Pounds per Acre all over again ?

Backgrounding & feeding questions.
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Pounds per Acre all over again ?

Postby Stocker Steve » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:57 am

I revisited some old threads over the holidays. One humorous oldie was a warning that cheap feed and cheap fuel could not last - - so we needed to buy low line bulls. I tried to ballpark how long it would take to flip a cow herd regardless of the direction chosen, and came up with 8 to 10 years... Does this sound right?
Also looked at running more yearlings. I realize the value of gain is down a bit due to cheap corn, but this still looks like a good opportunity. What prevents you from doing this, and running fewer cows? Is there too much management required or ?
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Re: Pounds per Acre all over again ?

Postby shaz » Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:19 pm

Not a 100% sure what you're asking. Are you saying "why not run a smaller cow-calf herd and supplement with stockers"?
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Re: Pounds per Acre all over again ?

Postby bball » Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:44 pm

Stocker Steve wrote:I revisited some old threads over the holidays. One humorous oldie was a warning that cheap feed and cheap fuel could not last - - so we needed to buy low line bulls. I tried to ballpark how long it would take to flip a cow herd regardless of the direction chosen, and came up with 8 to 10 years... Does this sound right?
Also looked at running more yearlings. I realize the value of gain is down a bit due to cheap corn, but this still looks like a good opportunity. What prevents you from doing this, and running fewer cows? Is there too much management required or ?


Two things for me. Time and availability. My area decent yearlings just aren't readily available. 2 options: sale barn or private treaty. Sale barn is a weekly investment of time = a full day shot. To flip a coin if there will be something worth the trip. Private treaty is tough because there are very few around me and those that may have some yearlings have them priced high enough that the margin is very small. Supply and demand reigns in my neck of the woods.
I have often wondered if I'm doing this all wrong with cow/calf. I believe I would enjoy running some stockers from spring until late fall or even first of year, but finding them around me in groups of more than 3 or 4 is a real challenge.
A neighbor of mine has 3 hog barns and also grows out some fats on the side. I suppose he has 70 to 140 beef at any given time. He runs the sale barn circuit in our area every week. We have talked often on the topic. Some weeks he brings home 4 or 5 young calfs; plenty of weeks, he drives an empty trailer home. Best he can do is keep 3 groups that are 'close' in size because the supply fluctuates greatly.
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Re: Pounds per Acre all over again ?

Postby shaz » Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:02 pm

bball wrote:
Stocker Steve wrote:I revisited some old threads over the holidays. One humorous oldie was a warning that cheap feed and cheap fuel could not last - - so we needed to buy low line bulls. I tried to ballpark how long it would take to flip a cow herd regardless of the direction chosen, and came up with 8 to 10 years... Does this sound right?
Also looked at running more yearlings. I realize the value of gain is down a bit due to cheap corn, but this still looks like a good opportunity. What prevents you from doing this, and running fewer cows? Is there too much management required or ?


Two things for me. Time and availability. My area decent yearlings just aren't readily available. 2 options: sale barn or private treaty. Sale barn is a weekly investment of time = a full day shot. To flip a coin if there will be something worth the trip. Private treaty is tough because there are very few around me and those that may have some yearlings have them priced high enough that the margin is very small. Supply and demand reigns in my neck of the woods.
I have often wondered if I'm doing this all wrong with cow/calf. I believe I would enjoy running some stockers from spring until late fall or even first of year, but finding them around me in groups of more than 3 or 4 is a real challenge.
A neighbor of mine has 3 hog barns and also grows out some fats on the side. I suppose he has 70 to 140 beef at any given time. He runs the sale barn circuit in our area every week. We have talked often on the topic. Some weeks he brings home 4 or 5 young calfs; plenty of weeks, he drives an empty trailer home. Best he can do is keep 3 groups that are 'close' in size because the supply fluctuates greatly.


I would have thought most of Indiana would have a large enough calf selection that he would easily be able to find what he wants unless there are a lot of other guys doing the same thing. Maybe the corn farmers dabble with stocker calves when corn prices are low?
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Re: Pounds per Acre all over again ?

Postby bball » Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:13 pm

shaz wrote:would have thought most of Indiana would have a large enough calf selection that he would easily be able to find what he wants unless there are a lot of other guys doing the same thing. Maybe the corn farmers dabble with stocker calves when corn prices are low?


Im in the northern half of the state. More row crop country, and until very very recently, most of these boys didnt have time or need to fool with beef cattle too much. Plant spring, harvest fall, count your money and head to Florida for winter. Of course the past few years have squashed that for a lot of folks.

Southern half of the state has more cattle and is better suited for it too. East of Indy still has some cattle folks and of course, south.

That's the problem we have in our area, there just isn't a lot of guys growing beef. Those that are, have 30 cows or so, and there aren't many of them here. Nothing like what you see in KY, TN, AR, TX, OK, MO.
It's one of the reasons we are able to sell all our calfs so easily private treaty. Just not much supply by us...which is why I keep cow/calving it.
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Re: Pounds per Acre all over again ?

Postby Stocker Steve » Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:40 pm

shaz wrote:Are you saying "why not run a smaller cow-calf herd and supplement with stockers"?


Yes
I know it is hard to sit all day at the sales barn - - but you can retain your own or find a good order buyer.
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Re: Pounds per Acre all over again ?

Postby ddd75 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 6:17 am

i'm building 2 new barns this year to raise stockers. and I just built one I can use in the summer for a group as well.

I think the main drawback is the costs and risks. Most people don't want to put that much money into something. I can build my barns myself so I can really be cheap at it.. My 30k barn would be 60 - 75k to have built by someone else. Add in feeding equipment, storage for feeds, lanes to get semi trucks in / out, barns, pens and fencing for all the animals, and handling facilities. After a few hundred thousand you're ready to start receiving cattle.
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Re: Pounds per Acre all over again ?

Postby shaz » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:39 am

Stocker Steve wrote:
shaz wrote:Are you saying "why not run a smaller cow-calf herd and supplement with stockers"?


Yes
I know it is hard to sit all day at the sales barn - - but you can retain your own or find a good order buyer.


I imagine you could run 3-4 stockers for every cow/calf because you would bee feeding 20-30% daily intake to the stocker calves. In effect you would produce a lot more pounds per acre.

Makes sense because you can match herd numbers to forage in any given year.
Would you run stocker calves with your cow/calf herd?
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Re: Pounds per Acre all over again ?

Postby Lazy M » Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:30 am

I wean at around 7 mos and feed until around 10-11 mos. I'd love to finish out a large group of my own calves, but mud and the need for $ always makes me throw in the towel.
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Re: Pounds per Acre all over again ?

Postby Stocker Steve » Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:17 am

shaz wrote: Would you run stocker calves with your cow/calf herd?


- Traditional theory is to do leader follower grazing, but I don't believe in it.
- Serious stocker guys supplement on pasture, so stockers would need to be separated. Been there, done that, works OK if you have the right set up. Should do this if your calves are light.
- I have been doing the big mob thing recently. I think this works well if you can sort off the stockers and pop them on annuals before you sell.
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Re: Pounds per Acre all over again ?

Postby Brute 23 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:36 am

ddd75 wrote:i'm building 2 new barns this year to raise stockers. and I just built one I can use in the summer for a group as well.

I think the main drawback is the costs and risks. Most people don't want to put that much money into something. I can build my barns myself so I can really be cheap at it.. My 30k barn would be 60 - 75k to have built by someone else. Add in feeding equipment, storage for feeds, lanes to get semi trucks in / out, barns, pens and fencing for all the animals, and handling facilities. After a few hundred thousand you're ready to start receiving cattle.


That doesn't make your barns cheap. It makes your numbers skewed. Which goes to answer the original question. It doesn't make sense unless you ranch full time and have time to spare or its on such a large scale you can hire help. For the average cow calf guy who work another job already the risk is not worth the reward. You are better off throwing a ball with your kids, taking your wife to dinner, or going fishing.
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Re: Pounds per Acre all over again ?

Postby shaz » Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:19 pm

Stocker Steve wrote:
shaz wrote: Would you run stocker calves with your cow/calf herd?


- Traditional theory is to do leader follower grazing, but I don't believe in it.
- Serious stocker guys supplement on pasture, so stockers would need to be separated. Been there, done that, works OK if you have the right set up. Should do this if your calves are light.
- I have been doing the big mob thing recently. I think this works well if you can sort off the stockers and pop them on annuals before you sell.


True,
When I wean calves or receive stockers the first stage is the dry lot to get the calves bunk-broke. I use a 14% Coop feed and hay of whatever quality and the calves come out of the dry lot 2 weeks later looking worse than when they went in. Once they're on pasture and supplemented with 5lbs of feed per day I start to make some progress. Obviously my dry lot program doesn't work.
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Re: Pounds per Acre all over again ?

Postby ddd75 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:39 pm

Brute 23 wrote:
ddd75 wrote:i'm building 2 new barns this year to raise stockers. and I just built one I can use in the summer for a group as well.

I think the main drawback is the costs and risks. Most people don't want to put that much money into something. I can build my barns myself so I can really be cheap at it.. My 30k barn would be 60 - 75k to have built by someone else. Add in feeding equipment, storage for feeds, lanes to get semi trucks in / out, barns, pens and fencing for all the animals, and handling facilities. After a few hundred thousand you're ready to start receiving cattle.


That doesn't make your barns cheap. It makes your numbers skewed. Which goes to answer the original question. It doesn't make sense unless you ranch full time and have time to spare or its on such a large scale you can hire help. For the average cow calf guy who work another job already the risk is not worth the reward. You are better off throwing a ball with your kids, taking your wife to dinner, or going fishing.



More money in the bank, less financial risk, more reward. I'll take my skewed numbers.
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Re: Pounds per Acre all over again ?

Postby Stocker Steve » Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:45 pm

shaz wrote:Obviously my dry lot program doesn't work.


Depends
on what you buy and what you pay.
Had a guy who shared how he could make money on calves that lost weight. :nod:
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Re: Pounds per Acre all over again ?

Postby Stocker Steve » Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:47 pm

Brute 23 wrote:You are better off throwing a ball with your kids, taking your wife to dinner, or going fishing.


My wife is always after me to go fishing with her.
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