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  • latest reply 12 months ago

1 year ago

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My daughter and I are trying to convert over to mostly registered cattle. Brahmans. We sure like those ears and the hump. We are in the south, so they should do good. At the present we have 1 bull 2 cows , 1 yearly bull calf and 2 heifers. Watched a sale in the deep south on the computer they had a 11 month old heifer, fetched 12,000 a donor cow 10,500 others were 2500 + for yearly heifers. We went to a sale North of there 2 weeks later 1 yearly heifer got 9,900. Our commercial cattle prices now are pitiful. It doesn't cost anymore to feed good registered cattle and to get close to those prices, even if I have to drive a bit farther to the sale. Sometimes I think folks are trying to shut the little guy out of business.

Klaus Karbaumer says 2018-05-18 10:46:13 (CST)

What? People(who exactly?) are ' trying to shut the little guy out of business' ! Are you serious? In this country?
Welcome to the world of capitalism, in which profit making without concern for the people who are affected is the norm.
As far as agriculture goes, Wendell Berry in his book ' The Unsettling of America' wrote about the effects of our economic system on rural populations already in the 1970s. But his voice wasn't heard, not even among the very same populations who were affected most.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Scott S says 2018-06-05 22:15:37 (CST)

I have also seen people lose a lot of money growing registered cattle. The cattle that sell for a lot of money also cost a lot of money for the latest genetics. To get a good name you have to be willing to cull the ones that don't make the cut and those will just go for market price. It also takes years of honest work to get a good name. Even if a calf is put together real nice but it has a rotten attitude you need to cull it, I think this cull is the hardest to make. I think with complete honesty with your client base and years of hard work you can make it work. It won't be a cake walk. I wish you the best of luck.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

K.C. Fox says 2018-06-13 07:39:29 (CST)

beware of just another FAD, CRAZE between two or more purebred livestock dealers is all it takes to run the market wild. It is like the purebred bull men getting $10000. out of their bulls and what they cant sell at those prices sell like regular cattle as STEERS at the sale barns. Good luck in your venture.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Will Beattie says 2018-06-28 13:32:33 (CST)

I can offer a little of my experience. I operate a medium sized cattle operation in North GA. We specialize so to speak in beef as a finished product and supply restaurants all of Georgia and some home direct sales in other states of the SE.

I would be careful about seeing the prices realized in the seed stock sales as a way to gauge the return you may see on your cattle. Remember if it were that easy everyone would have the idea that feeding a $9,000 animal costs the same as feeding a $900 animal. In this market it doesn't matter what side you are on (cow/calf, backgrounder, seed stock, or vertically integrated) everyone thinks the guy across the isle is the one making the premium. Over the last 7 years I have been on the finished beef side when I began no one had real interest in producing beef when a calf was bringing nearly $1,100 at weaning. As prices have dropped over time I have seen many small operations (and larger ones) want to enter the beef side to realize a premium from the same animals that they are already raising. The math doesn't work out very easily.
So in the seed stock world, it is extremely competitive, especially in this day of modern technology of Artificial insemination and Embryo transplants. You can breed your cow to the same no. 1 bull in the nation as easily as the guy right down the road. This also makes genetic diversity more difficult to find as there are usually "hot bloodlines" and you will see the same big names at all of the sales siring calves for sale. Black Angus rules the US cattle industry. Every niche breed is going to have an even smaller target audience so your pool to sell will be small.
A key point I want to make is also when determining sale values look at the sale at the whole, not what this or that top cow/bull brought because especially in the seed stock world there will be planned purchases of inflated value and I usually call it "funny money" So breeders and sale owners will try to have at least one high selling animal typically in the beginning of the sale to help stimulate buyers. It's really just a big money swap where they buy a cow from you today and then you buy a cow from them tomorrow. In short just saying there is no easy ride to the top in farming period. Just evaluate it over time and figure out the way that best suits your interest and profitability.

12 months ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

NoraWI says 2018-06-29 07:26:54 (CST)

I figured out years ago that only vertical integration with assured high end market such as restaurants is the only way to make money raising beef.

I looked around 30 years ago and saw the, relatively, small Wisconsin farmer getting older and turning from milking to raising beef. Also the newbie (like myself at the time) moving into the area and wanting to start a beef herd. There is no way one can make money by feeding the cow year 'round, vetting and then hoping her calf survives and then selling the calf in the fall or mid winter for $1.30/lb. Too many ifs in the equation.

So I took all the risk out of owning the cattle and get my money up front no matter what by renting out pasture. The profit may be smaller at times but there is absolutely no risk involved at all. AND no extra work nor financial outlay involved raising crops to feed the cattle through the winter nor buying and maintaining expensive equipment. That fit my aging lifestyle very well.

Just do the math.

12 months ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

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