As I write this we just had a wonderful rain come thur’. Not sure how much we got, but I am happy for any amount. I hate to be greedy, but I am not sure how much we’d have to get before it would make me unhappy!
From what I have read there are over a 1000 pair a week leaving North Dakota. Ranchers with no more feed to graze and no prospect of winter feed supplies are shipping their herds. It’s terrible!
Our postures are very short, the hoppers have eaten so much of what little feed was available… bleak prospects. But with enough rain, we can make it until fall. With enough rain, someone will make a hay crop. Whether any of us can afford it is another question.
There is the possibility of shipping cattle to another region where feed is more plentiful, but for no more than they are worth, you have to wonder if it is justified. Out neighbors in the southern states have faced this. Problem with shipping cows is sending cows not acclimated to another area and how they will do. I have a friend in Missouri and he tells me hay is cheap. Problem is, it is very low quality so cows need a huge gut to make it work. Not like in this area where it is higher protein feed. And the cost of trucking, with the price of fuel is terrible also. Just the ramifications of shipping pairs and then trying to get them mothered back up, even with calves ear tagged, is daunting.
This isn’t a new problem. Many have faced it in the past. Just one more problem ranchers face. I am sure there will be government programs to help, the problem is, will they really do much good? As a neighbor said to me after the Atlas blizzard, when I said I bet there would be low intrest loans available for those who had lost livestock, “I don’t need any more loans. I don’t know if I can pay back what I have now!”
Most will survive. Some will not. It is all part of the deal. If we could get a decent price for the cattle we sell, it wouldn’t be so bad, but as it is, calves and yearlings have been selling below the cost of production for too many years now. Blame it on the packers. Blame it on ranching. We just have to take it day by day and hope their is a light at the end of the tunnel. But what many who are not involved in ranching, in this area need to remember is, the small family rancher spends their money in these smaller local towns. When the rancher is gone, so will most of the business be.
Truman supposedly said, the buck stops here.. well with rancher, the buck starts here.. and if they can’t make a buck, they can’t spend it.
If you are the praying sort, please pray for wide spread rain all across this big area. We all need it. And Praise the Lord for what we have gotten!
Here is hoping we all get a good soaking by the time I write another of these.