Cattle prices

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Re: Cattle prices

Post by snoopdog » Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:10 pm

https://www.ams.usda.gov/mnreports/lsd_mars_1832.pdf Ours are a little better, and seeing an upward trend.


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Re: Cattle prices

Post by skyhightree1 » Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:43 pm

snoopdog wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:10 pm
https://www.ams.usda.gov/mnreports/lsd_mars_1832.pdf Ours are a little better, and seeing an upward trend.
Don't let a false upward trend fool you... What goes up WILL come back down.
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Re: Cattle prices

Post by Hootowl » Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:49 pm

Seen a couple load lots sell here Saturday. 600lb steers @ $162, 675lb steers @ $1.58.
The calves through the sale one at a time were lots cheaper than that.
My thoughts only, don't bet the farm on them. KT

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Re: Cattle prices

Post by Caustic Burno » Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:14 pm

Hootowl wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:49 pm
Seen a couple load lots sell here Saturday. 600lb steers @ $162, 675lb steers @ $1.58.
The calves through the sale one at a time were lots cheaper than that.
Of course they were up about a nickel a pound at Crockett today over what I got at Livingston on Saturday.
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Re: Cattle prices

Post by ALACOWMAN » Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:49 am

skyhightree1 wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:43 pm
snoopdog wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:10 pm
https://www.ams.usda.gov/mnreports/lsd_mars_1832.pdf Ours are a little better, and seeing an upward trend.
Don't let a false upward trend fool you... What goes up WILL come back down.
ive been doing it long enough too see the down come up ""several times"" panic is the down fall of a lot of cattle owners..
as an adult,it's clear to me now...why Ernest T Bass, threw rocks at people..

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Re: Cattle prices

Post by gcreekrch » Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:12 am

JMJ Farms wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:16 pm
For a dime? No. Not unless you have a bunch of them. At a dime, the only value you’re adding is to the buyers bank statement

The only thing a bigger bunch will do is lose more money. To my calculations, the feedlots need to pay a 35 cent premium for preconditioned and weaned calves. Anything less is a loss.
Vaccinations, cheaper than whiskey. ;-)

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Re: Cattle prices

Post by Lucky » Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:24 am

I would have to disagree that backgrounding is a loosing deal. It’s hard to tell what calves are really bringing from a generic market report. Some of the consignment firms put out more accurate market report videos but it’s still hard to tell. Best I can figure I made over $175 a head weaning in October and selling in June. Feed cost seems high when you’re buying it but it only cost about $125 a head to keep them that long. There’s always off years but 9 times out of 10 backgrounding is the way to go.

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Re: Cattle prices

Post by gcreekrch » Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:06 am

Lucky wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:24 am
I would have to disagree that backgrounding is a loosing deal. It’s hard to tell what calves are really bringing from a generic market report. Some of the consignment firms put out more accurate market report videos but it’s still hard to tell. Best I can figure I made over $175 a head weaning in October and selling in June. Feed cost seems high when you’re buying it but it only cost about $125 a head to keep them that long. There’s always off years but 9 times out of 10 backgrounding is the way to go.

That is backgrounding, not preconditioning.

We have made big dollars a couple times by feeding our own calves for 6 months after weaning and going to a spring market. Lost some money a couple times too.
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Re: Cattle prices

Post by bird dog » Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:10 am

I also disagree with you gcreekrch but the math is complicated. Your weight shrink is the big swing factor. Long weaned calves shrink very little compared to the trailer weaners. I guess if you are getting paid on the weight at the farm, it may not seem so bad, but I'm sure the the buyer is giving you a shrink deduction or figuring it into his price or both.

Preconditioned calves shipped to a market that feeds them for a day or so before they sell will have zero to 3% shrink. Might even have a gain if the weather is mild. Bawlers will lose 8 to 10% easily, maybe more if its hot and they don't know how to drink from a trough. Folks that haul unweaned calves to a sale barn the day before the sale have no idea how much money they are giving away.

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Re: Cattle prices

Post by Douglas » Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:20 am

tncattle wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:35 pm
I think I know why or sorta know why or maybe I don’t know anything! Why are 500 lb. steers selling for $1.95 in Nebraska and about .40-.50 cents less in my area? My area is middle Tn and southern middle Ky. The only things I think I know is because, closer to feedlots, guaranteed weaned & vaccinated, better perceived quality??? I’m sure I’m leaving out more and maybe I’m wrong with what I think I know. Educate me!
Some of it is the cost of corn:

https://www.raboag.com/mm/images/Corn-B ... July10.png

Cheaper corn makes for more aggressive feedlots.

Hay too:

https://www.drovers.com/article/cattle- ... rices-2019

So the best place for feed/feedlots is the best place to be selling calves. To go further out and pay shipping cost and risk health issues you have to discount it. Guys that get profitable prices then plow some of that back into quality improvements.
Last edited by Douglas on Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Cattle prices

Post by Lucky » Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:30 am



Thinking this is the sale in original post. Not your everyday sale.

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Re: Cattle prices

Post by Lucky » Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:37 am

Preconditioning or backgrounding feeders is a numbers game. Allot of guys doing it are happy with an extra $50 a head. If you have 20 calves that’s not allot of money for the risk, but if you have 100,500, or a 1,000 that $50 adds up. I’m no expert on the subject but have sold all 3 ways and know selling off the tit is a loosing battle. The market always comes back, you just gotta be able to hold them until it does.

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Re: Cattle prices

Post by gcreekrch » Wed Jul 17, 2019 5:17 pm

bird dog wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:10 am
I also disagree with you gcreekrch but the math is complicated. Your weight shrink is the big swing factor. Long weaned calves shrink very little compared to the trailer weaners. I guess if you are getting paid on the weight at the farm, it may not seem so bad, but I'm sure the the buyer is giving you a shrink deduction or figuring it into his price or both.

Preconditioned calves shipped to a market that feeds them for a day or so before they sell will have zero to 3% shrink. Might even have a gain if the weather is mild. Bawlers will lose 8 to 10% easily, maybe more if its hot and they don't know how to drink from a trough. Folks that haul unweaned calves to a sale barn the day before the sale have no idea how much money they are giving away.
Let’s do a little simple cowboy ‘rithetick.......

My figures will be in Canuck bucks so most of you will have to do the exchange. We will use last year’s values as this year’s hasn’t been established yet. Each operation will be somewhat different, especially in the feeding department.

Steer calf sold off the cow 525 lbs @ $2.25 = 1181.25.

Weaning and preconditioning.....

Induction fee including 3 vaccinations, Draxxin and an implant. $35.00
Feed only, hay and barley. All 10 cents per lb last year here.
14lbs per day x 60 days. $84

Yardage @ .55 per day x 60. $33

Death loss @ 1%. $11.31

Interest on investment 5% x 1131.25 $9.43

Total. $172.74


In most operations a weaned calf will shrink 10 to 15% in the first week just losing baby fat, if your grass has been exceptional it might be more 525 x 10% = 473 lbs

In order to get your investment back this calf would have to put on 129 lbs from the day weaned, not many can get 2+ lbs per day unless they already have a TMR mixer and quality feed. Most, including our outfit would be lucky to achieve 3/4 lb per day. This brings us back to 525 + 45 = 570 - 4% at scale

547 lb calf @ 2.22 = $1214.34

Breakeven is 2.38, or $1301.86 per head, loss is $87.52 or ..16 per lb.

I for one like doing more than breaking even just so the feedlot guy is happy. Better to have a management system and vaccination protocol in place and get paid without the extra bs.

The only way I would change these thought was if there was a very good chance of market jumping at a later date. I would still keep them longer than 60 days. Then we aren’t preconditioning any more. We are backgrounding.
Vaccinations, cheaper than whiskey. ;-)

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Re: Cattle prices

Post by Lucky » Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:08 pm

Lets try this.

525# calf @ $1.50 = $787.50
Meds cost about $6 for first round
6# feed a day for 180 days @ $235 a ton = $126.90
As long as there’s any kinda pickin at all they’ll survive the winter just fine without hay or minimal hay when it’s really cold. Sometimes I give them the core after I unroll hay for the cows.
Spring working =$6
Turn out on grass March 15th - July 15th
Total in calf = $926.50
775 x $1.42 = $1105.50
Looks like about $175 profit to me.

I know there’s a little time and fuel involved but you gotta be there anyway to feed cows. I know this won’t work for everyone but it works for me. I did loose one calf this year due to me not selling him when I first noticed the problem.

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Re: Cattle prices

Post by gcreekrch » Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:44 pm

Lucky wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:08 pm
Lets try this.

525# calf @ $1.50 = $787.50
Meds cost about $6 for first round
6# feed a day for 180 days @ $235 a ton = $126.90
As long as there’s any kinda pickin at all they’ll survive the winter just fine without hay or minimal hay when it’s really cold. Sometimes I give them the core after I unroll hay for the cows.
Spring working =$6
Turn out on grass March 15th - July 15th
Total in calf = $926.50
775 x $1.42 = $1105.50
Looks like about $175 profit to me.

I know there’s a little time and fuel involved but you gotta be there anyway to feed cows. I know this won’t work for everyone but it works for me. I did loose one calf this year due to me not selling him when I first noticed the problem.
That is backgrounding, not preconditioning. Also, you do need to add in yardage because you fed them not just because you were there for the cows. Your grass is also worth what you could rent it for. You do pay taxes on that land don’t you?

Let’s add in .40 a day US yardage for 180 days if you were giving them feed all that time $72.00.....

Then let’s add in .75 a day for pasture, another $135.00. Now the picture changes. Looks like a $32 loss to me.
We haven’t added in the odd core of hay you mentioned either.

The most expensive way to feed a calf is to background them. They should be put on feed and pushed to their limit in order to capitalize on their growth genetics if that is what you bred them for.

The only time this works when you aren’t getting the gain is when the calf is worth very little at weaning because feed costs at the lots are high and you have the feed in your possession. Take that calf to green grass and keep him green and it will pay big.
We once had 300 calves pay us a buck a day each over expenses by keeping to green grass.

A 2015 tax dodge involving 200 heifer calves bought in November and sold in May lost us $60,000 in feed and yardage. Glad it was all ours and we weren’t paying someone to feed them. They gained 200 lbs in 170 days and dollared out the same value they came in at.
Vaccinations, cheaper than whiskey. ;-)

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