Archive for the ‘Markets’ Category

Howdy friends and neighbors, well let’s talk some ag markets for a spell.  Commodity prices are all pretty good at the present time.  As I write this column, we have $7 wheat, $5 corn, $12 soy beans, $1.40 cotton, $80 crude, $4 natural gas (not so hot) and $110 hay.  But in what I handle the most, beef cattle; we have $1.50 four weights, $1.20 feeders and $1.04 fats!  That’s record high!  Cotton, feeder and fat cattle are currently at all-time record highs on the futures board.  Now, that’s a stimulus plan!!!!! (more…)


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Howdy friends and neighbors.  Census time!  It’s time to be counted.  Yep, our Constitution says that we the people shall be counted every ten years.  Here is what it says to be exact.  (Article 1, Section 2) “The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct.” 

Ok, I see where my constitution tells me that I’m to be counted every ten years, but where in the world does the constitution say that it shall sponsor a NASCAR???!!!  I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw Greg Biffle’s number 16 car sponsored in part by the Census 2010!  They even brag about it on the web site “2010.census.gov.”  Here I was still wondering how the census could ask some of the questions they ask and wondering where in my constitution it gave the government the right to ask them.  But, I guess since they sponsored a NASCAR they can ask anything they want????  I think before I answer one question, I want them to answer my question of how many tax dollars were spent on a sticker on a race car and who authorized it?  Oh, but I better answer the questions because we might get a bridge or a tunnel out of the deal…  (more…)

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 Howdy friends and neighbors.  I know, I know, I have been lazy the past two weeks.  I missed you, too.  But boy do I have gobs to talk about! 

I had a wonderful chance to go to San Antonio, Texas a couple weeks ago to the National Cattleman’s Beef Association annual convention.  Yep, got to do the river walk and take in the Alamo as well as attend some cattlemen’s meetings.  I came away with one burning question from the entire trip and from the full gamut of the NCBA meetings and convention.  While walking on the river walk I saw a mallard duck that appeared to be sleeping while standing on one leg.  Why in the world does a duck sleep standing on one foot?   Yeah, I thought I would come back wondering about the supply curve of beef demand and how this inverted pie/point graph corresponded with the theoretical placement that the current cattle cycle would be in, or how the leaders in the beef industry were posed to tackle Washington, D.C., the EPA and the deer tick.  But nope, the duck sleeping on one foot has totally occupied my mind!  Finally, after two canceled flights back to Oklahoma due to the ice storm and three days of getting an over-exposure to NCBA, we slid into Sunny Point, OK.  What a mess!

On a more important note, the big take home message I got from the NCBA convention is the fact that I as a cattleman must do more to promote my industry.  (more…)

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Howdy friends and neighbors.  I think if I hear the word “recession” one more time, I’m going to spontaneously combust!  I’m not so sure that this country is in an economic recession as much as it is in a mental recession.  Crude Oil futures are $78 per barrel, natural gas is $5.70 MCF, the Dow Jones is over 10,500 and a plumber costs $80 per hour!   My own beef industry is right there with them as well.

The other day I reluctantly opened my January issue of BEEF magazine.  Well, the only thing on TV was Dallas getting whipped by a gray-headed quarterback (Favre).  On page 38 Wes Ishmael wrote about how we as beef producers need to increase our beef checkoff (the $1 per head fee collected each time a bovine is sold) because the Beef Board doesn’t have enough money.  “Fewer cattle, increased need and eroding buying power demand an increase in the national checkoff fee,” Wes writes.  OK, yeah stuff is going up.  Oh, Wes whines about how we need more money to keep the checkoff alive and thriving.  Next page please…  Page 40 of BEEF magazine, Steve Kay writes an article that tells me, “The overriding theme for 2010 is that each segment of the beef industry will have to do more with less.” (more…)

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Howdy friends and neighbors.  Bring on the toys!!!  I’ve been…oh, somewhat good this year.  

Upon special request, I have a cattle market report.  The lighter, the better…  Unlike most universities and trade magazines, I say that this year cattlemen would be better off weaning lighter calves.  Let’s just take a look at the cash markets.  (USDA reports from several auction markets in Oklahoma, large and medium No. 1) OKC West had a hot sale last week and just about all classes of cattle were up, but let’s compare 463# steer calves to 668# steer calves.  463# steers sold for an average of $1.25 per pound or $578.75 per head.  668# steer calves sold for $.96 per pound or $641.28 per head.  If you sold a 668# steer you could go to the coffee shop and brag about how heavy your calves were and that they sold for more than $600 bucks and I wouldn’t blame you.  I too weaned heavy calves this year.  The good Lord provided rain, the cows converted grass to milk and the calves gained like I wanted them to.  That’s good.  But when I compare a 463# steer to a 668# steer, I see that 205 pounds of gain from 463# to 668# is only worth $62.53 or 30 cents per pound.  (more…)

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Howdy friends and neighbors.  Yep, I took last week off.  I don’t know why other than it was a time change thing…  So, let’s get after it!

 I can’t believe that I am coming up on my fourth year of writing this weekly mess!  Time flies when you are talking cows and politicians.  It is amazing to me how far the little dare has gone.  My column runs in many newspapers and I have an e-mail list that keeps growing.  I have had a few speaking engagements, had a couple of featured stories written in magazines about me, and have been a guest on a couple of radio talk shows.  Fun, fun, lots of fun.  It seems that common sense and rural humor is still in demand.  So, I have decided to give something back to my readers.

 A friend recommended a while back that I consider a new venture in my  writing and after many sleepless nights (well, a good thirty minutes anyway) and consulting with my cow dog; I think I will give it a trial run.  What is it, you ask?  Well I am going to start an “Ask the Hat” section where you the reader can ask the really tough questions about proper boot scraping etiquette,  just how far below the engine oil mark on a dip stick can the oil be and a twenty year-old truck still run, how best to retrieve a lariat rope that is snug on a wild cow who is in the middle of a pond,  how barn cats multiply and subtract,  how long should one let a frost-free faucet drip before attempting repair, the best low-cost electric fence removal technique and what is the ideal cup in which to dip Oreo cookies.  From curing foot rot on an alpaca to blindness in pigeons to how to make an ugly boar attractive, it’s a reader’s choice.  Ask the hat questions like “what moon phase is best for scooping out grain bins?”  Feel free to ask about the weather, the markets, politics, Einstein’s theory on relativity or how to keep ALL your trailer lights working.  I’ll give you an answer, it’s up to you if you like it or not. My hat and I will do this for a while and see where it leads.  Disclaimer— If you actually take my hat’s (an inanimate object) advice or opinion, don’t plan on a lawsuit, the hat is as broke as I am.  If you do decide to sue, I will just give you the Hat, and its lawyer!  This section is for pure entertainment, just like congress.

 The questions above are simply examples.  Send in anything you wish to ask the hat.  Ask away.  Just e-mail your most perplexing or simple questions to monte@whatsundermyhat.com and I will select one or more to answer in my next article.  Please keep your questions brief and to the point.

 So send in those questions, my hat is hanging by.

 I’m Monte Tucker, getting desperate for something to write about.

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Howdy friends and neighbors, and howdy fall!  Where is that coat that I took off last spring???  Is the heat lamp working in the well house?  Who has the best price on anti-freeze?  Oh well, I’ll worry about all that stuff the night before it really gets cold.  I figure I still have a month or so left.


Let’s talk cattle markets for a spell.  Now I don’t want to loose my readers that could care less about cattle markets but I made an executive decision to go there instead of offending some folks by writing about our self-appointed messiah president that proved last week that he his no Greek god.  He and the first gripper had to hop back on that carbon belching Air Force One and warm the planet as they headed back state-side with their excuses for not getting their rich buddies big paying Olympic jobs.  Oh well, back to screwing up health care beyond what it is now. (more…)

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