What a difference a month makes
By Jerry Nine
(July 1)—A month ago most ranchers like myself were wondering if they were going to be able to keep the cow herd and stockers that they had. All the pastures were short and brown. I heard several say at the time “I’m not real sure what the cows are finding out in the pasture to eat—but they seem to be staying full.”
Hardly anyone had any hay left and it looked like we were going to have to go at least 150 miles or more to get hay. Now some will probably be able to bale some grass if it keeps raining, and those who have planted cane—it looks good. We had planted some sorghum off one of those first rains and then got a really hard rain that crusted most everywhere we planted.
But fortunately we got enough rain and dew since then to allow most of it to at least not have to completely redo. We may have to back in and spot drill. One rain was very hard and did wash out several terraces but still we were very thankful for the rain.
The cattle market is unbelievable. Even at today’s prices—it is not out of line with other expenses. But for most of the population, the word “high” is a relative term. It is mostly what you are used to paying for that product. When gas started getting higher, it seemed high when it first reached $3 per gallon. Then $4 and close to $5 and that was terrible. Then it went back to $3 and most were with fine with it. As far as the cattle market—who knows?
I thought it was as high as it could get a long time ago. Hopefully, we have established a new level. But do not get caught in the emotion of it all and think all you have to do is own them. That has been true on the cattle you are selling now—whatever they are. But you might want to consider we always go to extremes whether on the high or low end. Once the funds think we have overdone it, there might be a big correction. I am here to say I definitely do not know. Use your pencil. See how much you can afford to risk. I want to stay in the market but I do not want to risk everything I have worked for.
Remember this is Fourth of July and it is a time to remember why we have the freedoms we have. Some have already paid the ultimate price so that you and I can enjoy the freedom we have. Thanks to all you veterans for what you have done. Freedom is not free.
One of the guys at the sale took off last Friday as his son was getting married several hours away on Saturday. Another guy who works at the sale said, “Well, I wouldn’t mind taking off a day early to go to the wedding,” meaning he would be glad to have a day off.
I said, “I wouldn’t mind taking off a day early either as long as I didn’t have to go to a wedding.”
Editor’s note: Jerry Nine, Woodward, Oklahoma, is a lifetime cattleman who grew up on his family’s ranch near Laverne, Oklahoma.