HOT BARN REPORT: R-CalfUSA Friday with Karina Jones

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Welcome to the Friday edition of the HOT BARN REPORT
Heard ONLY on American radio stations across the nation and online at!

Karina Jones, Field Director for R-Calf USA joins us each Friday from her ranch in the heart of Nebraska covering new and important cattle industry news and policy.


The cows just kept coming to town! Welcome to this special Friday edition of Hot Barn Report.
On Wednesday I was tuning into the sale at Bassett Livestock, when the king of Cowtown, Shane Kaczor announced that they had 1000 weigh-ups and would have to sell the last 200 of them after the pairs and breds. I mean, this isn’t November, this is the middle of JUNE and the cows just keep coming to town, for the second year in a row.

It spiked my interest to do some research to see if the mass cow exodus has slowed down in this second quarter of 2022. The data I found is pretty reminiscent of the reality I am seeing in my area.

As reported recently by Beef Magazine, “So far in 2022, beef cow slaughter is 15 percent higher than the same period in 2021. This is equal to approximately 200 thousand more head of beef cows processed this year. Beef cow slaughter averaged about 65 thousand head per week in 2021 but is averaging about 75 thousand head per week in 2022. In the most recently reported week, beef cow slaughter topped 80 thousand head for the first time since 2012.

Drought, higher feed and other input costs, and stronger cull cow prices continue to be the likely reasons behind the increase. Looking at the regional slaughter data, in Region 6 (AR, LA, NM, OK, and TX) is up 30 percent over 2021 and region 7 (IA, KS, MO, & NE) is up 29 percent.”

Ouch! Anyone paying their own bills, trying to raise cattle, knows that this moment in time will be written about in the industry history books. We are facing a massive herd reduction, an aging population of producers exiting the industry, and crippling input costs that are inflating the already low morale of the participants. Merle Haggard used to sing, “If we make through December….” Lordy, Merle, I have foreclosures happening around me right now!

This week the Senate Ag Committee passed S. 4030, the Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act, aka the Compromise Bill, which they basically sold to us as everybody will win, but nothing will really change much. No wonder not many got a warm fuzzy feeling. Senator John Thune from South Dakota probably made the most sense during the mark up when he said that his state was extremely split on the support of this bill, but when it comes to Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling, his state had unwavering support. Thune admits he was advised not to submit an MCOOL amendment to the Compromise Bill. Isn’t that interesting? Legislators who supposedly support TRANSPARENCY, as indicated by the NAME OF THE BILL, still avoid the elephant in the room, our consumers have no way of knowing where the beef they are buying comes from and American cattle producers continue to be denied the ability to differentiate their beef in the marketplace, while imported beef keeps flooding our market. And that folks, is why the cows will keep coming to town.

Regular sale today at Crawford Livestock Market, catch it on Action next week at Presho, Lemmon, Bassett, Creighton, North Platte, Stockman’s, Mobridge, and Platte!


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