Spoke with again with the village elder today. He’s pessimistic about the cattle market – not the prices, he figures the prices will increase. He’s pessimistic about the numbers of available cattle at reasonable prices.
He’s a grouchy sort, but referred me to several readable items. Having read somewhat and talked to others I’ll refer one to an article:
What Massa is describing is the appetite for beef. Large countries such as China have been increasing their importation of the protein, causing the demand in the US, the world’s largest supplier, to swell. But there have been other reasons for an increase in demand: a decrease in herd size.
“We’re short,” said Jackie Moore, co-owner of Joplin Regional Stockyards. “The draught over the last three four years in the southwest and here over the last couple years and now we’re seeing a drought coming back from Nebraska and the Dakotas.”
The draught Moore describes has caused many local ranchers to make drastic decisions, including selling off and relocating parts of their herds.
Statistics show, cattle inventory has dropped by two percent since 2013, making for the lowest number of cattle since the 1950s.
Now, why would one put up with a grouchy pessimistic elder villager? Well, I’m trying to decide whether to host my own calves this summer (with a view to keeping a couple over winter) or whether to rent out the fields again this summer – it’s been several years since I’ve had my own stuff to watch over.
Part of the process, for me, is buying the stock and I absolutely hate auctions. Of all kinds. But this is farm country and auctions are the action that sets local prices; whether land or cattle or home.
That means my finding someone to purchase the calves for me as I don’t want to sit for hours watching live stock run on and off the scales.
Which explains why putting up with grouchy pessimistic village elders is so important. They like sitting for hours and hours and watching live stock running on and off scales.
From the reaches,