It’s harvest time! The wheat is turning, the combines are rolling and it has actually rained in parts of eastern Colorado and western Kansas! There seems to be a wide variety of yields depending on where a person is at, with some harvested fields only seeing 15 bushels while others have seen over 70!
The cattle market looks to be in it’s summer heat wave also, with yearlings edging higher and calves hard to find. Of course, there are still plenty of cows and calves showing up in the drought areas, but that won’t last forever. At some point they will be gone from those areas, either moved out or gone to the packing house.
The cow herd in the U.S. Is apparently edging back up in numbers, or else it has become old news and everyone is used to it. There seems to be a few more heifers being held back, at least where there is feed or pasture, but there are still plenty of them in the feed yards, and they have a large tendency not to show up as cows. It will be interesting to see where folks get their calves and stockers this fall when many of the big cow/calf areas have sold out their numbers.
It is still somewhat confusing to watch the fat cattle market and futures market. Big swings in a days time sure make it hard to understand, right along with trying to figure out how they relate to reality. As a rule, when the input costs go down the demand goes up, but that doesn’t seem to make a difference to cattle and oil. Maybe the butterfly wings in China beat a little different every day and that is why it is so volatile.
Summer officially arrives Friday, at least for some folks. School is supposed to be out, but in places they want the kids to go all year long. It is interesting how busy kids are in the summer, and not all of it their own making. Maybe it would do folks some good to relax and enjoy some beef and let kids be kids. Of course, a month or two of good rains would sure let folks relax too!
With summer and harvest here many auctions will shut down or go to a different schedule usually, but with the drought still lingering there might be more cows and calves show up than normal. For good or bad, that will create some opportunities just as much as moisture will. The market is great and though not at the highs, it certainly is a long way from where it was a decade or two ago! Take advantage of the opportunities!