Time continues to march on and with all the craziness of the year 2020, I sometimes lose track of what day or month it is. But here we are with the first week of November behind us and harvest in the area wrapping up. Corn harvest is near complete and the paper out of Scottsbluff on Sunday reported that the sugar beet crop is nearly 98% harvested. The Star-Herald reported that the crop is up over 6 tons from 2019 yields. Sugar content is great and may be at record levels for Nebraska. Good weather and good management were the factors in the record sugar and crops.
Isn’t that what our life in agriculture depends on? Good weather and good management. Some luck and help from Mother Nature is always a good thing, but then we do our part to manage what we are dealt. Part of managing what we are dealt on our operation includes managing the markets. The markets have been continuing their volatility. Elections and the uncertainty with COVID-19 contribute to this volatility. Feeder cattle futures have moved over $12/cwt over the last two weeks. The volatility and big moves on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange are challenging to manage and can sure play with your emotions, especially when operating a feedyard.
Managing and securing feed for the winter with the drought in the area also is challenging. With the corn crop below average, the corn basis continues to firm as end users are scrambling to get possession secured. To finish filling our bin, we ended up buying some corn from a neighbor for $3.90. We bought the corn out of the field and helped haul it.
We pregnancy checked the last group of cows this week. This group proved to be bred up similar to the other groups and when we were all done and figured the numbers, they are 96.5% bred. We hauled some of the cows to cornstalks about 14 miles away, unloaded them at the corals and then drove them another two miles to cornstalks. The weather was warm for a good week, holding 70 degree temperatures.
We took some time this past week to take our senior on college visits. We traveled 2,300 miles across Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma to visit five college campuses. Our son is looking to continue his education at a junior college while competitively livestock judging for the school. Each school offered different opportunities, so he’s busy making his pro’s and con’s list to make a decision for this next chapter of his life. We were blessed with good weather for travel and quality time together.
Continued prayers for our country and that rural America will have a voice in the matters that could so affect our livelihoods! — Shauna Meyring