Feeder cattle have shown some improvement

Our feeder cattle market was much better these past two weeks with our steers selling $3 to $7 higher and our heifers $2 to $5 per hundredweight higher. The feeder cattle numbers should also be slowing down with us selling 5,000 this week and 8,000 the week before on calves and feeders.

It’s hard for a lot of cattlemen to put a lot of faith in the future when you realize you are dealing with that much of a monopoly on fat cattle, which carries down to the feeder cattle. Light cattle and calves have not experienced as big of a drop as fats and feeders, which is good for the cow-calf man but restricts profit potential for the one grazing cattle and selling as feeders.

For most cattlemen the last five years have been a constant setback or challenge. About the time we feel we can get some confidence, something or a group of someones slap us in the face. Now with the virus hyped up like it is—it is very frustrating and costly.

This past week, Choice beef quoted at $363 and Select $340. On a normal harvesting cost to packers, their profit figures $1,495 per head not counting offal. And on that normal kill cost the big four packers, if they processed 80% of the 550,000 cattle expected to kill this past week their profit would be $663,997,560. So let’s say their costs were higher so maybe all four of them together only make a half a billion dollars. Put half of that amount in the cattlemen’s pocket and the packers still get rich and guess what? We cattlemen would be doing good, too.

If this doesn’t make you mad then there are three categories of which you fit in: 1 is an idiot category; 2 is probably an educated professor who has never fed their first animal but will gladly tell you we only need those same big four; or 3 one that is persuaded or in bed with the packer. Which category are you?

A wife texted a message to her husband, “Don’t forget to buy vegetables on your way home from the office and Priscilla says ‘hi’ to you.” The husband said, “Who is Priscilla?” The wife said, “Nobody, I was just making sure that you read my message.” The husband said, “I’m near the vegetable market.” The wife said, “Well, I’m coming there right now.”

Ten minutes later she texted her husband and said, “I’m here by the vegetable market. Where are you?” He said, “I’m at the office. Now that you are by the vegetables then buy what you need.”

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