"Are you still in a drought?", asked my brother from New York. He trades commodities. You'd think he'd know.
Yes, we are still in a drought was my reply. I guess this goes to show the disconnect the rest of the world seems to have from agriculture. It's nobody's fault. Modern day farmers and ranchers are like the janitor. You never see the faucet get fixed because he's on it before anyone notices it's broken. That's the pro-active approach you have to take to survive in ranching. You never know what kind of curve ball you're gonna get. Today it's the weather. Tomorrow it will be political. You just got to have a plan B, and sometimes C, D, and E.
For the last two weeks we have been on plan B. Plan B means a lot of horse back time, so I'm liking plan B. First we sorted the heavy steers. These are steers we would normally keep and send to a feedlot sometime in December. Plan B involves them leaving yesterday. And when I say yesterday, I meant last Monday. Feed was double this year on account of a poor harvest, so it was cheaper to have someone else feed them.
Next, we sorted off the heifer (Female) calves that we want to keep. This is what we did for the last couple days. Tomorrow we will vaccinate them, getting them ready to go to another feedlot in Iowa this coming Monday. Once again feed cost is the reason they are leaving at all. Normally we winter the heifers here at the ranch. This year they are going now and coming back in the Spring. A little winter get away if you will.
After the truck leaves Monday we will gather the remaining calves that were a little too light for us, and take them to the local salebarn, where they will have a new home...permanently.
The boss says we're just getting rid of work, but if that's true, then it's a lot of work to get rid of so much work. I just hope we get some rain so plans C,D, and E can go move somewhere else.