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If They Can Predict Football, Why Not The Cattle Business?

If They Can Predict Football, Why Not The Cattle Business?

I haven’t watched a snap of football this year, but I have XM radio in my truck and listen to a lot of ESPN radio. This allows me to act, or at least converse, like an expert.

I love to hear predictions on the football season. Of course, no one really knows what’s going to happen, but the beautiful thing is that people will forget if the predictions don’t pan out. Meanwhile, if some crazy prediction turns out to be true, the prognosticator is hailed as a sage.

So here are some of my predictions for this upcoming fall:

  • In the middle of corn harvest, we’ll read a story on how yields are disappointing, USDA was way off base with its harvest numbers, and corn will skyrocket to $10/bu.
  • In the middle of corn harvest, we’ll read about corn stacked on the ground due to a lack of storage, above average yields and falling demand. They’ll forecast $3/bu. corn, despite the market hovering around $5/bu.
  • Standing before a group of commercial cattlemen, a cattle feeder will lament that his sector has lost significant dollars for two years, and announce that cattle feeders have no choice but to begin buying back some profit. That afternoon, that cattle feeder will buy a set of market-topping calves that, if hedged that day, would lose $150/head. 
  • Someone will actually believe that the last bred heifer or feeder calf for sale is the one they are bidding on and pay a record price. That will spur everyone to price cattle that high in the country, until they realize there are only so many crazy people out there and price them steady with the market.
  • Some media outlet will run a story on the positive health benefits of beef, effectively ostracizing themselves from the mainstream media. Then Fox News will hire them to present fact-based stories on food and nutrition, but they’ll be off the air in six weeks because no one wants to hear those stories.
  • A few cattlemen, after extensive pencil sharpening and analysis, will decide to expand their cowherd. After only being offered $1,200/head for their six-weight heifers, they’ll decide to not only sell the heifers but the whole cowherd.
  • An eastern Oklahoma rancher will get punched by his good friend and fellow rancher from extreme western Oklahoma after complaining it was just too wet this year and the grass too washy. The assault case will be thrown out after the judge rules it should be illegal for anyone to complain about too much moisture.
  • The EPA will propose a regulation that has the unintended consequence of threatening the existence of a significant number in the cattle industry. After withdrawing the rule, EPA will pronounce that the agency is very pro-livestock production and the regulation was withdrawn because of propaganda put out by big business.
  • A rancher will get caught with Carrie Underwood songs on his iPhone and blame it on his teenage daughter who didn’t realize ranchers were supposed to boycott Underwood. At the same time, a rancher will be spotted pulling out of a Chik-Fil-A outlet and will only save his position on his state’s cattlemen board by claiming he was doing research on the competition.
  • We’ll all listen in reverence as a rancher explains the innovative management practices that made him successful. We’ll look at his new truck, beautiful home, and scenic views as proof-positive that he has found the answer. Later, we’ll learn he was an original investor in Apple and that he has 10 oil wells in his back pasture.


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