Weaning naturally

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Redgully
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Re: Weaning naturally

Postby Redgully » Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:54 pm

Katpau wrote:When I give an estimate of cost per cow, I include everything...feed, supplies, repairs, insurance, vaccinations, real estate taxes and or land rent etc. When I heard your estimate of $150 per cow it seemed a bit hard to believe, but I thought perhaps your place in Georgia had so much grass that you never had to buy hay. It still seemed rather low, but you were probably not including many of the fixed costs I include. Then you mentioned feeding 2 tons of hay per cow and I really began to wonder about those numbers.

I don't fertilize at all and grain is too expensive to be at all practical in this area. It takes at least 10+ acres here to support a cow, and summer droughts followed by cold winter rains do mean we must supplement the grass with hay for as many as 5 months out of the year. Looking at my records for the last few years, we have been feeding about 3300 pounds (1.67 tons) per bred cow through the winter. That includes about 1 ton of hay per cow and 2/3 tons of ryegrass screening pellets. They are a cheap by product of the grass seed industry and are usually cheaper than hay. We apparently feed less than you do, but our costs are much higher. I imagine our hay is more expensive than yours, but I find it really hard to believe you can buy 2 tons of hay, vaccinations, fertilizer and the fuel and equipment to apply it for $150 per cow. I will assume you are not including supplies, depreciation, fuel, equipment repairs and many of the other costs associated with this business in that $150, but even just the hay and routine vaccinations would cost me more than that in this area.

What does hay sell for by the ton in Georgia?



In my opinion you are doing a lot right but not fertilising at all is risking bringing you unstuck. Unless you are leasing land which is different but if your land it will cause you to deplete trace elements and lock up minerals and can take many years to correct when really out of balance. It will also cause your good pasture varieties to be overtaken by less desirable weeds. One tonne of fertiliser will well and truely pay for itself in gained production.
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sstterry
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Re: Weaning naturally

Postby sstterry » Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:23 pm

True Grit Farms wrote:
sstterry wrote:
True Grit Farms wrote:I figure 4k pounds of hay per cow, our problem is we don't have any fescue. But I do have some really good winter grazing that we can rotate the cows on. In the spring off the oat, winter rye, clover and ryegrass mix we usually get a couple of months of grazing. I cut most of our pastures for hay one time before the cows ever need it. Everything here depends on moisture, no rain no grass. Last year I sold cows in April because of the drought, and bought bred cows in the middle of June because of all the grass. It turned out to be a bad investment thanks to our POTUS and his tarrifs, or could it be the dirt balls that push paper and raise prices on everything and blame it on the tarrifs?


As much as you know I dislike the President, I don't put the low cattle prices on the tariffs. I think it is the natural cycle. We had very little in beef exports to China. Beef inventories are still high and I personally don't see any relief for a while.

I think your right on everything.....except your dislike. I feel if we stopped importing cheap beef from Mexico and south America we'd see better prices. https://money.cnn.com/2017/11/22/news/e ... index.html
There's no possible way we can compete with Mexico.


I agree totally with what you said except. Query me this, why no tariffs on foreign beef, but everything else? He is not helping the farmer.
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True Grit Farms
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Re: Weaning naturally

Postby True Grit Farms » Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:51 pm

sstterry wrote:
True Grit Farms wrote:
sstterry wrote:

As much as you know I dislike the President, I don't put the low cattle prices on the tariffs. I think it is the natural cycle. We had very little in beef exports to China. Beef inventories are still high and I personally don't see any relief for a while.

I think your right on everything.....except your dislike. I feel if we stopped importing cheap beef from Mexico and south America we'd see better prices. https://money.cnn.com/2017/11/22/news/e ... index.html
There's no possible way we can compete with Mexico.


I agree totally with what you said except. Query me this, why no tariffs on foreign beef, but everything else? He is not helping the farmer.

Puzzles the heck out of me, he wasn't my choice but was the only choice I had. Especially with Sonny Perdue being the Secretary of Agricultural. He was a vet before he became governor of Georgia and knows about cattle and diseases that can be imported.
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If we'd of know this we'd of picked our own cotton.

Katpau
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Re: Weaning naturally

Postby Katpau » Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:06 pm

Redgully wrote:
Katpau wrote:When I give an estimate of cost per cow, I include everything...feed, supplies, repairs, insurance, vaccinations, real estate taxes and or land rent etc. When I heard your estimate of $150 per cow it seemed a bit hard to believe, but I thought perhaps your place in Georgia had so much grass that you never had to buy hay. It still seemed rather low, but you were probably not including many of the fixed costs I include. Then you mentioned feeding 2 tons of hay per cow and I really began to wonder about those numbers.

I don't fertilize at all and grain is too expensive to be at all practical in this area. It takes at least 10+ acres here to support a cow, and summer droughts followed by cold winter rains do mean we must supplement the grass with hay for as many as 5 months out of the year. Looking at my records for the last few years, we have been feeding about 3300 pounds (1.67 tons) per bred cow through the winter. That includes about 1 ton of hay per cow and 2/3 tons of ryegrass screening pellets. They are a cheap by product of the grass seed industry and are usually cheaper than hay. We apparently feed less than you do, but our costs are much higher. I imagine our hay is more expensive than yours, but I find it really hard to believe you can buy 2 tons of hay, vaccinations, fertilizer and the fuel and equipment to apply it for $150 per cow. I will assume you are not including supplies, depreciation, fuel, equipment repairs and many of the other costs associated with this business in that $150, but even just the hay and routine vaccinations would cost me more than that in this area.

What does hay sell for by the ton in Georgia?



In my opinion you are doing a lot right but not fertilising at all is risking bringing you unstuck. Unless you are leasing land which is different but if your land it will cause you to deplete trace elements and lock up minerals and can take many years to correct when really out of balance. It will also cause your good pasture varieties to be overtaken by less desirable weeds. One tonne of fertiliser will well and truely pay for itself in gained production.
Our cattle run on large pastures and much of it is too steep or too heavily wooded to be accessed by anything other than horseback or foot. We carry back pack sprayers into many areas to battle thistles, and we are constantly hacking away and treating the stumps on hawthorne or blackberries, but the thought of climbing around with fertilizer on our backs is more than I would be willing or maybe even capable of. My husband says every pound of hay or screening pellets we bring in eventually passes through the cow and becomes added fertilizer.

A few years ago we did do an experiment on a small area of less steep land where we applied, lime and fertilizer in various combinations leaving a control. We fenced it off into small plots to protect it from the deer, to see what might be most effective. We also threw out some ryegrass seeds on each plot. There was very little difference between the control and the fertilized plots, so we decided further action was a waste of money.
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Stocker Steve
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Re: Weaning naturally

Postby Stocker Steve » Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:25 pm

Fertilizer returns depend on what the limiting factor is for a system, and how much nutrient recycling is occurring.

Much on the variation in short term trials is due to legume content (which effects N response) and moisture levels (which effect everything).
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Stocker Steve

Redgully
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Re: Weaning naturally

Postby Redgully » Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:27 pm

Here they fertilse the hard country by airplane but you need somewhere close by to land and take off or inefficient. Plus having a contactor who is in your vicinity. It would be interesting to see the results of a soil analysis from your paddocks, sometimes you have most things you need but just need to add a couple more ingredients to make it available. Choosing the right fertiliser is the trick and can change from year to year.
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Stocker Steve
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Re: Weaning naturally

Postby Stocker Steve » Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:47 pm

We have young rocky soils left by glaciers. So high stocking density will increase ph a little, and macro nutrients a lot, by increasing the availability of minerals that are already in the soil.
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Stocker Steve

Katpau
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Re: Weaning naturally

Postby Katpau » Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:22 pm

We did try having a plane fly in grass seed one year. It was really exciting to watch. He landed on the sidehills and every time he landed it looked like he was going to crash straight into the side of the hill. We should have tried fertilizer instead, that was my mistake. Anyway, we got a little rain within the week and the grass began to sprout. It was September and our rains would usually start at that time of year, but it went back into about a month of hot and dry and those little sprouts all died. I could have bought 10 tons of hay for the cost, so after that I have never been tempted to try again. We don't get fall rains anymore. It has been quite awhile since we had a rain that arrived before the temperatures have dropped into the 40's or 50's. Our pilot would come every fall from somewhere down South and stay about a month. This summer he hit a cable on a power pole and was killed. I don't know if there will be anyone to replace him.

We have enough feed without fertilizing to feed our herd when the grasses have rain and fertilizer won't help when it is dry. I have no desire to increase the stocking rate, so I won't be spending money on fertilizer, but many in this area do, and it would most likely be a good thing to do if we were planning to expand.
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