Growing US Cow Herd ?

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farmerjan
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Re: Growing US Cow Herd ?

Postby farmerjan » Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:03 pm

We can survive on the 1.50 for steers but as my son said, if they were 1.75 we would be able to make a bit and have a decent return. We always said that the 2.50 and 3.00 was way too high, nice while it lasted but not sensible or sustainable. We always get a little less here due to the trucking costs to "anywhere they have to go". Most are in the 1.25 to 1.45 right now. I will try to go by the sale on Friday and just sit for a bit and see. The weather has been good to get into places in order to haul cattle. It has been an up and down week for temps and supposed to get back up to 50's & 60's days. We have had alot of wind so the ground is pretty dry and firm. Rain maybe coming back in in about a week. If temps stay up, the cool season grasses will really start to green up.
We would just like to be able to make a decent living, don't have to get rich.

Will have some more to sell in early-mid march. Hope the weather will be encouraging. Should start spring calving in about 2 weeks.
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Re: Growing US Cow Herd ?

Postby reeler » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:16 pm

We would just like to be able to make a decent living, don't have to get rich.
farmerjan wrote:We can survive on the 1.50 for steers but as my son said, if they were 1.75 we would be able to make a bit and have a decent return. We always said that the 2.50 and 3.00 was way too high, nice while it lasted but not sensible or sustainable. We always get a little less here due to the trucking costs to "anywhere they have to go". Most are in the 1.25 to 1.45 right now. I will try to go by the sale on Friday and just sit for a bit and see. The weather has been good to get into places in order to haul cattle. It has been an up and down week for temps and supposed to get back up to 50's & 60's days. We have had alot of wind so the ground is pretty dry and firm. Rain maybe coming back in in about a week. If temps stay up, the cool season grasses will really start to green up.
We would just like to be able to make a decent living, don't have to get rich.

Will have some more to sell in early-mid march. Hope the weather will be encouraging. Should start spring calving in about 2 weeks.


"We would just like to be able to make a decent living, don't have to get rich"
From reading your posts, sounds like you work really hard, & your desire is attainable.Hope you have a great calving season. :)
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Re: Growing US Cow Herd ?

Postby skyhightree1 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:22 pm

I have been having discussions with some folks about expanding the herd while prices down and my comment was yes its nice to buy cheap breds now. They look at getting a bred cow that's 1000 and say with current prices they should be able to pay for the cow in 2 years if each calf sells for 500.00 each. I told them that's in a perfect world you will get 1000 but IMO you will still be behind the 8 ball then because of care and upkeep for that cow ETC. Then I said if prices for feeds etc are still high it doesn't mean cattle prices will go up to offset the costs and that when prices do go up a bit you can still be in the red if you are true with your numbers. I said for me I will keep most of what I got and some money aside and if there is an upward trend and things are starting to get better then I will roll the dice and buy breds and see what happens but now for me its way too shaky to expand a lot when IMO things haven't even began to level off and show any kind of average trending. Does anyone see what im saying? Each cow I keep a year I truly believe it costs me $700.00 a year. So buying now and getting calves and being honest with myself unless we get $3.00 calves for several years I just don't see me being to the good.
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Re: Growing US Cow Herd ?

Postby RanchMan90 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:46 pm

skyhightree1 wrote:I have been having discussions with some folks about expanding the herd while prices down and my comment was yes its nice to buy cheap breds now. They look at getting a bred cow that's 1000 and say with current prices they should be able to pay for the cow in 2 years if each calf sells for 500.00 each. I told them that's in a perfect world you will get 1000 but IMO you will still be behind the 8 ball then because of care and upkeep for that cow ETC. Then I said if prices for feeds etc are still high it doesn't mean cattle prices will go up to offset the costs and that when prices do go up a bit you can still be in the red if you are true with your numbers. I said for me I will keep most of what I got and some money aside and if there is an upward trend and things are starting to get better then I will roll the dice and buy breds and see what happens but now for me its way too shaky to expand a lot when IMO things haven't even began to level off and show any kind of average trending. Does anyone see what im saying? Each cow I keep a year I truly believe it costs me $700.00 a year. So buying now and getting calves and being honest with myself unless we get $3.00 calves for several years I just don't see me being to the good.

I agree on your cost # figuring a land payment, cow payment, and feed figured in.
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Re: Growing US Cow Herd ?

Postby skyhightree1 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:00 pm

RanchMan90 wrote:
skyhightree1 wrote:I have been having discussions with some folks about expanding the herd while prices down and my comment was yes its nice to buy cheap breds now. They look at getting a bred cow that's 1000 and say with current prices they should be able to pay for the cow in 2 years if each calf sells for 500.00 each. I told them that's in a perfect world you will get 1000 but IMO you will still be behind the 8 ball then because of care and upkeep for that cow ETC. Then I said if prices for feeds etc are still high it doesn't mean cattle prices will go up to offset the costs and that when prices do go up a bit you can still be in the red if you are true with your numbers. I said for me I will keep most of what I got and some money aside and if there is an upward trend and things are starting to get better then I will roll the dice and buy breds and see what happens but now for me its way too shaky to expand a lot when IMO things haven't even began to level off and show any kind of average trending. Does anyone see what im saying? Each cow I keep a year I truly believe it costs me $700.00 a year. So buying now and getting calves and being honest with myself unless we get $3.00 calves for several years I just don't see me being to the good.

I agree on your cost # figuring a land payment, cow payment, and feed figured in.


I do not have any land payments so to speak but I rent land and my cows are paid for and feed for the most part is just my fuel to go get it. However, My time is worth something to check them daily and fuel fertilizer electric to run fences and many more things associated with the costs if I had land payments and cow payments id figure they would cost me 1000.00 per head per year. People don't figure in every little detail and cost on raising cattle. If its to be a profitable endeavor you really need to figure everything in. I was once in LALA land about the true costs of how much it is to keep cattle until Dun/CB really drove some points that hit home.
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Re: Growing US Cow Herd ?

Postby True Grit Farms » Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:49 pm

RanchMan90 wrote:
skyhightree1 wrote:I have been having discussions with some folks about expanding the herd while prices down and my comment was yes its nice to buy cheap breds now. They look at getting a bred cow that's 1000 and say with current prices they should be able to pay for the cow in 2 years if each calf sells for 500.00 each. I told them that's in a perfect world you will get 1000 but IMO you will still be behind the 8 ball then because of care and upkeep for that cow ETC. Then I said if prices for feeds etc are still high it doesn't mean cattle prices will go up to offset the costs and that when prices do go up a bit you can still be in the red if you are true with your numbers. I said for me I will keep most of what I got and some money aside and if there is an upward trend and things are starting to get better then I will roll the dice and buy breds and see what happens but now for me its way too shaky to expand a lot when IMO things haven't even began to level off and show any kind of average trending. Does anyone see what im saying? Each cow I keep a year I truly believe it costs me $700.00 a year. So buying now and getting calves and being honest with myself unless we get $3.00 calves for several years I just don't see me being to the good.

I agree on your cost # figuring a land payment, cow payment, and feed figured in.


You guy's must charge a lot to the cow that I don't. I charge all my feed, fuel, and seed to the cows, and the deer and fish eat free. My expenses are in line with CB's, my greatest cattle expense is hay and fertilizer. A person can do better working at McDonald's, but my time is priceless and I enjoy cattle and living the life.
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Re: Growing US Cow Herd ?

Postby skyhightree1 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:54 pm

True Grit Farms wrote:
You guy's must charge a lot to the cow that I don't. I charge all my feed, fuel, and seed to the cows, and the deer and fish eat free. My expenses are in line with CB's, my greatest cattle expense is hay and fertilizer. A person can do better working at McDonald's, but my time is priceless and I enjoy cattle and living the life.


TG on serious note truly asking what do you figure each cow costs you per year?
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Re: Growing US Cow Herd ?

Postby True Grit Farms » Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:48 pm

skyhightree1 wrote:
True Grit Farms wrote:
You guy's must charge a lot to the cow that I don't. I charge all my feed, fuel, and seed to the cows, and the deer and fish eat free. My expenses are in line with CB's, my greatest cattle expense is hay and fertilizer. A person can do better working at McDonald's, but my time is priceless and I enjoy cattle and living the life.


TG on serious note truly asking what do you figure each cow costs you per year?


I honestly have no idea, and that's being straight up. In 2015 each cow averaged $735.00 against it. But that's not fair to the cows or our management style. Last weeks trip to New York will be charged against the cows, as well as our trip to Louisville for the farm show. Cows work really good for our lifestyle.
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Re: Growing US Cow Herd ?

Postby NolanCountyAG » Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:08 pm

Last year my total expenses/# of head was around $350. I'm being pretty aggressive on paying my cow note off. Outside of the cattle my hunting operation is thriving. Deer, turkey, and quail hunting is really in demand in this area.
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Re: Growing US Cow Herd ?

Postby skyhightree1 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:10 pm

True Grit Farms wrote:
I honestly have no idea, and that's being straight up. In 2015 each cow averaged $735.00 against it. But that's not fair to the cows or our management style. Last weeks trip to New York will be charged against the cows, as well as our trip to Louisville for the farm show. Cows work really good for our lifestyle.


Fair enough.. The cows have bought me property and helped me get things I needed/wanted over the years but being prices dropped off I examined the things I do for them and affix a true expense to keeping them. I will always have some atleast 20 cows I like them but they need to pay there way atleast.
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Re: Growing US Cow Herd ?

Postby skyhightree1 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:14 pm

I was curious about average yearly cost so I did a Google search. I was wondering if I was crazy and way off base. Here is a link I found

http://www.beefmagazine.com/cow-calf/wh ... t-keep-cow
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Re: Growing US Cow Herd ?

Postby NolanCountyAG » Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:21 pm

skyhightree1 wrote:I was curious about average yearly cost so I did a Google search. I was wondering if I was crazy and way off base. Here is a link I found

http://www.beefmagazine.com/cow-calf/wh ... t-keep-cow


How do they come up with those numbers? I honestly don't see how anyone can put 750-900/yr into keeping a cow. Is there that much of a regional difference?
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Re: Growing US Cow Herd ?

Postby skyhightree1 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:32 pm

NolanCountyAG wrote:
skyhightree1 wrote:I was curious about average yearly cost so I did a Google search. I was wondering if I was crazy and way off base. Here is a link I found

http://www.beefmagazine.com/cow-calf/wh ... t-keep-cow


How do they come up with those numbers? I honestly don't see how anyone can put 750-900/yr into keeping a cow. Is there that much of a regional difference?


I look at the fact the have to pay rent as there using resources I pay for. Electricity,whether well or fencing or lights in barn or sheds.land there on has expenses such as fertilizer lime chemicals to control weeds etc my time and fuel to check them daily.. Fuel to haul there feed daily, tractor fuel and maintenance and such with other things involved so I think 2.00 a day for each head is a fair estimate Nolan I don't buy feed I get Brewers grain for free just fuel involved with that but if I bought feed it would go up.
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Re: Growing US Cow Herd ?

Postby farmerjan » Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:12 pm

We are figuring that it is costing about $500 year per c/cf pair. That is rents, hay, feed, fertilizer for the pastures and costs to spread it, fuel to haul hay to the pastures. We don't figure in the cost of our own labor. If we were figuring our own labor then I would say more like $7-800. The reasoning is that I don't have a "hobby" like having a boat, or going camping, or going to the stock car races or anything like that, that I would be spending alot of money on. My cows are my relaxation as well as my "aggravation".
Fuel, fertilizer, paying help with small sq bales, etc for making hay is all figured into the average "price" that we put on the value of the hay. I happen to really like riding the tractor to rake hay so I can't put a money value on something that I enjoy.
We have gotten to where we are doing more rotational grazing and it does cut our costs. Like the pasture we just moved those 30 c-c pairs to. They have had 6 rolls of hay in a month and are spending as much time grazing as they are eating the hay. They will be going on the 2 hayfields next week for approx a month and will have access to about 15 rolls of hay placed along the edges of the fields in the wooded areas. When that is gone they will come out. My son did a cost thing a couple of years ago to try to determine the actual costs and I was surprised it was about 1.00 to 1.25 a day avg over the year. Since then it has gone up some. One thing that saves us is that we make alot of hay off of "free" ground (no rent payments) that all we have to do is sign land use papers for. But we have also rented 2 places that are high cost...they have all new fences and improved with wells and water troughs and all that but then that adds the cost of the electricity to run the wells that really makes me mad. There were a couple of perfectly good small streams that had good access and little erosion that are now fenced off and they cost nothing for the water and they still were in the plans for the cross fencing. There is always a trade off.
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Re: Growing US Cow Herd ?

Postby Nesikep » Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:33 pm

At the end of the year I look at my bank account.. has it grown or shrunk? All the rest is irrelevant.. Yes, I could work at McDonalds or other boring job and hate every instant of it and probably have more "Income", but I sure wouldn't have anything at the end of the year to show for it.. I'm going to be working anyhow, as long as I can keep a roof over my head, food in the belly, and gas in the truck and tractors. The cows definitely need to pay for fuel, bale twine, parts, etc, and any hired help, and provide me with a living.. More than that is a pipe dream, especially on my scale
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