Big runs at Texas sale barns

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BC

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Lots of cattle coming to town in Texas. Many of you have seen the video of the line waiting to unload at Emory Saturday. They had 3495 head from 527 consignors Saturday compared to 2113 head from 368 consignors on June 25 (before the 4th​ of July). Further west, yesterday the sale at Graham had 4442 head that included 1215 cows. The sale at Decatur had 3180 head. Today, here in East Texas, Mt. Pleasant had 1770 and Emory had 1769 at their Tuesday sale. Many producers are past culling the bottom end and are bring their good cows. Please pray for rain.
 

BFE

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Unfortunately, in farming of any kind, getting a decent price depends on someone having a drought somewhere.

How many of these cows sold will never be replaced when the drought breaks? Ranchers too old to give it another shot, younger ones not wanting to take the risk again, etc. Very sad to see a way of life end and more of our food supply move overseas.
 

Caustic Burno

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Unfortunately, in farming of any kind, getting a decent price depends on someone having a drought somewhere.

How many of these cows sold will never be replaced when the drought breaks? Ranchers too old to give it another shot, younger ones not wanting to take the risk again, etc. Very sad to see a way of life end and more of our food supply move overseas.
You are going to see my generation exit!
The small cattlemen drive the rural ag economy not the couple of big producers.
I can’t name you three producers with over a 100 head in my county, I can name a 100 with 30 head.
 

DCA farm

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You are going to see my generation exit!
The small cattlemen drive the rural ag economy not the couple of big producers.
I can’t name you three producers with over a 100 head in my county, I can name a 100 with 30 head.
I know 4/5 with run 200+ head
More than I can count that run 1-50 still a few around my way running 50-100 but not many
 

1982vett

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You are going to see my generation exit!
The small cattlemen drive the rural ag economy not the couple of big producers.
I can’t name you three producers with over a 100 head in my county, I can name a 100 with 30 head.
I haven’t come to the “get out for good” moment just yet but combine economics, health and age…I’ll probably hang in to long.

I came out of the 2011 eye opener with a different view on things. But I do have dry grass as opposed to no grass. First of the year intentions was to fertilize some to grow some better quality hay. Luckily now, fertilizer prices made that laughable and that money wasn’t spent.

I hear the local sale today is expecting 1700. They had 949 the last sale before the 4th. Compare to last year where they had 441 head the first sale after the 4th and 660 the sale before the 4th. Sale numbers have been growing throughout June. Will have to see if the higher trend in prices stop today.
 

Dave

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Here people with 50 head or less are very rare. I know 4 who run over 1,000. One of those runs about 2,000. I am certain there are others over 1,000 who I don't know. I have a friend who went to work for a place that is rated at 4,000. Because of fire and some pasture leased out they are only running 1,500 but planning on building back up. Average places around here run 400 or so.
 

Rafter S

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I've been getting market reports from the Navasota sale for years, so I just looked back. They had 3042 head last Saturday, 1516 on July 12 last year, and 1529 on July 11, 2020.

Here people with 50 head or less are very rare. I know 4 who run over 1,000. One of those runs about 2,000. I am certain there are others over 1,000 who I don't know. I have a friend who went to work for a place that is rated at 4,000. Because of fire and some pasture leased out they are only running 1,500 but planning on building back up. Average places around here run 400 or so.

You're in a whole different part of the country. Here there are a lot of cattle kept on places 50 acres or less.
 

Lucky

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It's definitely dry. For some of you older guys was it like this in the past when things got dry? It seems like these days everyone sells out as soon as the grass goes away. Nearly every cattleman in my area got a drought relief check just a few months back and surely this will trigger another. Are we not using that money for feed and extra hay? Has it just been the strange weather patters we've been having? At any given time we're 30 days from a drought and it seems a serious one hits every 10-12 yrs. I can't remember the year but about 5 yrs ago allot of good cows went to the sale in this area because people couldn't hang on a few more months.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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Location is sooo different all over US. Here, I have one of the largest herds, running 50 momma cows. Grass and clover grows like weeds.
But, our soil is designed to be watered about every 3 to 5 days. Makes June dry hay nearly impossible.
This year we are also hurting for rain. Definitely not as bad as Texas and other areas.
Thankfully, we had abundant hay put up last year and I had great replacement sales so our numbers were down. I ended up with 200 baleage left over.
1st cutting was 2/3 normal amount, but with our left-over, I should be OK. Hoping to get some 2nd cut dry hay, but looking very iffy.
 

Lucky

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It would be interesting to know how many of the guys selling cows are over grazing and why. Are they grazing heavy to make extra on good years or just don't know better? I under graze be probably 25 hd. I make up for the 25 hd loss by keeping calves longer. Maybe not the best plan but if I didn’t do that 25 of the cows that sold at Emory might have been mine. Not judging just wondering, everyone has their own strategy.
 
OP
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BC

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Lucky, I have been through several of these. I cannot remember the exact year, but around 1973 or 74 the hands from the Crockett sale on Tuesday didn't get to Center the next day until after the sale started and I saw the line at the old Patton sale barn in Nacogdoches back all the way to the loop. 1980 sticks in my mind because of the heat and lack of rain. I moved to Van Zandt in 1992 and 1996 saw a sell off due to drought. 2011 was the last bad drought. You asked were folks overstocked? the answer has a couple of scenarios. We use to apply fertilizer to pastures and to hay fields. Economics ended that but stocking rates didn't change. The other thing is mature size on cows has increased without a change in the number of cows we run a property.
 

Caustic Burno

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Lucky, I have been through several of these. I cannot remember the exact year, but around 1973 or 74 the hands from the Crockett sale on Tuesday didn't get to Center the next day until after the sale started and I saw the line at the old Patton sale barn in Nacogdoches back all the way to the loop. 1980 sticks in my mind because of the heat and lack of rain. I moved to Van Zandt in 1992 and 1996 saw a sell off due to drought. 2011 was the last bad drought. You asked were folks overstocked? the answer has a couple of scenarios. We use to apply fertilizer to pastures and to hay fields. Economics ended that but stocking rates didn't change. The other thing is mature size on cows has increased without a change in the number of cows we run a property.
I used to buy five tons of fertilizer with one calf sale, today that calf won’t buy a ton.
I used to put out about 10 tons on pasture a year.
I run 30% of what I ran before 2011. Didn’t buy any fertilizer this year, never got a rain event to put it out.
 

Lucky

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I would say my place is below average grass wise for the area. I run pretty lean too. We always spray but don't fertilize. Fertilizer is just too risky with price and lack of rain we seem to be getting. I run a cow to 6 acres and have enough grass for probably a month if it doesn't rain. I've spent allot of money and time on cross fencing and pools. We definitely don't use the cross fencing to it's full advanced but it does help. I've been in the cattle deal for about 15 yrs and this is the third bad spell I can remember.
 

Brute 23

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Although this is not fun it's not the worse one I have been through.

I think we had a 4 year run in like the 07-11ish range. It was dry and prices were like 80-90.

If I remember right there was another bad one that was several years in the mid to late 90s.
 

greybeard

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2011's drought started in late 2009, thru 2010 and peaked in in my part of Texas in Aug-Sept-Nov 2011 so it was really a 3 year event. By March 2012, it was over.

The current one seems to just be getting started good but boy is it severe right off the bat.
 

Lucky

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I'm not sure if it's because all the ground moisture is gone or the wind turbines are slowing any chance of a breeze down but I don't remember a scrorcher like this in awhile. The heat is intense. I can still manage ok but probably drank half a case of water today. Glad I don't live closer to the solar farm. The heat wave off those panels is gonna be a killer in weather like this.
 

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