My View From The Country

“Doing Great, But We Need Rain”

The majority of producers are at that critical point where moisture is needed.

I attended a couple of cattlemen’s conventions this week. When producers were asked how things were going, the answer invariably was a variation of “doing great, but we need rain.” In fact, that’s become the refrain across a good portion of cow country.

The majority of producers are at that critical point where moisture is needed. Others are at the point where they have begun to liquidate marginal animals and are starting to implement drought mitigation strategies. And, of course, there are a number of producers who are in that “I’m baked” category.

Fortunately the last category pertains to a lot fewer producers than last year at this point. Plus, weathermen continue to talk about rain, early monsoons and the like. However, if the moisture situation doesn’t improve soon, we may see the Southern Plains restock quicker than anyone thought possible.

Increasingly, it’s looking more and more like 2012 will be another year that was positioned for expansion, but the expansion was stalled by a lack of feed and high hay costs. The converse of that is that if 2012 does result in another year of significant liquidation, supplies of cattle could become so tight that prices could hit levels we never dared dream of.

How are conditions in your locale? Participate in our online poll and leave your thoughts in the comments block below the poll question.

Discuss this Blog Entry 5

Horral Jones (not verified)
on Jun 15, 2012

very dry .need rain , short on grass .2011 yr. killed a lot of native grass .even if we had good rain it will take years to recover from the grass die off .Will have to reseed our pastures for new grass .Waco Tx.

Dennis Miller (not verified)
on Jun 15, 2012

Doing much better than last year but can use rain. Pastures will take another year of good rainfall to completly recover from drought. Perry, Ok

Donald Ferguson (not verified)
on Jun 21, 2012

I'm thankful I began bringing back my Coastal Bermuda several years ago. My pastures look pretty good considering last years drought and a few pretty good showers so far this year. Trying to get rid of the Bahaia, the hogs love it and it's not drought resistant. Midway, TX

Heber Hammon (not verified)
on Jun 21, 2012

Central Utah is very dry. The snow pack is almost gone and we face cutting back on water for our hay ground. We may have to start culling cows soon.

on Jun 23, 2012

We're getting close to the critical point. Spotty moisture at best. Hay is short to nonexistent and the grass where it got a few showers is marginal but but lots of it hasn't started. Parts of the state are cooked. I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do with these cows if we don't catch some moisture in the next two weeks. Probably come back to the hay bottoms that won't make hay to get them by for a short while. Central Montana.

I watched some calves sell good on the Northern video the other day.

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What's My View From The Country?

As a fulltime rancher, opinion contributor Troy Marshall brings a unique perspective on how consumer and political trends affect livestock production.


Troy Marshall

Troy Marshall is a multi-generational rancher who grew up in Wheatland, WY, and obtained an Equine Science/Animal Science degree from Colorado State University where he competed on both the livestock...

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