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Cow numbers are limiting options

By Jerry Nine

(August 5)—Our cow numbers are very limited at the sale now. And these past two weeks what few cows we had we sold several thin to medium flesh cows that went to a feedlot.

Often the packers who buy cows will keep a certain number of cows on feed. They will probably use them to fill in, to keep their kill capacity at a certain level but also where feed is cheap. But these past two weeks a smaller individual feedlot bought these cows to feed and resale. For quite some time an 8- and 9-year-old cow just two months bred would go to slaughter.

But now with a lot of grass, these cows went back to the country. Also for quite some time these open 3- and 4-year-old cows would go to feedlot then slaughter or straight to slaughter. But now a lot of them are going back to be bred.

In the eastern part of the state they tell me there is grass bales everywhere with some on their third cutting. And here they are cutting grass, which is doing well per acre.

One man told me this morning he felt calves were not all that high compared to feeder prices. Perhaps there is good money to be made depending on the confidence you have the market will stay at these levels. All I know for sure is that I do not know. But for us to move the feeder cattle market higher every week $4 to $7 per hundredweight with only one week down and one week steady puts us at territory we have never seen before.

Again, I want to keep my numbers up but I do not want to have to refinance my land to keep operating.

One day a few months ago it was very foggy. An older farmer had driven into town and stopped at the co-op. The county commissioner was there and said to the older farmer, “How did you see to get to town as foggy as it is?” The older farmer said, “I just drove along and when the road got very smooth—I realized I was in the ditch—so I would pull it back up on the road.”

One husband was telling a story this morning about him and his wife. He said they both have both teased each other a lot. A few times when the wife knew it was only her husband and her for many miles—she sometimes would “flash” her husband as a joke as he drove in the driveway.

He said she might have done this for the last time as this past week she did this again. But to her surprise right after she did this and he drove by, she realized she had just flashed their mechanic as he brought their pickup to their house.

Editor’s note: Jerry Nine, Woodward, Oklahoma, is a lifetime cattleman who grew up on his family’s ranch near Laverne, Oklahoma.

Date: 8/11/2014

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