New highs set in fat cattle market
By Jerry Nine
(Jan. 22)—We are making new highs in the fat cattle market each week. I have heard a few customers say that worries them, as they do not think we can sell meat that high. I asked a feedlot manager what he thought. He said if we can sell a pickup for $70,000, then we ought to be able to sell beef at these levels. He went on to say the majority of his customers are 100 percent hedged, which is more than they normally are. With that in mind, he said, “That tells me it will probably get higher.”
As far as the cattle market at the auction everything is selling well. The demand is extremely good, particularly for some of our area needing a rain. The main difference between getting dry now and the drought we had the last two years is the price of feed. Some are talking about costs of gain being in the 80s. I know some farmers don’t like it, but this cheaper grain might have been the only means of survival for some.
I think for the middle class and above the word “high” is a relative word. When gas first went to $2 per gallon, we thought it was terribly high. Then it went on to $3, $4, or $5. Now that it settled back to $3, most think they can live with that and if it went to $2 we would think it was cheap.
There was a group of cowboy friends that went to Colorado last week to hunt bear. As one of them headed down a trail, he realized he was face to face with this huge bear. The cowboy immediately started praying, as this bear was only a few feet away. This cowboy said, “Please make this bear a Christian bear.” As he opened his eyes, to his surprise the bear was on his knees with his claws together and his eyes closed. When the bear raised his head, the bear said, “Lord, please bless this meal I am about to eat.”
Last week at the sale a young couple sold their cattle. We told them thank you. We were stalled out for a moment and I turned to the auctioneer and said the lady who just sold the cattle is a doctor. He said, “Do you want me to say something?” I said I didn’t care. He jokingly said, “Is there a doctor in the house?” She smiled. He said, “Ma’am, what kind of doctor are you?” I spoke up and said, “Bend over and find out.” They laughed. You’re right, the devil made me say it. I asked the auctioneer if he was still sick and he said, “No, I’m feeling fine.”
Editor’s note: Jerry Nine, Woodward, Okla., is a lifetime cattleman who grew up on his family’s ranch near Laverne, Okla.