June 20, 2024

From the Barns: Lid kept on market

Nobody is complaining about fighting mud and rain showers to get their first crop of hay put up. Getting the last of the corn up and what kind of corn crop we will have is a whole other kettle of fish. I’ve noticed that the hay fields that had plenty of fertility yielded pretty well. The light soil not so much. There won’t be any second crop without a bunch of rain.

It will be interesting to see how the markets for corn, feeders and fats react with or without rain. Could be a wild ride. I’ve been expecting the bred cow market to get crazy with the price of feeders, but dry conditions and lack of pasture and feed is keeping a lid on it.

Interest rates are having a negative effect on herd expansion, as well. I’m not sure how higher interest stops inflation, but it sure is hard on a cash-needy business like cattle. Between fuel and freight and interest, all the fun is just about taken out of feeding cattle. Just because fats are high priced, they aren’t necessarily profitable.

We’ve hauled all the dry manure out of the dry stack barns and will pump liquid on the hay fields as soon as the crew finishes moving bales. We will start working calves soon, but would like to wait a few weeks. When calving doesn’t start until mid-April, that first round of vaccine has to wait a while.

With track season over, it’s been more challenging to find evening entertainment. We’ve been to a few baseball games and taste-tested the ice cream at the concession stand. The Vermont concession gets five stars.

Steve Foglesong

Steve Foglesong

Astoria, Ill.