustrating. I had my secretary call a customer who had brought cattle in to sell to ask him if he would call me.
We did not have his phone number but through a process on the computer of a town 200 miles away we found a number to be his. My secretary asked if he was there when a lady answered the phone. She said, “No he is not here now.” My secretary said, “Can I leave him a message to call my boss when he gets there?” And she answered by saying, “No, you cannot.” My secretary was a bit shocked by her answer so she said, “Well my boss was wanting to ask your husband a question about the cattle he brought in to sell and was wanting to me to see if he would call my boss.”
Perhaps they were getting a divorce or perhaps she was having a bad day. She didn’t seem mad but again she answered by saying, “No, I will not give him the message.” My secretary was somewhat surprised and we all laughed a little.
The cattle market is extremely good. Last week we traded fat cattle between $132 and $133.50 per hundredweight. This week there were some by Wednesday that traded in the beef equivalent to $134 cwt. By Wednesday afternoon there was some sell off in the futures so packers took a step backward for the moment. I asked a feedlot manager on why he thought we went down and he thought there were quite a few that were double hedged wrong and finally getting out. Either way, our whole market is good. Killing cows and bulls have slipped some but we still have a very good price.
In our area—all the cows that are being sold need to be preg checked. Even old cows are going back to the country. One lady was selling basically her older cows last Tuesday. We re-ran them through the chute and preg checked them, making her $200 per head. Three cows mouthed out at 8- and 9-year-old and heavy bred brought $1,375. When selling these cows, ask the owner or manager of the sale whether you should have them preg checked or not. Also, how long weaned on a calf will make a lot of difference. I would like for my customers to put how long weaned even though it is obvious they are yearlings. Don’t pop off $20 cwt. on sale day by not writing this down.
And be 100 percent truthful. It is a small world and the buyers soon figure out the truth.
At the coffee shop this morning one cowboy was talking about a town not far away that parked their cop car on the side of the street and put a dummy inside making it look like there was a policeman in there. I said, “Our town is no different.” We have had dummy in our police car for a long time.
Editor’s note: Seymour Klierly writes Washington Whispers for the Journal from inside the Beltway.