The fed cattle market appears to want to go higher again this week; that is always the hope.
Fredericksburg kids steady. San Angelo kids $5-15 higher, nannies steady. Goldthwaite kids sold steady while slaughter nannies sold $5 lower. Hamilton kids steady, nannies traded $10 lower.
Lamb prices were mostly steady this week with the slaughter ewe market $5-10 higher at San Angelo, $5 higher at Goldthwaite and $20 at Hamilton. Old crop fat lambs continue to be a burden on the lamb market. As an example, last week Equity Cooperative electronic lamb auction offered 300 lambs weighing 175 pounds that brought $71.75.
Tell Carl and Emily Whitworth and Austin Rice that Spanish goats can’t be herded, and they’ll say otherwise.
I am a longtime feedlot operator/owner and cattleman, I am writing to express my disgust about this mess going on with the Big Four Beef Packers. Our world is in a mess, especially the cattle business. The packers are @#$!! (bad words) I try not to use. Today, Wednesday, May 6, 2020, these beef packers are making over $2000 a head, with most of us feeders losing $200 a head. You would think the packers would help their partners in the beef industry at least a little! I realize we have more cattle than they can kill because of this COVID-19 virus. Cattle feeders are panicking and are just throwing cattle at them at any price, which leads me to our next problem. Feeders and feed yards need to get some guts and balls instead of making deals with the packers. You need to be good merchandizers. The problem goes back 30 years when the packers and a few feed yards came up with “Formula Pricing.” Why do we give the packers 80 percent of the cattle on Monday the week before they will be killed with no price until we sell a few thousand head for a cash price? These formulas are supposed to be a better price for the better cattle but when we have no competition to bid up for cattle when the packers really don’t need very many. The packer buyers (several not just one) use to show up to look at cattle nearly every day of the week and would bid different prices for different quality of pens, but a cash price. Better cattle brought more money, but the buyers judged them. Packer buyers now do very little except take inventory.
This week U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, announced details of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, which will provide up to $16 billion in direct payments to deliver relief to America’s farmers and ranchers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
I just love the article from the last Drovers Magazine I received. It said Agriculture Secretary, Sonny Perdue, nixed the revival of mCool, saying mandatory COOL “is not going to happen unless we wanted to do a billion-dollar litigation damage with Mexico and Canada.” This would be a drop in the bucket. What does he think the packers are making in a two-week period?
During the White House announcement about the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, President Trump made some offhanded comments about possibly banning livestock imports.