Being Duped by the Dopes

March 2014

Hello to all our customers and friends,

            Well, it is still dry in the western part of our banking area.  Ponds west of Beloit are dry and wells are sucking air.  We need some good, old fashioned, toad strangler storms to put runoff into the ponds and lakes.  The snow we have received was OK but we really didn’t need to water the road ditches and hedge rows.  The wind really deteriorated the moisture advantage of the recent snowfall.  Area weather forecasters are predicting a wet summer due to the combination of ocean warming and cooling patterns.  I hope they are correct and we get to see this increased moisture before it is too late into planting season. 

            The fat cattle market is exploding.  A fat steer is now worth over $200.00 more than he was just six months ago due to an upswing in the market price.  The other major factor in livestock profitability is the feed cost which has dropped by about 33% or would save a producer $300.00 per head.  Corn has dropped in price from $6-$8 per bushel to $4.50 per bushel.  As is the usual situation, to fulfill their plans cattlemen are willing to pay more for the feeder cattle and calves that will be going to feedlots or grass for the summer.  This is also sifting down to the cow herd owners that are seeing weaned steers of 550# bring over $2.00/lb. or $1100 per head.  Cows have gone to slaughter because pastures and hay were in short supply due to the persistent drought in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, western Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana and now California.   

            The unexpected, severe, early snowstorm in South Dakota last October killed at least 75,000 head of cows and calves that were still on the open range.  This was devastating because in some cases it basically wiped out whole operations in one fell swoop.  All these happenings have cut the cow herd numbers down to the lowest population of cows since 1951.   This snowstorm, named “Atlas of 2013”, wreaked havoc on unsuspecting ranchers and took away lifetime achievements in herd development through many generations of genetic selection.  The urban fools in social media cannot begin to fathom the financial and emotional toll something like that can drop on a producer.  I read some of the blogs forwarded from the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association where imbeciles, evidently knowing nothing of rural ranch settings, accused the ranchers of not caring for their animals.  Of course this could have been a call to action by the Humane Society of the US (HSUS).  You know the ones showing sick, diseased puppies and kittens late at night on TV, asking for your $17 a month to pad their retirement funds and spend more money on more ads pleading for more money.  I’ll cover their dopiness in my next edition which will likely be in two months.  Be sure to look for guest writers next month.    Until May, Myron