R-Calf USA Friday with Karina Jones

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Farming For Profit, Not Price

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.

What we are hearing from the industry elites, you know the economists, the lobbyists, those from academia who like to do the talking for those us stuck at home doing chores, putting up hay, and feeding cattle, “Everything is fine. Look away. It’s a cycle. Listen, The south is trying.”

What I know because I can READ data and have my own cash flow to be concerned about. We have been dancing a little left and a little to the right of $1.20 on fat cattle for months. We are stagnant in that market. Meanwhile Choice boxes continue to sprint north of $3 all the while I get to read about packer margins exploding and the historical profits they are making quarter over quarter as if they enjoy bragging about the toils of our labors that they get to reap the rewards of. Don’t chew on it, think about it or form your own logical reasoning. They tell us to Just look away, accept it and become their serf.

It could not be anymore in your face clear that we have to have the 50/14 Spot Market bill implemented immediately! I am not talking about a watered down regional version either.

Iowa has consistently met or exceeded a 50% negotiated cash volume for at least the past 16 years. But the 50% negotiated cash volume in the IA-MN Region cannot guarantee timely access to the market for independent cattle feeders if packers can avoid it by shipping contracted cattle from other regions with lower negotiated cash volumes.

The ability of packers to ship fed cattle via truck from region to region is proof that our fat cattle market is national in scope. It also demands a national solution not a regional one punted to the USDA to hammer out.

The Grassely/Tester Bill S. 949 provides Congress with such a solution. By mandating that all large packing plants purchase at least 50% of their cattle needs from negotiated cash cattle markets Congress can ensure that independent cattle producers located everywhere have access to a competitive market.

The ship is pulling away from the dock of independent cattle feeders. The industry elites are rolling up the ladder and sailing away into the horizon of vertical integration. They get a paycheck on Friday wether you can compete in the market or not!

You better get your dialing finger hot and call your senators and congressmen at the capital switchboard 202-224-3121 and let them know that the cattle industry is in peril and we need S. 949 the 50/14 Spot Market Bill immediately.


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