Monday, October 8, 2012

Cowman Mentality

We had a discussion on Crop Talk the other day about cowman mentality.  As soon as saw the title I thought of my dad, the best cowman I ever knew.  Today I stopped by the stockyards today, probably just to remember going to the stock sale with him.  I always run into friends there and sure enough, I saw several.

"Over the years, we have taken on different pieces of land that have been owned/rented/farmed by cattle farmers for hay land. Not always, but often, those pieces of land have not been fertilized properly when taking into account the P and K removed by feeding/selling the hay. I talked to a cattle rancher today that had a piece of hay land for more than 10 years and had never fertilized it ever. he said it always yielded well so he didn't bother fertilizing. Do many cattle farmers not understand the "feeding" side of grass/crop production. I find it interesting that they will feed their animals and not their hay land.

I'm not painting all cattle farmers with the same brush. There are many very excellent cattle farmers that have a wholistic view of agriculture that do an excellent job of all parts of their farm. I'm glad they do a great job of it because I'm not an animal guy. If I had animals, I'd be doing lots of research to make sure I was feeding them properly. Just trying to understand those that don't. Because I seem to encounter more than just an insignificant amount of them. "

I whipped out a sentimental and defensive reply for cowmen and got a lot of good response.  Many farmers understand what I am talking about.  There are many good cowmen who take good care of their soil and raise nutritioius feed but many still don't know boron from biscuits.  I used to tell them boron was 20 Mule Team Borax which they understood but they had no idea how that would make better alfalfa.

As the cowmen are dying off like most small farmers, the big time operators have come in and offered what looks like more cash to the widow than the cowman husband ever showed her.  In a couple of years. that good pasture land is rutted up or washed away.  This is the way it goes but it isn't good for America.

Feeder calves were good property this morning, bringing $1.60/cwt.  I wonder what they are going to feed those critters?  Corn closed around $7.40 so I sure don't see any money in feeding corn to cattle but thankfully someone does.

I would sure like to have the beef and the manure but I don't want to take care of livestock.  I would rather sit in my warm office and blog to you all winter!

Did you see that gasoline is close to $6 in parts of California?  Corn farmers think that's what they get for not wanting ethanol in their state!  I wonder what dad would think about that?

The soybeans nearby made 61 bushels per acre on one farm and 52 on another.  My friends were cutting their Jacob seed soybeans and they were making near 60, too on pretty poor ground.



  1. The way prices go, dairy or meat farms that don't grow their own feed and hay are doomed.

    Hey, $1.60 for a hundred pounds, count me in! ;)

  2. Before you get too excited, there wasn't enough meat on those calves to fight over. But a year of good feeding, a whole lot of work and a big pile of manure, we could have some tasty filet mignons!

  3. Haha, no, I meant that the price was /lb. not /cwt. Filet mignon might be even tastier from an older animal. Much less work than a dairy cow, even in winter, and no work at all if you let it pasture the rest of the year for good grass fed marbled beef.
    Or you can raise it in confinement with lots of beer in summer to start its appetite and pass it for $100/lb. Kobe beef. Seems like this kind of CAFO does not raise any eyebrows from the gourmet critics...

    Funny how the name came about, "filet mignon" refers exclusively to pork tenderloin in French. English "filet mignon" would be "tournedos" (literally turn the back of the beef), a slice from the middle section of the "filet", the beef tenderloin.

  4. Parley vous Francais? I think so. That is about all I learned in two years of high school French. The French teacher had an affair with the band director.

    Lots of words became new meanings in our European development of the United States. I still laugh when we go to the new Indian mounds and it says Certier Road and dad pronounced it Searchy.

    JR's Amish Country Store had roast beef for $3.99 a pound so I picked up some while scouting in Pike and Ross Counties this week. I had a beef and Swiss sandwich, too with Lacey Swiss and all the fixings for 2 bucks.

    Love those Amish...