What a mixed month June was.
Few can sum it up any better than J.D. Sartwelle Jr., of Port City Stockyards of Sealy and Brenham, Texas.
It was a month that started with oven-hot relentless winds and dry conditions but brought incredible flooding to others in some parts of the nation.
"Weather played havoc from the Midwest with too much moisture to most of the rest of the country with not enough," Sartwelle says. "Some markets shot up and some shot down; crude oil skyrocketed, fed cattle were up, grain up, food up, gasoline and diesel up—stock markets down and pocket books thinner. Everything and everybody got into the act during June."
"Relentless rains in the central portion of the country caused unprecedented flooding in many areas, causing human misery and destruction of important grain and soybean crops at a time when that production is vital to agricultural—and most especially—livestock economies."
Sartwelle notes June began dry across the Southwest, Texas, and the Southwest. But parts of Texas caught some good moisture the last week of the month.
"The lack of late May-early June moisture played havoc with early summer grass growth for cowboys and the farm boy's corn," Sartwelle observes. "It seems that most of the milo (grain sorghum) and cotton tolerated the hot, dry conditions of June better than anything else."
There was lots of politics too, he adds. Korea reneged on its agreement to resume trade; the Humane Society continued its assault on cattle handlers; another Canadian cow with BSE was found; ethanol was under attack by some—and promoted by others.
Randy Carson, president of Abilene Livestock Auction, Abilene, Texas, reported markets strong going into the Fourth of July break. Late June rains in the Abilene region allowed June to make its exit many degrees cooler than it came in. This perked up the moods of cattlemen.
Sartwelle notes the June Cattle on Feed Report indicated fewer cattle placed in the feedyards, with significantly fewer having been placed on feed in May. Feeders continued facing the high price of corn.