Late spring presents challenges

Bring on the sunshine–my students started here at the Emo Agricultural Research Station on Monday!
I have two new students this year: Nick Donaldson, attending the University of Guelph, and Lucas Hudson from the University of Western Ontario.
It always is a bit challenging to start up with two new students (I’ve been doing this job for so long that I forget to explain things fully).
Fortunately, things slowly fall into place once we start doing field work and the kids learn that it’s completely normal for me sing out loud!
I really enjoy sharing summers with kids that have so much to live for and such a great time of their lives! That’s likely why I still think I am 25 most of the time.
The year has started off rather challenging with our late spring and with my former boss retiring. Administration roles certainly have increased, but I feel it all will work out in time.
It is a new way of doing business not only for me, but the person I report to who is now in Kemptville, Ont.
Meanwhile, we still are looking for potential trials here at EARS so if there is something you are interested in, get in touch with me as quickly as possible.
• • •
I’ve been hearing some unfortunate reports from our last cattle sale.
The Stratton sales barn is an auction barn–we work hard to get cattle at the barn and to get as many possible buyers for sale day. We are lucky to have local buyers, as well as those from both the west and the east.
We cannot control the market and we all know the cattle market fluctuates with feed, weather, disease, the value of the Canadian dollar, and many other factors. In fact, the cattle market dropped the week prior to our sale on April 20.
Cattle market information is available and anyone can look up the current trends (or have someone else do that for you). If you look at our sale results, you will see that we were selling at similar prices to the west and only a few cents lower than the east.
This is normally the case since buyers purchase cattle that they are trucking to the east with the transportation cost in mind (you can safely say that could range from seven-nine cents/pound).
It is unfortunate that the prices dropped before our sale, but we have no control over that. I can say that we work hard at Stratton to do the best we can for our producers and we are doing things legally and fairly.
I know there was some talk about the date the cheques were issued. Again, we are unable to secure a $1 million or $2 million overdraft, so we pay our producers when we have been paid for all the cattle.
The cheques all are issued before we leave the sales barn–so the minute the final payment is paid to us, the cheques are dropped in the mail.
Please keep in mind we do this four times a year and we are trying our best.
If you have anything at all that you would like to discuss with the RRCA board, we welcome anyone to attend a monthly meeting.

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