Dip in crop prices hurts, too
By Jerry Nine
(Sept. 18)—Last week when I said I hope grain prices stayed low for the next several months, I knew that I would hit a bad nerve on some farmers. I would be the first to admit that farmers need a good price for their corn and other cops. However, I would also admit that most of us are guilty of looking out for own interests.
Farming is a lot like everything else—when you get all the expenses in there—it takes a very good market to survive. And that is a big part of the problem with the fat cattle issue. There is too much control with too many cattle the packer does not have to compete for. Thus our fat cattle market is $10 per hundredweight lower than it should be. Our individual cattle feeder has to make money soon—or he will be out of business. Then the farmer will not be selling corn to a lot of customers but basically three or four large outfits.
Trust me—you farmers won’t like that any better than we cattlemen want to only be able to sell to three or four outfits.
I farm also and even though I do not harvest any crops but instead graze it with cattle, I realize that expenses are extremely high. Some have received rains around our area but it has been hit and miss and mostly miss. However, I hope by the time you are reading this that our whole area will get enough moisture to plant wheat. I have been dusting mine in plus fertilizing this dry ground. I guess you could say I am an optimist or an idiot. Either one would probably fit.
Cattle prices are great. Killing cows have been cheaper the past two weeks but still very good for this time of year. Bred cows and pairs are a very good price, also. And as far as calves and feeder cattle—all of them are selling extremely well. The last pen of fat cattle of mine made $20 per head. I never knew that could feel so good.
This past week my youngest two sons were baptized in a creek. I like a baptism that way because we are just ole country people anyway. It was last Sunday evening.
The weather was great. It had been suggested that the preacher hold my 13-year-old under a little longer but he didn’t. I was taking a picture of the two boys and my sister afterward and she said: “Hurry up—I can’t smile that long.” And I said, “You are telling me—I know you can’t as I’ve been around you a long time.”
Editor’s note: Jerry Nine, Woodward, Okla., is a lifetime cattleman who grew up on his family’s ranch near Laverne, Okla.