Feeder cattle are hitting all-time high prices, and yet
there is still some profit to made feeding them out. Cheaper corn will make
feeding a better bet, and if the yields I’ve been hearing hold true, it looks
like everybody can make a little money for a change — sounds too good to be
true; something will surely mess it up. Say, the government shuts down or
something impossible like that. Oops, I guess that already happened. We must
have been too busy “feeding the world” to pay much attention to what our elected
officials aren’t getting done out in D.C. It’s a good thing they aren’t in
charge of getting folks fed or there would be a lot of kids going to bed hungry.
Come on, guys, we deserve better!
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we are just about to wrap up
harvest. We elected to ensile pretty much our whole corn crop, either as silage,
high-moisture corn or high-moisture earlage, so once we got started with silage,
we just rolled right on through all our corn. Our research has shown that we can
produce about 18 percent more beef per acre if we take the whole ear instead of
just the grain, so we are making good use of the cob, as well. I’ve read all the
whoopla about capturing the cobs coming out of the combine to ferment them and
make them into ethanol. We just grind them on the front side and ferment them in
a steer to turn them into beef and skip all the middlemen. Seems like a simpler
method. We’ve got a few beans, but they’re still pretty green, so it may be a
while for them. The rye and turnips we flew on are coming, but need some rain to
make much this fall. The turnips are so iffy I’m not sure we will continue them
unless we get a shot at putting them in early and with a drill.
We’ve had some issues with pneumonia in our calves still on
the cows that have been frustrating and have us reevaluating our vaccination
protocol. Feedlot gains have been super, and getting cattle marketed will be a
top priority for the next few weeks. Our pastures are green, but not very lush.
Maybe a little rain will help, but I expect we might as well get some of the
calves weaned to take the pressure off the cows and let them get in condition
for winter. With our crops off the fields, we will get started pumping manure
this week. I would like to hold off for the ground temperature to cool off, but
the window between harvest and freeze up can be pretty narrow, so we best seize
the moment and get started. Enjoy the fall and have a safe harvest.