Q: What are the major issues standing in the way of fair cattle markets?
Captive supply and lack of negotiated trade within our fed cattle business are inhibiting fair cattle markets.
Q: What solutions can be put in place to solve these issues?
A certain level of weekly negotiated trade needs to be required.
Also, packers should not be allowed in the cattle feeding business, however it’s tough to get them out. They often go about this under different names. Why would they bother feeding cattle when we do it as cheap as possible for them?
Q: Do you feel a true Department of Justice investigation will occur now that President Trump has made the request?
A true Department of Justice Investigation needs to happen. However, we’ve seen this how many times before? It seems like once we start investigating the price comes up a little bit and everyone gets happier, we forget about the problems and go back about our business. During Teddy Roosevelt’s time we had more packers that controlled less percentage of the meat trade, and at that time we called it anti-trust and broke them up.
Q: How are these poor cattle markets impacting your rural area?
The cattle markets are below the point of breaking even to keep a cow for a year, and if we pound these markets down further, it will have a devastating effect on ranch operations.
Q: In one statement, what does the cattle industry need most today?
Q: Any closing statements?
These are very frustrating times. Hopefully we’ve seen the worst and it’s going to turn for the better. We’ve had huge losses in almost all sectors of the cattle industry within the last three years.
When packers continue to gain more control and aren’t willing to give a fair price for live cattle, the losses are going to filter down to the feeders, backgrounders, and cow/calf producers. We need profit; the losses have to be stopped.