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kpb
Oct 26, 2004 | 12:53 1 The U.S. and Japan have reached an agreement to trade beef. This morning I heard that Taiwan is also opening their borders to U.S. beef. At lunch I heard the U.S. ag secretary say that the situation with U.S.--Canada trade is different than that of U.S.---Japan. And our ag minister just got back from a tour of Japan and Taiwan with what???
A whole lot of nothing.
Foreign nations and foreign muli-national corporations only respond to issues that are in their own best interests. Instead of chasing after foreign markets that are clearly playing us for fools, we should be focusing on downsizing our industry to meet our domestic needs. We are going to have to downsize our industry sooner or later anyways (I also heard today on the radio that there are half the nunber of hog farmers that there were FIVE years ago) and we can either do it with grace and security for those guys leaving or we can let the market do it by forcing people under.
Anyone who thinks that so-called free enterprise continues to exist in this international marketplace is clearly in serious denial. We need to act like all these other countries and protect our own interests.The world does not want our beef and the sooner we come to grips with that new reality the better off we'll be.
Finally, there's going to be a lot of hooey in the next little while about how good the U.S.--Japan agreement is for us since the U.S. will need more beef to satisfy that market. This is utter nonsense--the only thing that will happen is that prices that U.S. ranchers receive for their calves will go up and they will be less inclined to open their border. They sure don't want our calves streaming across the border to lower their prices. And, meanwhile, they are increasing the size of their herd. All the talk from our leaders about what a wonderful step this is is complete balderdash. Reply With Quote
Oct 26, 2004 | 13:35 2 Let me get this straight you have faith in these same government officials to implement and administer supply management and herd reduction in the beef industry I can't see them doing a bang up job of that deal either. Reply With Quote
Oct 26, 2004 | 13:51 3 Yes there are fewer hog farmers, but they raise far more hogs than ever.

Downsize the cattle herd, OK, then what? Grow grain? Put a few million acres of pasture and hay back into crops? What does that do to the grain industry? Blows it away, that's what.

We got into cattle in the first place because there was no money in growing grain. I've said it before, and I don't mind repeating it. Only since the livestock industry has expanded, has the grain side of things started to improve. In a post Crow Rate Western Canada, there is not enough profit in grain to sustain agriculture on it's own.

We took land out of production, and developed a market for feedgrains. With half the cowherd, the grain industry goes back to being just as export dependant as we are. Just look at the harrassment the Wheat Board gets every year and you'll see what a cakewalk that is.

We have a small population. We have a lot of land that can grow food. There are a lot of people in the world who need to eat. We have a moral responsibility not to squander our productive capacity. Until there are enough people living in Canada to consume what this huge landbase can produce, we are going to have to live with the reality that our food will be exported. We might as well get used to that, and learn to play the game. Reply With Quote
Oct 26, 2004 | 14:13 4 Excellent response Kato. Downsizing may have some appeal for those who think they have the war chest to survive something as devastating to the current system as that, but that BIG PICTURE that Kato paints appeals to me.
kpb, have you ever considered the numbers involved. The amount of beef that Canada needs to export to remain viable would barely supply one of the larger cities in the whole of Asia. There are a lot of people over there. One thing I will have to say for Canadian Beef Export Federation is that they can supply a pile of facts and figures on export potential. Give Ted Haney a call and ask him if he thinks we can sell the excess beef we have once BSE BS has worked itself out of the system.
In fact........rather than waste a bunch of time trying to convince a group of hopefuls trying to find solutions to an industry in crisis, why not jump in and help reveal theis BSE BS for what it is, so that the whole world can find an easier job getting food where it is needed. Reply With Quote
Oct 26, 2004 | 14:15 5 We only produce a small fraction of what the Canadian consumer wants i.e. citrus fruit, g****s in January, fresh vegetables year round, are all things that we cannot grow or if we can grow them - at huge expense.

We need to start value-adding and making some of these things at home. One impediment to making things at home is that some of the inputs to make them are quite expensive.

Supply management was brought in to protect the small family farm, yet even there the higher ups at the CDC are saying that within 10 years, the 18,000 dairy farmers will have shrunk to 10% of that figure leaving some 16,000 plus farmers without steady income. They will have buyouts in terms of the quota - much of which was given to them if they were in early enough - but they will still be gone nonetheless. That doesn't mean that our milk production will suffer, in fact just the opposite - there will be huge mega barns. Their reasoning is that only the most efficient will survive. That can be intepreted many ways, but generally it means that bigger will hopefully be better.

We have bought into that mentality hook line and sinker and no matter how much evidence is given to the contrary, people still believe it. If you aren't making money grain farming or annual cropping 2,000 acres, you aren't going to do it with 4,000. Economies of scale diminish the larger you get. There is an optimum and each producer should be finding that on their own.

What we should be looking for is what we can produce efficiently and sustainably. We have gotten fairly efficient at cattle production for example, but we don't make much money at it, or at least the majority don't from what I am hearing.

There are things that we can likely do very well. We have to stop choking on ants while trying to swallow elephants. Reply With Quote
kpb
Oct 26, 2004 | 14:53 6 kato, rp kaiser and cakadu, thanks for replying--I respect your opinions on this topic. Cakadu and I share the belief that bigger is not better for anyone in agriculture.I think Cakadu has an excellent grasp on sustainable agriculture and I agree with just about everything she has to say. Kato, I realize that there are more hogs than five years ago but I don't care about those hogs or about the huge hog factories--what I care about are the 50% of hog farmers who are no longer in business. I am attempting to devise a scheme so that we don't lose 50% of the ranchers in the next little while. Or, failing that, that the ranchers who do leave are compensated for leaving.
rp kaiser, I recognize that the amount of beef we need to export is a drop in the bucket internationally. What worries me is that no one wants this beef. Try as everyone might, the fact is no one wants our beef. Now, we haven't accepted this fact for quite a while now and it's become apparent to me that a lot of us still don't want to accept it but the proof is in the pudding. So, fellows, I've given you my idea of what we should do to deal with the fact that we have no export market to speak of--what is yours? It's no good saying we should keep working to open the export markets--that's the old saw that hasn't been working for well on 18 months now. So. if we have no export market and you think my ideas don't work or are immoral or anti free enterprise what do you guys suggest if the borders don't open to us for, say, seven years?? Reply With Quote
Oct 26, 2004 | 15:14 7 kpb - part of the reason that our beef was not demanded as much as it could have been was the delegations going overseas to sell it weren't listening to how the customers wanted it. They wanted to sell beef in a box, when the customer was telling them they wanted to buy say strip loins as an example. We were still very much in a commodity type of focus.

I'm not sure how much of that has changed, but I think our delegations are finally catching on to the fact that they have to give the customer what they want and are prepared to pay for versus what we are trying to sell. We could have been marketing ourselves and our products a whole lot better is what I have heard.

Maybe this whole mess will help people to embrace the concept of a marketing focus versus one of a production focus and work together so that we can see everybody getting what they need.

There are some very serious questions that we need to answer in order to determine how agriculture will go forward in this country. Reply With Quote
Oct 26, 2004 | 15:45 8 The solution that I support follows the lines of giving the customer what they want as well. The BIG C plant proposal includes plans to test beef for BSE for export markets that ask for it. Japan has asked for BSE tested beef.

Brian Evans, (Cheif Veterinary Officer for Canada) told the executive commitee for BIG C in Ottawa Oct. 14th that contrary to popular belief, if we demonstrate the need for testing at slaughter as a means of opening up export markets without creating double standard for domestic consumers, CFIA will endorse the proposal.
If we get one truckload of beef into Japan, who has the toughest rules, the flood doors would open to the rest of the far east.

I am not sure why you are so stuck on the fact that nobody wants our beef kbp.

More boxed beef is crossing the border to the USA than any time in history. If we had more domestic slaughter capacity, even more would be going.

The tiny port city of Macau in China has an amzing story to tell. They are allowing beef to enter their country from Canada,,,,,,all ages, all cuts. Macau is what we would consider a smuggling supermarket for China, and it is all legal. Hong Kong is similar. We have already broken into these markets once again, and once again, the only thing holding us back is the lack of slaughter capacity to fill these markets. Why would Cargil, Tyson, or even Xcel beef look into markets that would mean more paper work etc. when they are making record profits in the easy and lucrative boxed beef market in the USA.

You have decent arguements about sustainability, but your export demand
gloom is hard to understand. Reply With Quote
kpb
Oct 26, 2004 | 17:35 9 cakadu, once again we are in complete agreement about giving the customer what he/she wants. I would like to know if, in fact, our overseas delegations are currently doing that. rp kaiser, thanks for explaining how you think we could work towards resolving our situation.
I have two reasons for being, as you say, gloomy on our export prospects. The market to the U.S. has been closed for 18 months or so. Long ago this ceased to be a BSE issue and became a trade issue. I have experience with trade issues from the U.S. and I can tell you that it takes years and years and millions of dollars to resolve them and sometimes they are not resolved at all. That is why I am gloomy on our prospects of exporting live animals to the U.S. I think the issue in other countries is similar--it long ago became a trade issue and we generally have little power when it comes to trade because we export more than we import.
From what you said in your reply to me, you feel that a domestic planting industry would resolve a lot of our over-supply problem by processing our meat here, then shipping it across the border. As I have said before, I completely agree with your concept but only if the feds protect this plant or plants. I have no faith in the feds doing this since they have demonstrated in the past no inclination at all to protect our domestic packing plants. It is my belief that a plant like this cannot survive against the entrenched multi-nationals unless it is sheltered by the government. Please remember that we had a domestic packing industry here not so long ago that received very limited government support and was destroyed by the Cargills of this world.
rp kaiser, I am really not a doom and gloomer and have made these posts to get people in our industry to think about things they have not been thinking about---What if the border doesn't open? What if we can't get a viable packing plant open? Trying to get answers to these questions is responsible not gloomy. It would be irresponsible to not ask these questions and just continue the way we have for the last 18 months. Reply With Quote
Oct 26, 2004 | 18:43 10 The whole argument for supply management is a joke anyway. Just never going to happen? Impossible with the new trade agreements we've signed.
But we will have a form of supply management...come what may! Only it will be the banker doing the managing!
When the debts get to high he will be pulling the plug and it won't matter one bloody bit what the price is!
And after a lot of immense pain for everyone involved things will return to some sort of normal balance. There will still be people owning cattle that shouldn't and there will be others who were very good stockmen who will be gone.
Not pretty but thats just how it is. Reply With Quote
Bez
Oct 26, 2004 | 22:08 11 kpb

Your comment - Quote - I am attempting to devise a scheme so that we don't lose 50% of the ranchers in the next little while. Or, failing that, that the ranchers who do leave are compensated for leaving. - end quote

Admirable ideas lead to great expectations.

Well, my wife and I entered into an expansion program prior to the disaster hitting us last year. We have put the brakes on in a big way - for obvious reasons.

But the damage was done. After our business plan acceptance by all the financial, accounting and legal people and so on - we spent a lot of borrowed money - knowing full well we would be in a deficit position for at least 5 years.

Then BSE hit one year after we started.

If we had not attempted to streamline and improve our operation we would have managed. But we are now down to zero savings and zero buffer. It is the debt we incurred in our expansion plan that has basically killed us.

If you want to formulate a plan - well, find a way to either pay off that debt or hold off the banks and we make it. For me and multitudes of others.

Bottom line - the banks do not wait and my non-existant money from cais does not cut it. I can name several in my area in the same canoe. So, find me 76K and all will be well as we will not live outside our means ever again. Same as we did before we took the unprecedented step of borrowing to improve.

You and I both know this is not going to happen. But hope can always spring eternal.

Hold back money is nice - for those who have some reserve - we have none and therefore have decided not to participate - not enough buckolas in the bank for us to participate in this program.

Regards

Bez Reply With Quote
Oct 26, 2004 | 22:11 12 kpb since you don't respect my opinions-like I care-can you answer this question. Where are you situated in the beef industry-age,land base, cowherd size-I don't want to know what you had I'd like to know just where your arguement is coming from. Reply With Quote
kpb
Oct 26, 2004 | 23:40 13 Bez has made the point of why we need to make a restructuring plan now better than anything I could possibly say. And Cowman has, as usual, articulatated what will happen if we don't get a contingency plan in place. I agree with him about the result but disagree that a supply management plan could not work. Such a plan would reward everyone currently ranching--either by providing a way to retire with dignity by selling their quota or by providing them a way to continue with a secure future in the cattle business.
cs wilson, you've called me a commie and you've called me a skunk. I will tell you that I remain a cattleman and derive all my income from cattle. I started my own operation and was lucky to expand pre-BSE. Bez's message is self-explanatory and I thank him for sharing it with us--I have friends in the same boat and I'm sick and tired of watching good men get beaten down. You may not like supply managment but it seems to me that I've presented the only ideas on this forum since I came on a couple of days ago to deal with borders staying closed and no federal protection of a domestic packing industry.
Cowman, you may just be right, if we aren't prepared to even recognize the problem, then I guess we're doomed to engage in supply managment as administered by the banks. Reply With Quote
Oct 27, 2004 | 07:00 14 kpb: We, in the beef industry, had our chance at supply management about thirty some years ago when Eugene Whalen offered it to us, and we turned it down?
Supply mangement is on its way out. If it wasn't for the fact that most dairies and poultry operations were in Quebec/Ontario, it would have been phased out by now.
We are in a global market now, whether we like it or not. The fact is most of our ag industries can't compete with goods produced elsewhere! And especially against the countries that have no problem subsidizing their agriculture in a big way! Read that as Europe and the USA!
It is a sad thing what has happened to agriculture in Canada in the last 40 years or so. I believe it is a very short sighted view by politicians who really couldn't manage a hot dog stand, but then who am I?
It is frustrating to see my neighbors disappear and leave the countryside...and yet who can blame them? A young man would have to be an idiot to stay and live in poverty.
When I was young I made a decision to have a prosperous life! That wasn't going to happen in agriculture! Besides my nature was people oriented and I was never content to go round and round on a tractor!
So I combined the two and I believe I have the best of both worlds! The fact is, in Alberta, there is so much opportunity to make a buck it is scary! Just wish I could be five people at once so I could take advantage of it all!
We all have to do what is best for ourselves. I believe it is never right to put all your eggs in one basket, even though our government pushed that in a big way.
There are a lot of exciting opportunities in things like ag tourism. These halfwits will pay you to let them ride an old nag around or play cowboy, or other things like that! People won't pay for food but they sure will pay for recreation! Sort of like buying the sizzle rather than the steak! Reply With Quote
Oct 27, 2004 | 08:11 15 Ohhh aren't we the sensitive one-where did I ever call you a commie or a skunk-I said your vision is pretty much similar to what Russia tried which looks alot like communism-I don't need to call anyone names-you seem to be unable to answer simple questions though-Age?, land base?, location and number of cows. You know the old saying 'If you aren't a socialist at 20 you don't have a heart-if you aren't a conservative at 40 you don't have a brain'. I'm very curious as to where your positioned in the beef industry is all. Reply With Quote
Oct 27, 2004 | 09:19 16 'retire with dignity by selling their quota'-this quota they are selling I assume was provided to them free in your hypothetical herd reduction-I'm guessing you are alot closer to 50 then 30. I'm 42 with 4 kids-I've got some ground to make up equity wise and it won't happen in a supply managed-quota for sale-beef industry. Reply With Quote
Oct 27, 2004 | 12:39 17 First thing we need with a quota system is someone to decide how many animals it is going to take to make a living. Keep all that equipment shiny and new. We also need enough for a nice holiday in the winter like the city folks. So kpb, you be the guy that decides. How many cows to make a living under supply management? Reply With Quote
kpb
Oct 27, 2004 | 15:38 18 greybeard, good question but it's the same one that could be asked now. Everbody's circumstances and standards of living are different so if I say I need 250 cows (just cow-calf) to make a living, you might say you need 100 or someone else might need 300. My idea of a quota would be to set a return on their calves for individuals and they would then have to decide how much quota they needed just like now they decide how big their herds should be.
By the way I'm still waiting for kato or rp kaiser or anyone else who's been reading these posts to give me THEIR proposal for what we should do as an industry if the border doesn't open and we can't get a domestic packing industry going. Seems like it that's not asking too much since that is currently the status quo--you'd think that maybe someone should be thinking about it. I'd hate to think that we're just going to drift along because we just don't want to think about bad things. Reply With Quote
Oct 27, 2004 | 16:40 19 kpb can't answer my questions-are they too complex for you-HOW OLD ARE YOU? HOW MANY COWS DO YOU OWN? WHAT PROVINCE DO YOU RANCH IN? Reply With Quote
Oct 27, 2004 | 17:03 20 I thought that I had already stated my position kpb. I beleive that we need slaughter capacity, and when it is here, we will be able to sell all the bef we need to sell. Certainly the Canadian plants run the risk of take over by Mutinationals, but take over is the key word. Get the infrustructure in place, and yes try to keep it Canadian, but if we can not do that, we will still have the capacity to harvest the number of animals we produce. This is without an open border.
I know you will point out the fact that this may involve multinationals, and maybe even more of them. I do not like that thought either, but capacity is our biggest, and maybe our only problem as we speak. Reply With Quote
Oct 27, 2004 | 17:57 21 Quota systems are in federal jurisdiction, and are usually assigned by where the people are. I did some quick calcuations, and estimated 1 animal could feed about 8.5 people, using per capita consumption at 35 kgs/person of actual meat. Now in Saskatchewan, there would only need to be about 125,000 cows. This would be slightly more than 10% of the cows there. If they assign quota on your current holding of cattle, if you had a herd of 200 cows, you would get 20 or so cows. I don't think the economic situation would look any better with this scenario. Also, if you did a cost plus guarantee for these producers, it would shoot the price of beef up, and consumption down, reducing herd sizes even more!
I am not sure what the ratio of people to cows is in Alberta, but I don't think it would be much different than Sask.
As for other suggestions as to what to do, that is a good question. Feedlots and backgrounders play the margin game and are buying at prices that work at current slaughter prices, so it leaves the cow-calf producers squeezed.
Slaughter capacity is being built, and will be coming on line, next years calf crop will be hitting a more competitive slaughter market and prices should reflect that. I think reducing cash costs is important, and getting cows through on the bare minimum is also important. Depending on your position, riding this out may not look so bad.
You also have to look longer term and look at your business, and see the critical points you face. If it looks bad, why not integrate, and see what you could do with some unique marketing opportunities such as direct marketing or working with feedlots to deliver what they want. Reply With Quote
kpb
Oct 27, 2004 | 18:03 22 rp kaiser
thanks for replying to my thread. I fully support your idea of a producer-owned packing plant and will do everything I can to back it. I'm assuming you become an ABP delegate--how much support in the ABP is there, do you think, for this plan and how soon do you think such a plant could be started? I have already lobbied our local MP and MLA to provide support and shelter to a domestic packing plant and will continue to apply pressure. I believe this is essential, as you know from previous posts. I also believe that other industry changes are need but will give you every support I can to get a plant--and concurrent legislation--in place. Good luck, kpb.
As to cs wilson, i'm not sure why he wants to get to know me personally--is it something I said? Reply With Quote
Oct 27, 2004 | 18:05 23 Has anyone considered community herds? Such that one producer may look after a few different herd during the winter allowing to work or at least save money. I know it is tough especially at calving, but simply not having so much over heads, such as each person running their tractor or shreader, when several farmers could just do with one. Also on the marketing side, if the group has similar genetics, there might be quite a good package of calves that could be offered up....or even better, as part of the group, finish them yourself!!? Reply With Quote
Oct 27, 2004 | 18:39 24 Listen kbp why won't you let us know the scope of your operation I just want to know where you are coming from-you can b.s the fans but not the players-your reluctance to answer puts a big warning flag up in my mind. Reply With Quote
kpb
Oct 27, 2004 | 21:29 25 Cattleman, can I get you to re-work your numbers with the assumption that provinces that produce beef will be able to process the animal and ship the beef to the major metropolitain areas like Toronto and Montreal? I stand to be corrected here and would appreciate you telling me if my numbers are wrong but I think we consume about 50 to 60% of the beef we produce, nationally.I appreciate your suggestions on how we can manage our way through some difficult times in the near term. I think one of the provincial ag dept. should put together a list of the sorts of things you suggested.
How about this for a possible working scenario? The numbers may be wrong here but I think the concept is workable. Let's assume our cow herd is around 5 million breds. Let's get the feds and provs to commit to a downsizing program of $2 billion. If they give each producer $1,000 for each of his breds we can downsize 2 million bred animals (phased in most likely). Ok, so how many producers would take $1,000 for each of their breds and then retire?? I don't know, maybe the figure would have to be higher.
The program would be voluntary of course. Would you get the numbers of ranchers wanting to quit?? I don't know that either but it's a starting point for discussion.
Now $2 billion is a lot of taxpayers money I grant you but consider that the spring program from the feds was said to cost $954 million. I think that the taxpayer would pay $2 billion to a retirement fund for retiring ranchers if they knew it was a one-shot deal, that the industry would be made secure and profitable for those left and that their beef would come from Canadian producers. I don't think they're going to find it palatable to keep giving us handouts.
Like I said, I don't have all the answers, just throwing out a few ideas that I don't think we've been thinking much about.
And cs wilson, I don't know why you've got such a hate on for me. I'm not bs-ing, as you say, anyone. These are just ideas, my friend, and I'm just putting these up here to let people think about things a bit. For goodness sake, we haven't had a whole lot of different ideas in the last 18 months, have we? I'm not a threat to you so I don't know why you're so exercised about me. I told you before, I earn my entire living directly from the cattle industry and I mean as a rancher not something else. I don't think I want to tell you more because I'm not sure how it is relevant and would ask you to evaluate, criticize, suggest or whatever new ideas or thoughts based on what I've presented not on something else. I'd like to hear your criticisms and, more important, your own ideas about how we're going to get through this if the border doesn't open for a long time. You know, believe it or not, we are all in the same boat here and I'm really just trying to give people a few new ideas to chew on. Is it so bad to have a different alternative rather than the old party lines we are so used to hearing? Reply With Quote
Oct 27, 2004 | 22:00 26 It's one week before the U.S. election. After that, then the stalling tactics will either be over, or we will be able to face the fact that it's not going to open. Right this minute, the uncertainty of it all is our biggest stumbling block to getting on with our lives.

For instance, our new plant in Manitoba is soooo close to being a reality, but the Manitoba government is stalling. Official line is "What happens when the border opens? Will producers still deliver cattle to the plant?" Our own government is playing the game! They hope that if they stall long enough, they won't have to put out any money. We don't even have access to the set aside tags yet, and that's because they go ahead hasn't been given by the government as to what colour buttons they will have on the backs! If that's not stalling, nothing is.

If we just knew what is going to happen in the next few weeks, we would face the future with a much clearer picture. I believe that once the uncertainty is gone and the commitment is made to move forward, we can save this industry, and make it stronger.

I'm with rpkaiser on this one...we need the domestically owned plants,but we also need a government that will help to protect them. I think the government is a bigger obstacle than the plants.

As soon as the market starts to turn around, a lot of downsizing is going to happen, government assisted or not. There are a lot of people out there with small herds, who have gotten into cattle over the past few years because times were good. I know more than a couple of these. They have off farm jobs, and sideline cattle. They want out...and they want out now. Let them get their investments back and they will be gone. They and the ones who's retirement plans were extended due to the loss of equity.

Those left will be leaner, meaner, and a lot smarter than they were before. Reply With Quote
Oct 27, 2004 | 22:02 27 kbp I don't know where you got this paranoia about me hating you I've asked you four simple questions that you seem very reluctant to answer-I'm curious as to why you won't. I think your an older producer whose trying to get out with as much government money as he can milk-I might be wrong but that's what I'll assume as you keep being evasive. Reply With Quote
Oct 27, 2004 | 22:06 28 This last idea of yours makes a bit more sense than supply management-I think cowman and I both suggested a mass cull last fall would of made alot of sense-the price you receive could be graduated by how many cows you cull and whether you exit the industry permanently-I just don't know what is going to fill the economic vacum left by losing 50 percent of our cow numbers. Reply With Quote
Oct 28, 2004 | 08:36 29 I also agree a mass cull may be a good strategy, as it will help the industry and is a good opportunity for exit. As for more questions about quota allocation, I don't really want to go there as it is a very political issue....and we see what happens to political issues......they don't always make the most sense!!!
I would like to point out that the government has to be careful when dealing with these mass culls. Not so much for beef industry image, but because of the messages it is sending the industry. The governments are in favour of increased capacity, and want industry to build it....if they have a mass cull of 2 million cows....it takes all the incentive away from building a plant, because there will not be enough animals there. So I think you have to take one stand or another....mass cull OR increase slaughter capacity...slaughter capacity is slower, but I think it is short term pain for long term gain....
I also agree some things may become more obvious within a few months after the election Reply With Quote
kpb
Oct 28, 2004 | 09:56 30 I agree with both cs wilson and Cattleman that a mass cull would stabilize our industry. cs wilson also brings up the idea of a graduated scale that would pay more for ranchers who left the industry which would be a good way for people facing economic hardship to get a graceful way out.
I felt that if we had a mass cull, then worked to serve just our domestic markets with a quota cap on what was left so we don't get into this oversupply mess again, then those of us left would have a secure future. Now I'm wondering if we would need a quota system after a mass cull--do you think the market would be efficient in the sense that we wouldn't go back to over-producing if we still had no export markets to speak of? Or would we continue to chase after foreign markets and end up, eventually, where we are now, with a huge dependence on an outside source?
Cattleman, from an optics point of view I can see that the government wouldn't want a mass cull but I don't see them doing much to encourage a domestic packing industry. As far as the election south of the border, I don't think it matters much who wins--I don't think there is the political will down there to open the border.
cs wilson, I now understand the relevance of your questions and can assure you that, short of being forced out for some reason, I will not be getting rid of my herd. I'm 49 with 3 kids under 12 years old so I've hopefully got a few years ahead of me. Reply With Quote