It's starve or sell for cattle ranches

The Salt Lake Tribute describes the stifling conditions ranchers are finding themselves in. The fire and drought are coming down hard right as the price of feed stretches just beyond many’s reach. This ought to give buy-outs a new breath.

While smaller operations engage in hard to swallow realities about the conditions on the land, Simplot stocks up:

Simplot's reserve
That’s retardant from the Murphy Complex fire effort along the road.

The parch conditions favor larger operations ~ especially controllers of the entire commodity chain like Simplot.

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  1. Jim Avatar

    Like Ed Bangs always said, “You can shoot wolves, you can’t shoot Simplot, even though it’s Simplot and other operations just like his that are driving the family farm out of business, not wolves.” Or something like that.

  2. Mike Post Avatar
    Mike Post

    Yes, well, we have seen outfits like Simplot come and go: look at Miller & Lux during the 1900’s cattle boom. Here in S. California EVERY cattle operation big or small is selling off stock and wondering about next year. There is no grass on the ground. There was no grass in March. The fact that grass raised/grain finished beef cattle may be a victim of global warming is an interesting thought. Even folks with Mexican ropers are selling off this stock for hambuger as the even the rodeo market thins out.
    The one old ranching family I know, the folks take every cash job they can get, and work the stock “after hours”, even though they sit on a couple of million dollars of land.
    It may be the end of an era…

  3. begreen Avatar

    i suppose it would have been more appropriate to say that the conditions favor Simplot relative to smaller operations.

    Simplot has significant holdings throughout the commodity chain. When feed prices soar, Simplot company collects – just like with oil companies – unfortunately, smaller operations have to pay market ~ operations that have feed holdings are not as pressured by market price fluctuation – they pay production – if that – when they have public land permits they pay a fraction of market. some smaller operations are forced to make those tough decisions – whether to sell even their private land to pay off debt incurred dealing with even past drought, feed prices doubled, etc. etc. .

    Voluntary buyouts would pay public lands permit holders $175 per AUM to retire their public land allotments and the permittee would keep their base property. It’s totally voluntary. Permittees do with the money as they please.

    If it’s the end of an era, and people are caught juggling debt – it seems to me ranchers ought at least have a way to secure their private land.

  4. Eric T Avatar
    Eric T

    Simplot comes and go in Idaho; Mike makes a funny.

  5. Sara O. Avatar
    Sara O.

    I agree, It would be sad if ranchers had to sell and thier land gets subdivided into 10 acre ranchettes or less. What’s worse ranching or development?

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Brian Ertz