New to the board - Seeking advice on Custom Grazing

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SouthernGrazed
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New to the board - Seeking advice on Custom Grazing

Post by SouthernGrazed » Wed Jan 29, 2020 12:50 pm

Howdy all,

I'm obviously new to the board but have been reading over the site for several years. There is a lot of knowledge being passed on and great discussion happening which I've appreciated. Anyways, I finally decided to get in on it for myself.

My wife and I have an opportunity to purchase a property in NE Texas which has about 320 acres of pasture land, predominately common and bahia. It is well watered and the grasses are in pretty good shape. The property has cattle on it now, and while there is a lot of cross fencing done, the perimeter and cross fences alike look to be in "fair" shape. In general the place needs management, and a tune-up but we aren't talking about converting timberland or anything. All in all it appears to be somewhat productive. Over 90% of property is in class 2-3 soils. (I will work on adding some pictures to help illustrate the condition.)

I would maintain my current position, which allows me to work from home most of the time, so the cattle wouldn't be heavily relied upon financially, however the operation would be ran as a small business, not a charity.

I am in the process of putting together a custom grazing business plan, as I feel this would be a good match for the property at this present time. Being highly conservative by nature, I'm attempting to run numbers based on a worst case scenario which of course is difficult to do with cattle, but I feel slightly easier with custom grazing.

I am considering both pairs, and stockers with preconditioned calves being the first choice. Pairs would be charged per head per month, stockers paid on gain.

For those with knowledge in my area, Lamar County/NE/E Texas in general, what would be a reasonable expectation for ADG and stocking density from April to September? I would heir on the side of under stocking to hedge my bet on the ADG, but don't want to freely skip out on potential earnings.

In the scenario of stockers, it would be assumed the calves are in good health and moderately framed.

Rotational grazing would be practiced, cattle checked at min. of 2x daily. Also, I am in the middle of drawing up my grazing contract (there is a good article from 'On Pasture' regarding such) but would love any suggestions or tips from those with experience.



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Re: New to the board - Seeking advice on Custom Grazing

Post by bird dog » Wed Jan 29, 2020 8:06 pm

Tough questions to answer without seeing the place and knowing the area. I would check with you local FSA office for some answers. Some of the folks that work at these offices are very good, some not so much. Good luck and welcome.

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Re: New to the board - Seeking advice on Custom Grazing

Post by Lucky » Wed Jan 29, 2020 8:43 pm

I’m getting about 1# a day for yearlings on straight grass. This is running them at 1 per 1.5 acres. Not sure if you already have the equipment or not but it can get pricey fast. The cow/calf deal around here does look like a good deal if you have the time and equipment.

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Re: New to the board - Seeking advice on Custom Grazing

Post by Texas PaPaw » Wed Jan 29, 2020 8:54 pm

Been my experience in central Tx that stockers don't gain very well on bermudagrass in summer without supplement, so best factor that in your plan. I've come to the conclusion that our grass is better suited to cows than stockers. Good luck with whatever route you take.
Good luck & happy trails.

Brock

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Re: New to the board - Seeking advice on Custom Grazing

Post by Lucky » Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:26 am

Texas PaPaw wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 8:54 pm
Been my experience in central Tx that stockers don't gain very well on bermudagrass in summer without supplement, so best factor that in your plan. I've come to the conclusion that our grass is better suited to cows than stockers. Good luck with whatever route you take.

I’ve found the same thing. I can get close to 2#’s a day from November to March on feed and whatever picken they can find. From March to May-June the growth on straight grass slows to a crawl. I’m beginning to think pushing the yearlings harder on feed from Nov- March and then selling might be better and leave more room for cows the rest of the year. Cows are definitely easier to look after than yearlings.

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Re: New to the board - Seeking advice on Custom Grazing

Post by SouthernGrazed » Thu Jan 30, 2020 8:19 am

Lucky wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:26 am
Texas PaPaw wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 8:54 pm
Been my experience in central Tx that stockers don't gain very well on bermudagrass in summer without supplement, so best factor that in your plan. I've come to the conclusion that our grass is better suited to cows than stockers. Good luck with whatever route you take.

I’ve found the same thing. I can get close to 2#’s a day from November to March on feed and whatever picken they can find. From March to May-June the growth on straight grass slows to a crawl. I’m beginning to think pushing the yearlings harder on feed from Nov- March and then selling might be better and leave more room for cows the rest of the year. Cows are definitely easier to look after than yearlings.
Thank you both for your insight. I would certainly prefer grazing pairs, however I am light on equipment. I have a 55 hp tractor, sprayer, a squeeze and panels.. but no hay equipment and from what I've seen, it seems there is a higher demand for year round care of cows vs grazing pairs in the summer months. But, I could be mistaken, I often am! I will have to do some digging.

My long term goals are to slowly build my own cowherd on the property, but I'm not in any kind of rush.This, combined with my perception that there are more folks looking for summer ground for yearlings, are the only reasons I gave the stocker route preference.

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Re: New to the board - Seeking advice on Custom Grazing

Post by Lucky » Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:44 pm

Most of the guys I know that do any kind of cattle care have a good set of corrals, tractor to put hay out with, an overhead feedbin, and a truck with a cube box. Cattle care pays $25-28 a month, I’m not sure on yearling gain. You don’t necessarily need hay equipment, just find a place to buy it and have delivered.

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Re: New to the board - Seeking advice on Custom Grazing

Post by 5S Cattle » Thu Jan 30, 2020 8:57 pm

I’d be interested in putting some pairs up there. Come up with a price per month and shoot me a message please sir.

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Re: New to the board - Seeking advice on Custom Grazing

Post by SouthernGrazed » Fri Jan 31, 2020 6:01 pm

5S Cattle wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 8:57 pm
I’d be interested in putting some pairs up there. Come up with a price per month and shoot me a message please sir.
Pm sent

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