HOT BARN REPORT: R-Calf USA Friday with Karina Jones

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Farming For Profit, Not Price

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 what’s new and important to the family farm and ranch.


It is good to be back in the Hot Barn Report air chair! Let’s catch up!

The beef supply chain is moving product at a healthy clip. Front end of feedlot supplies have tightened especially in the north giving feeders the leverage they have long needed to take back some control. Packers have hefty holiday orders to fill and for the first time in awhile they are having to get out and about to compete for some cattle. While $1.40 fat cattle is no doubt a move in the right direction it doesn’t even begin to compete with the rising inflationary costs of inputs. So before we all break out the cowbell and have a party, let’s keep in mind the bottom line of the cash flow sheet and what it takes to get fat cattle to their end point.

Some seem to have interpreted this flash of market optimism as a sign that our issues are resolved. Most groups appear to be weakening their stance on cattle market reforms willing to take piece meal crumbs that DC is scattering to us peasants. Groups that once took credit for crafting 50/14 legislation have jumped ship probably because they aren’t independent feeders trying pencil $6 corn and $4 diesel. And other groups they are still kicking the proverbial can down the road. In an article on this week NCBA acknowledges their voluntary framework approach to increasing cash trade in the fat cattle market is setting off “triggers” basically in the words of Karina Jones it went over like the lead balloon we all knew it would. Oh and by the way, that article ends with NCBA saying they have no interest in meeting with industry groups to hash out cattle market problems. Ethan Lane says the groups producer leadership, “doesn’t feel like there’s a tremendous amount of utility in going back to another meeting like that.” So there you go!

I had the pleasure of being among a group of cattle producers at Creighton Livestock in Creighton, NE this week. Here are a few of my take aways. How hard does a man have to work and how many businesses must he keep going in order to afford his cattle herd because a cattle herd alone will not cash flow and put groceries in the pantry, let alone hold an operation together so his sons can come back and join him. If I had a $1 for everytime a cattle producer asked me why our cattle state Senators are not signing on to MCOOL I could solve a lot of my own cash flow problems! The most resounding message I was receiving this week at that sale barn was telling R-CALF to NOT WEAKEN! Not one cattle producer came to me in favor of the Fisher/Grassley compromise bill, not one! And this is why I say producers are my people and I will meet you at a sale barn, fair grounds or wherever the dusty trail takes us because I love learning from all of you. And every conversation affirms for me that we can not weaken. We have no ground behind us for DC to back us in to. If we don’t draw our line in the sand NOW, as an entire industry, there is no safety net to catch us. We fall. This whole house of cards falls.

Hot Barn Report Head Honcho, Monte James will be back on Monday with all of the sale highlights for the best barns in the nation that power this program. Presho Livestock, Mobridge Livestock, Crawford Livestock Market, Stockman’s Livestock, North Platte Stockyards, Lemmon Livestock, Basset Livestock Auction, and Platte Livestock.


Lemmon Livestock, INC.
Presho Livestock Auction
Mobridge Livestock
Platte Livestock Market
Stockmen’s Livestock
Crawford Livestock Market
North Platte Stockyards
Bassett Livestock Auction