Cedar Rapids Gazette, April 29, 1974, Page 24

Cedar Rapids Gazette

April 29, 1974

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Issue date: Monday, April 29, 1974

Pages available: 48

Previous edition: Sunday, April 28, 1974

Next edition: Tuesday, April 30, 1974

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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - April 29, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 'Don’t Make it on One Bunch... Keep Going’ By Terry Ryan WEBSTER CITY (AP) - Hans Nelson was ankle deep in the feedlot muck helping prod the last of 68 fat steers toward the truck ramp. They were going to the slaughterhouse. “I don't know if we are actually losing that much money on these, but we’ll never get wages for raising them,” he said. "We’re just sort of throwing that in.” The Nelson brothers, Harry and Hans, farm 2,200 acres in central Iowa, inc luding the 120 acres their Danish immigrant father started on. They raise corn, soybeans and oats from the flat, black earth, most of it to feed their livestock. They market about 2.000 hogs and 600 cattle a year. “I suppose you could come right out and say we lost money on these cattle that went today,” said Harry Nelson a few hours later “Tm talking the cost of corn at today’s prices, I’m talking $2 an hour for our labor, the vet bill. the other billv We should have had $200 more a head. “Nixon was right when he said the farmer never had it so good,” said Harry Nelson. “But he forgot to mention that it was 73 that was good, not ’74. Already we’re taking a beating.” Harry, 54, and Hans. 47, were sitting in the remodeled kitchen of Harry’s farmhouse. Hans lives on another piece of their acreage, nine miles away by dirt road. “The Boss,” Harry's wife, Irene, poured the coffee. Like most Iowa farmers, Hans Nelson has an opinion on just where the trouble started: "It all began last year when the government put the ceiling prices on And it got worse when they took them off ” Shortly before price controls were lifted last summer, market ready cattle were bringing 61cents a pound at the Central Iowa stockyards in Webster City. They went for 4! cents a pound during the’ first week of this month. Lost $9,000 Keep Going “But it’s a business, just because you don’t make it on one bunch . . . well, you keep on going.” They broke even on the sale of the steers. The Nelson brothers lost money the last three times they sent cattle to market. Their situation is not unusual, During a time of declining slaughterhouse prices, cattle feeders have been caught with animals they paid record high prices for last year and fattened on record-priced grains. The American National Cattlemen's Assn. estimates the industry has already lost more than $1 billion. Until recently, say some cattlemen, the lower prices they were being paid were not reflected at the supermarkets After 25 years of farming, the Nelsons have the money behind them to ride out the hard times now. Some cattle raisers, however, are reconsidering Empty Pens There are empty pens in the high-volume feedlots of Texas and Colorado and many farmers are not putting cattle on feed for delivery next summer and fall Consumer beef shortages may be the end result, but farmers are baling the pinch now. The Nelson brothers bought 68 young heifers last fall for $24,000. They fed them IS pounds of corn a day. plus protein supplements, and paid the veterinary bill and (»ther expenses. They could have sold the corn — 50 bushels an animal—for as much as $3 a bushel. After putting 600 pounds on each one. they sold the heifers last month for $24.(*00. exactly what they paid for them originally . “When you add it up, I guess we lost about $9,000 on them,” said Harry "And that’s with no allocation for our labor. “We are really a bunch of small businesses competing against each other. That's what we are,” he went on. "First to the fields, first to get the corn planted, first to get it harvested. This is what makes us what we are.” "Is it worth it for us to feed these cattle and not make a lot of money? Probably, now. we can say, ‘yeah. it is,’ ” said Irene. "A young farmer w ho is starting out and he’s mortgaged to the teeth at the bank would not look at it the same way.” VV all Street Cowboys The other people hurting real bad, says flans, are the feedlot investors The so-called Wall Street cowboys, they are doctors and lawyers and business men who found it profitable in recent vears to buv voung cattle and AP Wirephoto Harry Nelson, left, and his brother, Hans, chat in front of the cattle pen at their farm near Webster City. They farm 2,200 acres in central Iowa, raising corn, soybeans and oats to feed their livestock. They market 2,000 hogs and 600 cattle a year. Iowa City Soil Official Gets New Position COUNCIL BLUFFS -Kendell Olin of Iowa City has been named to direct activities of the agriculture department's .Soil Conservation Service (SCS) in an 11-county area of western Iowa, according to Wilson T. Moon, state conservationist. Olin will begin work as area conservationist in Council Bluffs on May 12. supervising soil and water conservation activities in Audubon, Adair, Carroll, Cass, Crawford, Guthrie, Greene, Harrison. Monona, Pottawattamie and Shelby counties. Olin has been Johnson county district conservationist in Iowa City for the last four years. He began work with the soil service at Centerville in 1957 and worked with the service at Onawa and Rockwell City before moving to Iowa City. Olin succeeds Leon Foderberg as area conservationist. have them fattened in commercial feedlots "I got a brother-in-law, a banker, out in California and he's been getting into cattle. They got feedlots out there that you just buy a pen and hire them fed,” flans explained. “And he's been bragging to me about how much money he made. I told him, ‘Just wait, you’re going to see the other way one of these times.’ Well, he’s got a bunch now he’s going to lose his butt on ” Hans Nelson looks bigger than his 6 feet, 180 pounds. Big bones, red cheeks, deep-etched lines around the eyes and an inch-high crew cut on top. He and Carol, his wife, have a son and two daughters. Still Hoping In their latest purchase, the brothers bought 73 fresh heife rs weighing 625 pounds each. They will feed them fur four months, pay the bills and take them to market at about 1.050 pounds. They remain optimistic. flans: “We’re hoping to make money on them, there's no question of it We don't do this for the fun of it.” Harry: “Sure we have our ups and downs. We’ve lost money time's before. Ifs just like any business. If things don’t get no worse. we ll make out all right on these.” To keep things from getting worse, they say, cattle raisers must convince the American housewife to start buying beef again. "They quit < ating beef last July when it got so high,” said flans. "It was all the publicity it got. They started (ating macaroni. The thing is. we got to get them aware that beef is a good buy now and ge t them back to eating it “ Too Early To Assess Soviet Crops WASHINGTON (AP) -Reports of planting troubles in the Soviet Union this spring are not cause for concluding that Russia soon may tie on the prowl again for huge quantities of U.S. grain, according to agriculture department experts. The Soviet press charged this week that bad weather and inefficiency on the farms had caused delay s in planting grain crops for harvest later this vcar. Roger S. Euler, who specializes in ( ommunist-area agriculture for the department’s Economic Research Service, said the reports were not particularly alarming Given a break in the weather, Soviet farmers still could catch up. he said. Quite Early “It's still quite early to tell what might happen.’’ Euler said. “Unless there is something else that we don’t Lower Yields Per Acre Cause Iowa Corn Slide DES MOINES (UPI) - Corn production across iowa was down by 25 million bushels. with few counties increasing production over 1972 figures, according to a report issued bv the state Crop and Livestock Reporting Service. The reporting service said the preliminary report, which is subject to change as additional figures are gathered, listed production for the 1973 season at 1.204 billion bushels. The production for the previous year was 1.229 billion bushels — a decline of 25 million bushels. More Acres The decline in production came despite the fact farmers harvested about 500,000 more acres in corn in 1973 than in the previous year. The yield per acre dropped off by eight bushels an acre — from 116 in 1972 to HIH last year. According to the report, the top corn-producing district in the state was the 12-county area in northwest Iowa which had 118.2 million bushels in production. The top producing county was Kossuth, which had a total harvest of 27 million bushels. Other top producing counties were Sioux. Pottawattamie, Plymouth and Woodbury. All had more than 20 million bushels in production. Least Output The county with the least production was Monroe', which recorded a corn harvest of 2.8 million bushels. In yield-per-acre, Story county was the leader with 124 9 bushels and Boone county second with 122.9 bushels arid Polk county third with 121.8 J bushels an acre. Other counties which had a production of ! more than 115 bushels an ac re i were O'Brien, Palo Alto, ! Pocahontas, Kossuth. Win- I nebago. Wright. Jasper and 1 Greene. --L know about, this shouldn’t bi' taken too seriously at this time.” According to Pravda. the leading Communist party newspaper, planting delays have occurred partly because of a cold and rainy spring. It also i hided Soviet farmers for mismanagement As of April 22. the newspaper said, only 41.7 million acres, or 16 percent of the intended acreage, had been planted. A year earlier, 107.2 million acres had been planted. The Soviet Union then went on to harvest a record grain crop of 222.5 million metric tons of wheat and other grains, a dramatic comeback from 1972 when poor weather and other problems reduced the crop to 168 million tons l .S. Negotiations Consequently, the Soviets quietly negotiated with U S traders in mid- 1972 to buy more than 4(H) million bushels of wheat, one-fourth of the crop that year. Reduced harvests elsewhere sent many other countries into the U S. market, resulting in a record export boom and soaring grain prices. Euler said it was apparent from news reports that there is a “serious lag” in Soviet planting this spring, compared with the last two years. Then, he said, the Soviets were under extreme pressure to expand spring grain plantings in hopes of making up deficits But compared with other recent years, Euler said, So\ let planting this spring is not far- ( mg badly. I /rn fred Goal The Soviets announced nearly two months ago that the 1974 grain harvest goal was 205.6 million tons, down sharply from last year's record production. Bul I SDA officials at the time thought the goal was a bit optimistic. Department experts said Russia’s huge crop last year may have exceeded needs by 23 million tons so that now there is a reserve of grain to act as a buffer against any short-falls in 1974 production. Appointment Duane II Larson of* Jamaica has been named to the Iowa Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service (ASCH) committee which administers the federal farm program in the state Larson succeeds ILK Russell of Bedford. Milo Lee of Inwood is chairman, and Ward Handorf of Gladbrook is the other farmer on the three-member committee. Larson operates a 640-acre grain and livestock farm in Greene county. ON THIS DATE in 1894 a band of jobless men known as Jacob ( oxey’s Army swarmed into Washington to sock relief from congress. DR. CRAVEN DCNOST PRACTICE 11 MI TED TO DENTURE WORK 113 I»( Ave SE, Cedar t>.apid». la De* Moine* • Mown C*y  5 »ou« City_ We have moved to a New Location Bill Malloy    at 229 Second Ave. SE Come and Visit Us! I ta Ho if 4i>trvh>rs 229 Second Avenue SE 362-3870 GIFT TIME AT GOODYEAR For Moms. Dads and Grads TOUCH-TONE Bargain on Touch-Tone Service. Any three Touch-Tone home phones just $5 95 a month plus your basic telephone service charge. 5 Piece Component PACKAGE Includes Free Rollabout stand! Attractive Wood and Metal Stand with Storage Rack! Josh pri< h ca ludmg 6J?2l .ax. EM/AM FN! stereo radio 8-trark tape player, record player vvith dust cover, two large? dosed speakers, unit has controls [cr balance, volume, bass and treble plus cueing control.and reramk: cartridge. Includes headphone set. Northwestern Bell COMING • H $((<(/(/y AUTO PAINTING Since 1937 I ANY CAR FOR ONLY I Mr Coffee’ Decorative glass decanter comes with filters! J • < Colfee Brewer with aulomalic warming plate! ANY CAR ... I COLOR I COMPLETE BOOT & fENOER REPAIR Flavorful coffee fast! From tap water to toffee instantly . . . 10-cup potful free from grounds and bitter taste. Solid State Pocket Radio Comes with 9-volt batt. $099 All solid-state circuit-2' i" PM Speaker. V.ny! carry strap. Ferrite rod antenna. Black W/Silver. ll. .VK. 2 channel * spic, plier I 8-pt*. Stereo 13988 FM/AM-FM stereo radio. 8-tr. tape clayer — automatic/ manual changer, 4-sp. record player, phones, aland Sc/tem 5 WAYS TO CHARO! • Our Own Customer Cr»dit Ptan • Moi for Flan • Maiiar Charta • BankAmaricard • Amtman Eiprou Monty Card • Carle Blanch# See Color Advertisement In The Tuesday April 30th Issue of the Cedar Rapids Gazette WORLD'S lARCHT WTO TAINTIS STILL AMERICA'S (BIGGEST BARGAIN!! lOOO 2ND AVK. S i. 366-7544 CEDAR RAPIDS—402 Second Ave. SE Phone 366-1807 Daily 7:30-5:30—Mon. & Thurs. Till 9—Sat. Till 5 MARION—East Edge on Seventh Ave. Phone 377 4888 Daily 7:30-5:30—Thurs. Till 9—Sat. Till 3 12 Thp Cedar Rapids Gazette: Mon.. Apr. 29, 197\ * I \ ;

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