Rancher encouraged by the state of the beef industry

From markets to weather, a Nebraska Sandhills rancher says he’s optimistic about the future of the cattle industry.

Rusty Kemp tells Brownfield moisture deficits are gone after a two-year drought. “It started in raining in May.  I hate to say this because I know people are struggling, but our grass is as good as it gets.”

He says he had to market some of his calves earlier than expected. “We marketed some of the big end of our yearlings early just to get them off the pastures.  It turned out we didn’t have to, but that’s just something we did out of an abundance of caution.”

And, Kemp says, cow/calf producers should see their market improve. “I think it’s probably going to be pretty good for three or four years until we start rebuilding as people are not retaining heifers at scale.  Until we get this herd rebuilt, I think we’re going to have strong feeder cattle prices.”

But, he says, feed costs are still high and the quality of grass is less-than-average. Kemp says the quality should improve next spring if there is a significant amount of snow.

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