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On December 23, 2010 in General by spope

It’s just two days before Christmas – about 1/2 of our employees are here today.  We’ve been through a couple of wet snow episodes in the last couple of weeks – I think we’re gun shy now.  Nothing that compares to 12-09-09 though (look back in my blog for that date and you’ll see what I mean).

We are figuring out a lot of end of the year things, trying to see what kind of year we’ve had financially.  We’ve moved a lot of birds this fall, definitely more than we have the last few falls.  We figure we have about 80,000 pheasants left to deliver for the balance of this season – and right now it looks like they all have been spoken for (that can always change – sometimes I think I’ve sold the same bird three times).  Things change because of weather and also preserves can’t always get a handle on how many hunters will be coming to their preserve. 

Our Food Products business is doing well.  We started selling pheasant pot pies, and we’ve really got a hit.  We had built up quite an inventory of dressed pheasants in our freezers, but sales really rebounded and we got our inventory totally under control now.

Grain markets continue to trend upwards – if we were going to pre-book 2011 feed today, we are looking at a $50 per ton increase in feed prices for 2011 compared to 2010.  $50 per ton equates to $.50 increased feed cost per mature bird we produce – something we are sure our preserve customers will find unpalatable.  In the past few years it seems that some of our competitors seem to be on a mission of self destruction (by absorbing increased costs) – and I cannot fathom that those competitors will be able to absorb this latest feed cost increase.  Our plan right now is to wait it out through the holidays with the hope (and intent) that commodity futures prices will drop early in 2011.

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