Buying steers for grass a pricey situation

(Photo courtesy of Kansas State University Research and Extension.)
"Just A Scoopful" - Jerry Nine
“Just A Scoopful” – Jerry Nine

I recently went to the cattle auction to try to buy some steers for grass. Of course, I wanted them long weaned, and the best quality ones would be nice.

I already knew they were going to be out of my price range, though. If it has been a while since you have been to the sale and you think you are going to go to buy some calves for $1,000 or less, then you had better realize they will weigh 250 pounds or less. Most of the steers will bring $1,500 to $1,800 per head to go to grass. What used to be an afterthought as far as the interest now can easily be $90 per head.

Canada has toughened livestock import regulations, and imported cattle must now have a negative bird flu test.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned dairy workers that they may be at risk of contacting bird flu, and the CDC recommends protective gear for those in close contact with cattle.

Some areas received rain, and a lot of areas east of us 200 miles have gotten way too much. Unfortunately for our area, most areas are getting drier. The wheat pasture is getting short, and a lot of those burned grass pastures could sure use a rain. Surprisingly, it looks a little better than you might think; however, it definitely needs moisture. I see a lot of ranchers replacing their fence with several steel posts together, and every sixth post using a pipe instead of wood, particularly some of these ranchers that have gotten burned out twice in the last few years. They have decided that pipe, perhaps, won’t burn.

There sure is a lot of unrest overseas with a lot of war and hatred and a lot of disturbing protests here in America. I believe in a peaceful protest, but when it gets destructive protesters have crossed the line. They wouldn’t do that in their country, or it would probably be their last protest.

One day when my son came home from school I said, “Son, there are a few things I need to talk to you about, and one of them is life.” My son said, “I know the subject you are going to talk about, and most kids my age know more about that subject than you do.” I said, “No, I want to talk to you about life, and I’m talking about your life. If you don’t quit eating all the food in this house, your life is going to be shortened.”

Editor’s note: The views expressed here are the author’s own and do not represent the view of High Plains Journal. Jerry Nine, Woodward, Oklahoma, is a lifetime cattleman who grew up on his family’s ranch near Slapout, Oklahoma.