Optimist or idiot?
By Jerry Nine
(Sept. 4)—The rain was great while it lasted. It made a lot of difference but it is amazing how quickly we have dried out this past month. I have had a lot of hay offered for sale these past few days. The grass grew amazingly well during those three weeks of wet weather.
Anyone who had planted cane also went from poor to great but now it is drying up fast. It looked like we were going to have a great start for wheat pasture and we still could, but it is going to have to rain for that to happen. To the east they had moisture a lot more than three weeks so they grew a lot more grass, but that is good because our area needed a good hay crop as most were out of hay. I am dusting my dryland wheat in. Some would say I am an optimist while others would say I am an idiot.
The cattle market is great. We sold one quaint cow for $105 a hundredweight while a lot of them brought in the mid-80s to 90s. If you have a big fleshy cow with a big calf they could easily bring $2,000. One seller told me his calves that were still bulls weighing 640 pounds right off the cow brought over $900 per head.
Last week my steers weighing 851 pounds brought $1,242 per head. I do not wish the farmer bad luck, but we have to have cheap grain this year in order for these smaller feedlots to survive. Too many of them are betting on cheap grain by buying lighter cattle and growing them. If grain would happen to not get cheaper this winter, it would probably finish off a lot of them as most of them have lost money for past two or three years. We need all of them buying feeder cattle for our market to stay healthy.
At the sale barn, we often get very dirty. In fact sometimes we look like we have come out of a growing lot. So we are putting up a sign in the bathroom that reads—all employees must wash hands before going to the bathroom. I know a lot of ranchers are getting some age. And I’m sure you have been using Rogaine on your hair for a long time. And even though you would not admit it—I’m sure you are using Viagra a lot, too. But if it is very important you do not use Rogaine and Viagra at the same time. Why? Because it will definitely give you spiked hair.
Editor’s note: Jerry Nine, Woodward, Okla., is a lifetime cattleman who grew up on his family’s ranch near Laverne, Okla.