The Texas Side of Things

Jim Banner

June 9, 2023


 Isn’t it a great time to be in the cattle business?   The grass is green, wildflowers are brilliant and pretty, the cows are all fat and lazy and the calf market is going crazy. Speaking of wildflowers, in the Hill Country when it rains like it has been doing for the last two months, we get such a variety of wildflowers, not only along the highways, but also in the pastures.  They are so thick that they tend to choke out the grass in the pastures and it takes forever for them to die and allow the grass to grow.  So, several years ago at our home place, I got tired of my pasture looking red because of the Indian Blanket flowers and I decided to do something about it.  I decided to wait until the flowers were nearly ready to mature and I shredded all the acreage I could that was cleared, and I guess it worked because I don’t have those kinds of flowers anymore, but my neighbors do.  Someone commented that my pastures weren’t as pretty as my neighbor’s because I had cut the flowers. My reply was that they could go look at my neighbor’s places if they wanted to see beautiful flowers but, in my eyes, the green grass was much more beautiful.  

     Like most of you, I’m in the same boat …I wish I had more cows but that wasn’t the case back in January through the middle of April of this year. We had received only about 2.25 inches of rain in my area, instead of the average rainfall which is 7 inches.  I was still feeding hay and cubes all the way to the end of April and at the time, kind of wishing I didn’t have the cows that I did.  Now it has rained, and we have an abundance of grass and I’m about 60% stocked.  The last two weeks have seen the markets explode and shoot up nearly $20-$30 per hundred on good quality steer and heifer calves.  An example from this week’s Mason sale report: 5 steers averaging 558 lbs. brought $2.68 per lbs., that’s $1,495 per head. To say the least, things are looking good. As I always say…anyone can be a good rancher with these kinds of conditions. It’s when it gets dry and important culling decisions must be made is when it gets hard, and you question whether you are making the right call.

     As is the case each year, this will be our one and only issue in June and our next issue is scheduled for July 7th.  Our staff and I will be taking a little time off to rest our weary souls and get ready for the fall sale season because we aren’t as young as we used to be. We hope that the rest of June continues to be wet and cooler than normal and that everyone has a safe and happy 4th of July from all of us at Southern Livestock Standard.

     By the way…I would like to wish my beautiful wife a Happy Anniversary on June 10th and thank you for making my life so much better.  Also, Happy Birthday to my mother who will be turning 91 on June 10th and thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Southern Livestock

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