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The Texas side of things-September 2022

published: September 16th 2022
by: Jim Banner

Did you know we ranchers have short memories? Did you also notice I said,we?” Recently, I spoke to a group of cattlemen in Brenham, Texas about PRF insurance and I asked them when their last major drought occurred. Most of them immediately replied 2011, some even mentioned the current year, 2022, but after thinking about it for a while they started naming other years like 2019, 2013, 2012 and 2010.

      My point is, we tend to forget insignificant things like rainfall amounts and sometimes we forget what to do when we get too much rainfall. Example: Do not drive off the pasture roads after you have received over 8 inches of rain in two weeks. More than likely, you are going to get stuck. If you want a perfect example of this just look at this photo and you will see what I mean.      

      We have been very blessed lately to have received over 9 inches of rain in Castell, Texas in the month of August and the grass is growing like crazy. Meanwhile, from January 1-July 31 we only received 5.55 inches, and everything was brown and dead. So hopefully, a lot of Texas has had a chance to recover. I know many of you in the central/southeastern areas only received a minimal amount and although things are green, the pastures and hay fields are not yet lush, so I am hoping you will get it soon and grow some grass and hay before the days get shorter and cooler.

      I received a weekly report from Consolidated Beef Producers that provides me information about what is going on the feedlot and packing industry…the good and the bad! Monday’s headline was this: “Scorching Slaughter Pace”. Now I don’t know about you but this caught my attention and so I read the column. It appears that the Labor Day week slaughter was the largest since 2007, killing 604,000 head and the week ending August 27 was the largest kill in 2022. The report went on to say that 2022 will see record beef exports and that the U.S. beef industry has produced more beef from January 2021 through June 2022 than any other 18-month period ever.

      So, what does this mean for us in the future? It is fixin’ to be a good time to be in the cattle business!

Why? Because beef production in 2023 is projected to be down 3% from 2022 due to the droughts of 2021 and now 2022. Our cow herds have been forced to sell out and it’s going to take time to build them up. How do you do this? You must retain more heifers and so fewer calves will be going to the feedlots and buyers will have to pay a lot more for the calves that will be available…simple economics…supply and demand.

      September is the start of the Fall sale season. We have a lot of quality auctions scheduled beginning in September and lasting until the middle of December. Many of the bull sales are held annually by ranching families that provide the best, most progressive genetics available. They stand behind what they produce and do their best to make you a satisfied customer. Take advantage of these offerings and purchase quality bulls that are backed by performance and quality from producers that take a lot of pride in what they offer. Let’s not forget that the American consumer has come back to eating beef and are very high on American beef, but they want a consistent, high-quality product and are willing to pay top dollar for it.

      Take pride in what you are producing and produce the best you can. If not, you might as well be stuck in the pasture just like the picture of the truck…do you remember?

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