Donate Now!

Donate Now!
Buy a membership or koozies to help!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Worst drought conditions since The Dust Bowl, Cattle sold off en masse

This has been one of my worries all spring and into the summer. Our drought conditions are the worst seen since 1921. And not just Kansas, but OK and TX as well.

Many are selling off their livestock in record numbers and at a loss.

Here is what I am hearing locally;

I usually cut 20 bales, only got 9 this year, reduced my cows down to 12.

Not cutting this year, tilling it all under (2 different hay guys)

only an extra $4 per mile plus $100 a bale? Call that a deal!

Texas this weekend saw record number of cattle arriving at their auctions. This is a good deal for consumers as the price of beef will drop as the majority of these cows are headed to feedlots. However the next few years will be a problem. Selling off so many cows for butcher means that breeding herds next year will cost even more, some predict they will double in price.  Ok and southern KS has also seen the amount of cattle sales increasing by 40% at some auction houses.

I highly suggest if you are thinking about purchasing a beef cow, to buy a dam calf pair now if you can secure feed. The prices are the lowest you will see them for awhile. If the drought doesn't lift next year, cattle prices will go up. And those of us able to keep our herds will be able to make a decent return on our investments.

Many of the small ranchers are selling off their Angus (here locally) and have been asking us about our heritage cattle. If they are going to be able to stay in business as a ranch, they are going to have to find a smaller breed that takes less feed to survive. And with the rumor that next years beef prices will be double, they are willing to take on the less weight to break even.

edited to add the following so that some of you have a clearer understanding why this is so bad.

Q:   Which state produces the most beef cattle annually?

A:   Ranking for total cattle:

Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, California, Oklahoma

Found ranking here>>
3 of the top 5 producing States are in trouble.

US Cattle Futures Fall


Rivenfae said...

Gods.. this is not a good sign. i wonder if we have to worry about a repeat of the "dust bowl" coming up. I wish we were ready to do cattle so we can buy them low, but... *sighs* I just don't have a space cleared yet nor a trailer to move any animals that size.

I hope you can manage this year well enough to not have to sell anyone or slaughter more than you plan too. I'll keep an eye open here for hay prices if you want, (we're below Springfield here in Missouri) if you want me too.

Phelan said...

Northern Ks, which would be about the same distance to you, hasn't suffered as badly and has hay, though higher priced. Thank you though.

There could very well be another dust bowl, but with the trees planted down the center of the US, the impact will be less.

SkippyMom said...

Try to stay positive Phe. Hopefully the rains will be here soon and give everyone some relief.

Even if the drought was to turn out to be as severe as the "Dust Bowl" there is no way we would be forced into what happened then.

We may have been forced into a recession back in the early 2000's, we won't hit depression stage.

I know it is hard, but please try to hang in there. Things could be worse - we could all have to be vegetarians if the beef prices get too high. [Imported vegetables, of course, but we already pay for those here.]

Take care - and if you do have to eat Yippy you know where to send my care package.

::running away - again::

Kyddryn said...

Scary...on somanylevels.

I think I'll be squeezing the budget to buy extra beef for the freezer, since I can't/don'tknow how to raise cattle.

Too bad I can't ship you some of our rain...or the hay I see sitting in fields around here...

I hope y'all can keep your cattle...

Shade and Sweetwater,
K (who is doing a rain dance)

Wendy said...

Awful! Awful, awful news! Timothy Egan wrote a very good book about the 1930s Dust Bowl. It was just tragic. I hope we're not headed for the same sort of thing.

I wish I could send you some rain ...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...