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The Weekly News Source for Wyoming's Ranchers, Farmers and AgriBusiness Community

That Time Of Year

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

From the Publisher : Dennis Sun

I made it through Thanksgiving, and I realized I had a lot to be thankful for. It’s funny – many of us focus on the negative things first, but after counting positives in the ag industry, we know they are most important. 

We have less control of most of those negative things anyway.

As this year’s Christmas season begins, I would like to wish everyone a merry and blessed Christmas. During the holiday season, positives come to light – that is, until tax time. We have a couple of months until then, so let’s make the best of it and think positive.

Cattle and sheep prices – especially cattle prices – are forecasted to stay high in the next year. The high number of cows and heifers being processed lately proves heifer retention is not occurring as quickly as some believe and indicates continued herd liquidation. Also, the prices for cull cows and bulls is staying high and doesn’t look to be going down soon. 

The total number of cattle in America is still dropping. The only way these numbers could change is if the number of heifer and cows going to packinghouses dropped in excess of 18 percent year-over-year, which doesn’t appear to be happening.

Another positive story I read lately was a study saying eating beef and dairy products could fight off light tumors. 

Scientists at the University of Chicago published the study in the journal Nature around Thanksgiving. The study focused on trans-vacennic acid (TVA), which is not naturally found in the human body but can be found in foods like beef and dairy. 

The scientists noted TVA plays a role in enhancing the function of immune cells and supporting immunity against tumors. The study suggested TVA derived from our diet might be a valuable tool in boosting our body’s ability to fight tumors, opening new possibilities for cancer treatment. 

Interest rates are a factor lately, especially for the stocker/feeder sector. I hope they start going down in the next few months, and some experts say they should. Today’s interest rates are also hurting cow/calf producers through annual operating loans.

Some readers may remember Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) held a hearing in Casper this summer regarding the farm bill. As the ranking Republican of the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, Boozman is a leader in establishing the new farm bill. 

An extension was granted for the 2018 Farm Bill until Sept. 30, 2024. Of the $1.5 trillion in the farm bill, 83.6 percent goes to the nutrition title, not food security.

One of the positives of winter and early darkness is more time to read and catch up on current happenings in agriculture. There is a lot of good information out now concerning livestock and farming, so one has to keep up. 

A great way to keep up on current state and national issues is to attend the 2023 Wyoming Stock Growers Association (WSGA) Winter Roundup in Casper Dec. 4-6. 

On Dec. 4, individuals can attend the Progressive Rancher Forum, which is a great way to learn about new management tools and practices. The full meeting agenda can be found on the WSGA website. 

The Wyoming Wool Growers Association, Wyoming CattleWomen and Wyoming Wool Growers Auxiliary are also meeting at the convention. More and more, young producers are attending. Every year, it is a learning experience and a fun time.

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