Hoofs on the Ground

 

Just an anecdote to share: I met with a small, local rancher today. After we got our business done, I asked how things were going on the farm. He said that costs are going up and there seems to be no endpoint or light at the end of the tunnel. Examples:

Supplies Last year at this time Now
Flatbed truck of feed (same amount, same supplier) $4,100 $7,100
Chicken manure fertilizer $28/ton $41/ton
Fertilizer (when available, large players buying it up) $400/ton $613/ton

Tractor: none available to order as delivery is completely uncertain. He had an immediate need and had to buy the one tractor available. As he said, he had “less than zero” bargaining power.

He said other supplies are sold before they even hit the feed store/suppliers so even when a shipment comes in, you may not be able to buy anything because it’s spoken for already.

He told me that when cows are ready, they have to go to processing. Every day you hold them after that, you are losing money. His neighbor had to hold (and feed) a herd for an additional 100 days because he had no decent offers on the herd. He had to finally take anything he could so he could get the costly feeding obligation off his back. He lost money.

My local rancher said he has been doing this for 50-plus years and he doesn’t even understand why this is happening … it just doesn’t make sense to him. He and his wife talk about getting out of ranching every day. He said the larger operations can sustain the cost increases longer than he can. His costs are way up, but the supply at the processing plants is keeping prices to producers low. He watches the (high) cost of meat in the grocery store and is trying to figure out who is making the money.

He said freight costs on everything have gone sky-high and adds up on all his supplies. As he left, he said he hoped our next visit was more optimistic. He also said that he hopes he lives long enough for it to be revealed how this all came about to be as it is now.

Published in Economics
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  1. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    Dominique Prynne: He also said that he hopes he lives long enough for it to be revealed how this all came about to be as it is now.

    So do I.  

    • #1
  2. Chuck Thatcher
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    I have seen a couple going to direct marketing.  And others get out of ranching altogether. 

    • #2
  3. The Scarecrow Thatcher
    The Scarecrow
    @TheScarecrow

    The drive to kill all small business continues. Cubicle people have no idea, and, stupidly, don’t care.

    This will be the end of America as we have known her. The end of freedom.

    • #3
  4. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    We (the nation, not necessarily each of us individually) responded to the Wuhan coronavirus in a cowardly way, hiding in our homes and huddling behind our screens. That should have ended more than a year ago; in fact, it should never have happened.

    I wish people would read Sandburg’s poem Chicago, with its raw and messy optimism. And then go out and work like men.

     

    • #4
  5. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Fertilizer prices seem to be a big issue coming up.

    I get information from a young farmer in Nebraska (corn and soybeans) who recently reported that she had to do some hard thinking because she wasn’t sure she could afford to grow the corn that she has been growing, since her fertilizer for next year tripled in price. She did decide she could, in part because she is currently getting a high price for her recently harvested crop. But profits next year are going to be really tight. 

    A friend here in suburban / semi-rural north Texas has a family landscaping business that has had to reconfigure some of its lawn care processes because fertilizer here more than doubled in price. 

    • #5
  6. JoelB Member
    JoelB
    @JoelB

    Joe Biden is the most successful President ever. (At destroying the nation from within)

    • #6
  7. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    At least some fertilizer products use petroleum, no?  So price increases would be unsurprising.

    • #7
  8. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Fertilizer prices seem to be a big issue coming up.

    I get information from a young farmer in Nebraska (corn and soybeans) who recently reported that she had to do some hard thinking because she wasn’t sure she could afford to grow the corn that she has been growing, since her fertilizer for next year tripled in price. She did decide she could, in part because she is currently getting a high price for her recently harvested crop. But profits next year are going to be really tight.

    A friend here in suburban / semi-rural north Texas has a family landscaping business that has had to reconfigure some of its lawn care processes because fertilizer here more than doubled in price.

    Unless she was able to get all of next year’s fertilizer in advance, the prices could end up more than triple.

    • #8
  9. Jager Coolidge
    Jager
    @Jager

    kedavis (View Comment):

    At least some fertilizer products use petroleum, no? So price increases would be unsurprising.

    Yes, after power plants the second leading use of Natural Gas is fertilizer.

    • #9
  10. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    Anything that squeezes and harms small businesses benefits the autocrats. It’s like Marxism, remember?

    • #10
  11. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    Dominique Prynne: My local rancher said he has been doing this for 50-plus years and he doesn’t even understand why this is happening … it just doesn’t make sense to him.

    Not to me either.

    • #11
  12. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    This is so infuriating.  I was at the store today and meat is sky-rocketing, bacon is un-affordable.  The farmer is seeing one sector.  This all goes back to Europe – that is who is directing all of this – I am convinced of it. The “Build Back Better” baloney is from Great Reset, aka Klaus Schwab aka The World Economic Forum.  Everyone thought AOC’s “Green New Deal was insane – she was laughed at.  What are we seeing and how are we seeing it unfold, when it wasn’t voted for?  Look at the “infrastructure program” – it’s about social transformation.

    If you peel back the layers at the WEF, you’ll see the “replacement of meat, fossil fuels, and the intro of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.  The switching off of pipelines are in lock-step – so are self-driving cars and injections – then passports and soon the intro of digital currency.  This is not conspiracy.  Connect the dots – it’s all under the same umbrella.  Interesting the players that are involved in all of it….Gates – Fauci – Many of Obama’s crew are now “advisors to the WEF – I’m wondering who is pulling their strings – it’s circles within circles and they hide themselves in the shadows.

    https://www.weforum.org/great-reset/

     

    • #12
  13. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Dominique Prynne: He also said that he hopes he lives long enough for it to be revealed how this all came about to be as it is now.

    It sounds to an untrained ear as if the slowdown may be a deliberate on the part of meat processers.  I know that for whatever reason meat processers were ostensibly hit rather hard and often during the covid meltdown last year.  This may hold the answer.

    The Big Four Meatpackers

    About 35 million cattle are slaughtered in the U.S. annually by 60 major beef-packing operations processing around 26 billion pounds of beef. Four firms control over 80 percent of all the beef slaughtered.

    Part of the Great Reset is, I think, the conglomeration of international corporations (the so-called “Global Capitalist” interest) controlling more and more of what is produced, effectively creating monopolies or oligopolies in their respective markets.  Forcing small businesses out of the market in the process.  It has been argued that the covid pandemic was used as well by GloboCap (as some have nick-named it) to further limit purchasing to more multinational corporations, including Amazon and Big Box stores, in order to put small business competitors out of business.

    • #13
  14. Ammo.com Member
    Ammo.com
    @ammodotcom

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    Anything that squeezes and harms small businesses benefits the autocrats. It’s like Marxism, remember?

    Once there are only a few employers left in the country, and they’re all aligned with the dominant political party, we will finally have true equality.

    “If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.”

    • #14
  15. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Jager (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    At least some fertilizer products use petroleum, no? So price increases would be unsurprising.

    Yes, after power plants the second leading use of Natural Gas is fertilizer.

    Remember, the Brits were (maybe still are) suffering a food shortage once the wind stopped blowing in the North Sea. That’s because they had to redirect their energy production to more traditional (fossil fuels) means and, with the shortage and high demand, the prices skyrocketed. Consequently, the fertilizer plants had to shut down! They couldn’t afford to keep operating at those costs. The cascade reached all the way to meat production — ranchers couldn’t afford to get their animals to slaughter/market because the fuel to truck them was prohibitive. And they were running out of feed, which would only worsen with the fertilizer shortages. It became an issue for animal rights activists due to inhumane treatment of confined and hungry animals. 

    This is the wages of progressivism. Everyone suffers except the rich and powerful.

    • #15
  16. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    Many think this is just a temporary dislocation as the nation adjusts to new directions.  It isn’t, it’s a glimpse of the future as the decline hasn’t even begun in earnest.   Does any sane person truly believe that a group of folks in Washington can actually run an economy as vast and complex as ours, that the rest of the world will fill in if they don’t have to compete with us, that folks at the top will know how and will make decisions in ways to replace the tens of millions of  decisions made by individuals and companies adjusting to each other and realities they can’t even know?   

    • #16
  17. WI Con Member
    WI Con
    @WICon

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    Anything that squeezes and harms small businesses benefits the autocrats. It’s like Marxism, remember?

    They’re making a “Build Back Better/Great Reset” Omlette and we’re the eggs.

    Praying this doesn’t go really, really bad but there are echos of the Holodomor and war on the Kulaks here. Food, Enegry and the Socialists/Communist Utopia of “Green Energy” and “Sustainable Agriculture”.

    • #17
  18. WI Con Member
    WI Con
    @WICon

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Dominique Prynne: He also said that he hopes he lives long enough for it to be revealed how this all came about to be as it is now.

    It sounds to an untrained ear as if the slowdown may be a deliberate on the part of meat processers. I know that for whatever reason meat processers were ostensibly hit rather hard and often during the covid meltdown last year. This may hold the answer.

    The Big Four Meatpackers

    About 35 million cattle are slaughtered in the U.S. annually by 60 major beef-packing operations processing around 26 billion pounds of beef. Four firms control over 80 percent of all the beef slaughtered.

    Part of the Great Reset is, I think, the conglomeration of international corporations (the so-called “Global Capitalist” interest) controlling more and more of what is produced, effectively creating monopolies or oligopolies in their respective markets. Forcing small businesses out of the market in the process. It has been argued that the covid pandemic was used as well by GloboCap (as some have nick-named it) to further limit purchasing to more multinational corporations, including Amazon and Big Box stores, in order to put small business competitors out of business.

    And part of the Holodomor was to eliminate the individual farms in favor of the Collectivist Farms. It sure seems familiar.

    • #18
  19. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan
    @Raxxalan

    I Walton (View Comment):

    Many think this is just a temporary dislocation as the nation adjusts to new directions. It isn’t, it’s a glimpse of the future as the decline hasn’t even begun in earnest. Does any sane person truly believe that a group of folks in Washington can actually run an economy as vast and complex as ours, that the rest of the world will fill in if they don’t have to compete with us, that folks at the top will know how and will make decisions in ways to replace the tens of millions of decisions made by individuals and companies adjusting to each other and realities they can’t even know?

    Problem is we have the stupidest most maleducated elite the world has ever seen.  They know what pronouns to us and are sure that there are no differences between men and women.  Also they can do all sorts of fancy criticisms of society.  Actually getting lights to come on, products to market, and food on the table, Not so much.  Too bad really we had a good run.

    • #19
  20. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    On a more positive note, we really don’t need a lot of brains on the part of government, since what we need mostly is for them to get out of the way.

    • #20
  21. The Scarecrow Thatcher
    The Scarecrow
    @TheScarecrow

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    On a more positive note, we really don’t need a lot of brains on the part of government, since what we need mostly is for them to get out of the way.

    John Galt. Nice one.

    • #21