Nebraska rancher says cattle prices are improving, industry needs compromises


Nebraska rancher says cattle prices are improving, industry needs compromises

Efforts are being made to address the price imbalance in the cattle industry and Western Nebraska cattle rancher Jaclyn Wilson says it’s paying off. “There’s some pockets out there that are seeing some increases in price. I know we are actually selling cattle this week, selling some yearlings off grass, and compared to where the market has been, it’s favorable,” Wilson says.

She tells Brownfield there’s more room for growth if the industry can make compromises. “Anything from cash to live bits to contract cattle to economics in general to traceability, you name it,” she says. “No one can agree on anything.”

While there’s been consensus among many cattle groups for transparency, Wilson says stakeholders still need to come together to move the industry forward. “There needs to be some people that are willing to come up with some of those compromises,” she says. “I think you get a couple of different industry groups in there and they get pretty hardnosed and don’t want to maneuver on where their stances are, and you don’t move forward.”

She says compromises also need to be made with policies from the Biden administration.

Wilson says other issues are complicating issues like the drought.

She says near Lakeside pastures were starting to be short on grass. “They were really dry this summer but fortunately in the last two weeks we got about close to two inches of rain and boy that sure has perked up everything around both the land and the people.”

She tells Brownfield even though the hay quality is less then average, they won’t have to purchase any this winter. “Actually, we’re sitting about the normal hay count right now,” Wilson says. “I think that’s a good place to be, a good spot right now.  We’re still haying some too.  We decided to go back in some places and go deeper on the rushes and what not,” she says.

And, Wilson says the moisture has replenished the water supply. “The saving grace was that we have so many lakes out here that we were able to get down quite a bit lower on those lakes.”

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows that area of Nebraska is abnormally dry.

Jaclyn Wilson of Lakeside: