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Weather, beef, and combines

Thank goodness for the ever-changing weather in the Flint Hills. Quick changes in the weather are as reliable as an artesian well. You can count on it.

Example: I’m writing this column on Wednesday and the temp is 18 degrees and a blue-norther is piling a drift of blowing snow at least 5-foot deep not 15 feet from where I sit writing.

By contrast, Monday the temperature hit 69-degrees and was sunny enuf to make me think of spring — way too early, as I knew at the time. Tuesday wuz cloudy and in the 40s — not much fun to be out in. Then it started blowing and snowing about 8 p.m. Tuesday and ain’t quit yet. The forecasters say the snow will move east on Thursday and temps might reach into the 50s by the weekend.



Whew! I feel sorry for my ranching friends who are trying to keep newborn calves alive in this weather.

***



The current price of beef in the supermarket or meat market emphasizes the need to keep calves alive to produce beef in 18 months. Yesterday, I stopped into a local meat market and deli to buy some cheeses to help me weather the storm and I sneaked a peek into its fresh meat case.

Wow! Prime grade filet mignon wuz priced at $32 per pound. Choice grade wuz around $24 per pound — as were the choice rib steaks, KC strips, tri-tips, etc.

I’m sure glad ol’ Nevah and I popped a half a beef into our freezer last fall and it was priced considerably less than that in the meat market yesterday, but I wuz glad to pay the rancher’s asking price and the locker plant’s processing fee.

I think ol’ Nevah has a big pot of stew meat from that beef perking in the crock pot right now and we’ll be enjoying some hot veggie/beef stew for supper.

As for the beef industry, the packers are making a killing. I wish a more equitable split of the profits was going to the producers.

So far, this administration’s promise to apply the antitrust laws to the meat packing industry has yielded little of nuthin’.

***

Well, as readers know, I’m a fan of the Kansas City Chiefs. And, the Chiefs found out last Sunday in the playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals that football karma is a bummer. The same thing happened to Chiefs that they applied to the Buffalo Bills the week before. They had a second-half meltdown and lost in overtime. It just proves that in any human endeavor it’s tough to stay on top.

***

I’m still making slow progress on my oral/video life history. I’ve got probably six hours recorded and saved for posterity. Who knows when that “posterity” will kick in. After all, I turned 79 last week.

***

I got an interesting e-mail earlier today from a reader from Brighton, Colo., ol’ Luke Nomore, who has a clever bizness for agricultural folks. He has a bizness of providing a huge inventory of unwanted, worn out, slightly-damaged, or overstocked industrial “materials” for farmers and ranchers to buy and “repurpose” and use in novel ways to solve problems on their rural enterprises.

For instance, you might be surprised at how many clever applications that aggies can find for simple worn out rubber industrial conveyor belts. Luke’s website sez farmers and ranchers have used worn out rubber industrial conveyor belts for such things as cattle windbreaks, cattle feed bunks, combine header protection from corn and grain sorghum stalks, flexible and durable water gap fencing, as heavy-duty cattle slings for hoof trimming or partially-paralyzed cattle, erosion control in ditches, to line cattle working alleys. Also, horse stall mats, cattle lounging mats, kennel mats, truck bed protection, mud flaps, boat dock bumper shields.

I love to see ways to keep “stuff” out of landfills and put it to a useful re-life.

***

Just before the last harvest began, a wheat-producer friend of mine, ol’ “Turkey Redd,” decided it was time to trade-off his ol’ combine. Being an ardent shopper, he invited dealers to demonstrate their respective machine’s abilities in his wheat field. The next day, the dealers had their machines poised for action in his field. He watched closely from the cab as the first two machines went through his field. He climbed up and closely examined the cleanliness of the wheat in the hopper, and he closely checked the number of kernels thrown out the back of the combine.

Finally, he watched as the third combine went a hundred feet and consumed a jack-rabbit into the feeder house. He quickly looked behind and observed the rabbit being spit out and running away, appearing to be none the worse for the wear.

He turned to the salesman and said, “No need of going any further. If a rabbit can survive going through this machine, it can’t be much of a harvester.”

That’s when the dealer took a look in the grain hopper and pulled out two rabbit testicles. “You wanted to only harvest the seed, didn’t you,” he told the farmer.

Needless to say, ol’ Turkey Redd bought the last combine demonstrated.

***

Words of wisdom for the week: “A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.” Have a good ‘un,


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