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Texas side of things April 14, 2023

published: April 14th 2023
by: Jim Banner
source: Southern Livestock Standard

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter last Sunday. Now, it’s time to get some spring work done before summer hits and temperatures rise once again.  My column this week is all about inspiration and hopefully, good times for cattle producers in 2023.

      But first, let me say that last week’s rainfall couldn’t have come at a better time. Although not everyone received all the rain they needed, at least for a large portion of Texas, many did get some encouraging relief.  From the reports I heard, producers reported 3-6 inches of rain from Victoria all the way north to Bryan/College Station including the area east of Austin including Bastrop, Giddings and La Grange.  There were also spotty rains all around South Texas and the Hill Country ranging from .50 to 2 inches, depending on the location.  This moisture will carry us for a few weeks, and I feel rather confident more rain is on the way.

      The latest email that I received from Brian Bledsoe shows promising moisture for May, June and July with August being somewhat drier but September being above average for moisture.  He is very optimistic about this summer, except for August, and of course we all know that a tropical storm or hurricane can change that forecast, as well.

      Also last week, someone sent me a video interview with Joe Goggins from Billings, Montana. For those of you that have never met Joe, he’s one of the best livestock auctioneers I’ve ever worked with but also a good person.  His family built, not inherited, a large and successful ranch, cattle auction, video company and very popular publication headquartered in Billings. In my opinion, Joe is possibly one of the most qualified people in the cattle industry to discuss the future of the cattle industry and following is what he recently predicted. He is very optimistic that the cow/calf producer will be in the driver’s seat for the next two to four years. He encourages producers to maintain their cow herds, buy better bulls and enjoy this period that is not frequent enough for me.

      We have waited long enough for cattle numbers to get corrected and unlike back in 2014 and 2015, we producers shouldn’t feel bad that we are receiving $1,200-$1,400 per calf.  Producers are once again being paid top dollars now, and possibly for the next 2-4 years, we hope, whereas the last 6-7 years we were barely breaking even. Don’t forget it wasn’t that long ago that the major packers were reportedly making $300-$500 profit per head.  Don’t you agree that the major packers could have paid the producers and feedlots a little more from their enormous profits, but they didn’t? 

      So as John Wayne said in one of his movies, “I’ve got a thousand head of steers and the general public wants them…let’s go to market!” And so, we shall, and I am one that won’t feel the least bit sorry about it!



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