Dennis Sun: Stay Positive

Columnist Dennis Sun writes, "Livestock prices, especially cattle prices are staying strong. Calves are in a price correction, but demand is going to stay strong. Meatpackers are trying to lower the fat cattle prices in every which way, but demand should overshadow their tricks."

DS
Dennis Sun

July 02, 20233 min read

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Summer is officially here, and we are all hoping for calmer weather as the Northern Plains have really taken a hit with hard rains and tornadoes. For nearly two and a half years, I never had to repair a fence crossing a creek, but so far, I’ve repaired a few water gaps three different times.

However, the hills look exceptionally good with lush, green grass, and it is hard to look around and not see a pond over flowing with water.

Gov. Mark Gordon announced, due to public interest in the sage grouse core area map revisions, he has extended the public comment period until 5 p.m. on July 28. The governor’s office and Sage Grouse Implementation Team (SGIT) will hold additional informational meetings to talk to landowners and stakeholders before the public comment period closes.

The July 6 SGIT meeting in Lander is not a decision-making meeting. It will be a normal SGIT meeting, held with the purpose to inform the public about the process for looking at core area revisions. As I understand it, the decisions will come later.

Although evening rains are holding up mowing the first cutting of hay, there are some swathers showing up in fields. Even the hilltops are producing hay this year.

Take lots of pictures and remember what Ireland green looks like, because these conditions don’t happen very often.

Livestock prices, especially cattle prices are staying strong. Calves are in a price correction, but demand is going to stay strong. Meatpackers are trying to lower the fat cattle prices in every which way, but demand should overshadow their tricks.

I wish the government would stop allowing South American beef into the country to add to American beef.

Look for a strong cull cow and bull market this fall and on into the winter and spring.

The “natural” program is being utilized by so many producers currently, it doesn’t have the value-added benefits it used to for selling calves this fall.

However, there are still some good programs and value-added practices to consider. Marketing calves will certainly make a producer more money than simply slamming the rear gate down on the loaded truck.

Although beef exports are down year-to-date, the U.S. has exported more beef products during the first four months of the year only twice in history. It just happens those two years are 2021 and 2022. From a historical perspective, beef export totals are off to a good start for the first half of the year.

It is county fair time in the region. To witness some great positives, shut off the TV and head out to the local county fair to watch 4-H and FFA youth showing their projects or livestock. Your faith in the younger generations will bounce back immediately.

The work youth exhibitors and their parents put in to these projects and animals will amaze you. Some of these kids have been working with their animals for over six months, and it really shows.

They have a great work ethic, they are polite, they are respectful to others and they understand money, as most have bought their own animals and products required to care and feed them.

They don’t sit around and feel entitled for everything since they understand the business they want to be in takes work.

Enjoy the summer!

Dennis Sun is the publisher of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup, a weekly agriculture newspaper available online and in print. To subscribe, visit wylr.net.

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Dennis Sun

Agriculture Columnist