Cattle prices

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Re: Cattle prices

Post by Nesikep » Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:51 pm

current prices for 5wt steers is $1.60 USD, heifers are about $1.45-1.50


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Re: Cattle prices

Post by Stocker Steve » Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:08 am

Glad you are not doing my taxes. ;-)

Many folks forget about yardage, time, depreciation... Had one stocker expert tell me they did not matter because his land was going up in value.

We have often carried calves into January to catch the seasonal bump up in prices. Works most years since we have some home grown feeds and by product that are not real marketable. Better return would be to sell good 5 wt. calves off the cow and buy back light weight calves that need TLC.
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Re: Cattle prices

Post by Lucky » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:07 am

Definitely can’t argue y’alls point. I guess I need to go back to the drawing board on this cattle thing. Good luck to you

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Re: Cattle prices

Post by gcreekrch » Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:00 pm

Lucky wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:07 am
Definitely can’t argue y’alls point. I guess I need to go back to the drawing board on this cattle thing. Good luck to you
That’s what these forums are about, helping one another .
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Re: Cattle prices

Post by Lucky » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:26 pm

gcreekrch wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:00 pm
Lucky wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:07 am
Definitely can’t argue y’alls point. I guess I need to go back to the drawing board on this cattle thing. Good luck to you
That’s what these forums are about, helping one another .
When you say “yardage” are you referring to lease payments on the land or cost per acre? I really don’t follow your line of thinking at all. Not saying it’s wrong I just don’t follow it. I have a fixed amount of land to use for the cattle so I try to maximize it the best I can.

Around here on an average year nothing is worse than selling a balling calf right off its mama at the local salebarn. Preconditioning for 45-60 days generally makes a little money and backgrounding for 7-8 months and shipping to a bigger sale generally maximizes profits. I’m not saying I’ve never lost money or thought I should have sold sooner but that’s just how the market plays out some years.

I have a rotation for the cattle and running yearlings on one of the pastures is the best use of it during the winter. Once spring hits I give it a rest and move the yearlings to another pasture. Once its time to sell the yearlings the pasture they were in gets a 15-30 day break and the cows get turned in.

From what I see buyers want long weaned medium flesh yearling cattle that have been fed and givin time to grow, not pudgy calves that were fed 12#s a day for 90 days. We may just be in a different regional market.

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Re: Cattle prices

Post by gcreekrch » Fri Jul 19, 2019 1:14 am

Yardage is what you pay for daily time and machinery use on a per head basis. We can’t expect to do it for nothing.
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Re: Cattle prices

Post by Lucky » Fri Jul 19, 2019 5:26 am

gcreekrch wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 1:14 am
Yardage is what you pay for daily time and machinery use on a per head basis. We can’t expect to do it for nothing.
I understand what you are getting at now. If I got that technical I’d dig a hole to drink whiskey in. I just figure how much money comes out of my pocket to how much goes in. I’m pretty much a one man show out here so it’s just my labor. 99% of the time feeding the yearlings in the winter requires opening 1 extra gate and driving down a row of troughs, takes 10 minutes tops. Hopefully in a few weeks I’ll have that opening the gate problem fixed.

When your in business for yourself it’s pretty easy to “figure yourself broke” on paper. I choose to look at the good side and maximize what I have available to me. I do let the tax man explain to me how much I lost each year though.

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Re: Cattle prices

Post by Double R Ranch » Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:10 am

We have been discussing this as well recently. Our prices aren’t great here right now but not that “low” yet.
We have a strict vaccination protocol, we do a more labor intensive weaning for less stress and shrinkage and feed them for 45+ days minimum to please the buyers.
I’m not convinced anymore it’s worth it all. This year we stopped the little things we’ve always done like magnets in any calves destined for the auction.
We do get a premium at sale every year as our program is well known with the buyers BUT I’m just not sure it’s worth it anymore.
We are short on pasture at this point in the year which means decrease calf numbers earlier is a bonus but is it worth the “loss” we face at market for not having all the extra things we have always done for the buyers including long weaning.

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Re: Cattle prices

Post by Caustic Burno » Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:22 am

I have seen prices fluctuate by as much as .30 in the last three weeks.
It’s nuts! I sold four weeks ago 4 to 5 wts. avg 149. the next week neighbor got 162 on the same calves a week later my running buddy got 132 a hundred. All three of us are running the same cattle, literally the same as we share bulls.
Used to if you got a 1.50 next week they be up or down a couple cents.
I have no clue what drives the market anymore.
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Re: Cattle prices

Post by skyhightree1 » Wed Jul 31, 2019 12:10 pm

Caustic Burno wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:22 am
I have seen prices fluctuate by as much as .30 in the last three weeks.
It’s nuts! I sold four weeks ago 4 to 5 wts. avg 149. the next week neighbor got 162 on the same calves a week later my running buddy got 132 a hundred. All three of us are running the same cattle, literally the same as we share bulls.
Used to if you got a 1.50 next week they be up or down a couple cents.
I have no clue what drives the market anymore.
Markets doing same here I don't understand whats going on. I just know my calves are going to be leaving in November no matter what the market is doing.
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Re: Cattle prices

Post by bird dog » Wed Jul 31, 2019 1:55 pm

The reports out of OKC say that the market turned up this week because of the buyers wanting calves to ship to the mid-section of the country to put on grass. It seems that all of that moisture in the spring has now dried up into some flush pastures.

But I agree on one thing that y'all mentioned, its a week to week deal. I give up on trying to guess when to sell and just haul them when they are ready.

There was an article in one of the cattle mags this week that talked about what I have noticed. Weaning for 45 days is good but keeping them a few weeks longer is when they really start to gain. What I have seen is from fresh off the mama to 45 days gets you about 1.25 lbs/day gain. They lose some getting weaned and slowly get it back plus some. On the other hand. the additional two to three weeks longer weaned calves boosted the gain to close to 2 lbs/day for the entire period.

This is based on my program which is weaned calves on pasture and about 5 to 7 lbs/per head of creep feed fed every other day. The other added benefit is the shrink is negligible on these long weaned calves if they are marketed somewhere where they have something decent to eat and drink while waiting to sell. It is critical that calves that know how to drink from a trough when the temperature is hot like it is these days. One trip to the water trough will easily give you $10 of weight gain.

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Re: Cattle prices

Post by gcreekrch » Wed Jul 31, 2019 4:39 pm

Double R Ranch wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:10 am
We have been discussing this as well recently. Our prices aren’t great here right now but not that “low” yet.
We have a strict vaccination protocol, we do a more labor intensive weaning for less stress and shrinkage and feed them for 45+ days minimum to please the buyers.
I’m not convinced anymore it’s worth it all. This year we stopped the little things we’ve always done like magnets in any calves destined for the auction.
We do get a premium at sale every year as our program is well known with the buyers BUT I’m just not sure it’s worth it anymore.
We are short on pasture at this point in the year which means decrease calf numbers earlier is a bonus but is it worth the “loss” we face at market for not having all the extra things we have always done for the buyers including long weaning.
Keep up the vaccination protocol, let the buyers know why you are selling early before you send them to town and take them straight off the cow to the sale.


Contrary to the fact that order buyers are living examples of why mothers of some eat their young...…. they do like to know the history of your cattle and will bid a little extra if the cattle are right and they have someone else that wants the same bunch.
Vaccinations, cheaper than whiskey. ;-)

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Re: Cattle prices

Post by TennesseeTuxedo » Wed Jul 31, 2019 4:44 pm

gcreekrch wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 4:39 pm
Double R Ranch wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:10 am
We have been discussing this as well recently. Our prices aren’t great here right now but not that “low” yet.
We have a strict vaccination protocol, we do a more labor intensive weaning for less stress and shrinkage and feed them for 45+ days minimum to please the buyers.
I’m not convinced anymore it’s worth it all. This year we stopped the little things we’ve always done like magnets in any calves destined for the auction.
We do get a premium at sale every year as our program is well known with the buyers BUT I’m just not sure it’s worth it anymore.
We are short on pasture at this point in the year which means decrease calf numbers earlier is a bonus but is it worth the “loss” we face at market for not having all the extra things we have always done for the buyers including long weaning.
Keep up the vaccination protocol, let the buyers know why you are selling early before you send them to town and take them straight off the cow to the sale.


Contrary to the fact that order buyers are living examples of why mothers of some eat their young...…. they do like to know the history of your cattle and will bid a little extra if the cattle are right and they have someone else that wants the same bunch.
I'm a big believer in selling "reputation" calves.
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Sometimes you do have to throw out the babies with the bath water.

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Re: Cattle prices

Post by Double R Ranch » Wed Jul 31, 2019 7:56 pm

TennesseeTuxedo wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 4:44 pm
I'm a big believer in selling "reputation" calves.
We always have been as well and it used to pay off but in our cruddy state now being smaller is almost impossible to survive and cover expenses alone let alone make a $1. All the extra feeding and “extras” like magnets, 45+ day wean etc doesn’t seem to pay for itself at market these days. Now we’re struggling to make them even pay for themselves. We haven’t made any final decision but it’s definitely something we’ve been discussing lately. Going to go to the next special sale and talk to the buyers who usually fight over our cattle and see what they say.

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Re: Cattle prices

Post by TennesseeTuxedo » Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:20 pm

Double R Ranch wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 7:56 pm
TennesseeTuxedo wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 4:44 pm
I'm a big believer in selling "reputation" calves.
We always have been as well and it used to pay off but in our cruddy state now being smaller is almost impossible to survive and cover expenses alone let alone make a $1. All the extra feeding and “extras” like magnets, 45+ day wean etc doesn’t seem to pay for itself at market these days. Now we’re struggling to make them even pay for themselves. We haven’t made any final decision but it’s definitely something we’ve been discussing lately. Going to go to the next special sale and talk to the buyers who usually fight over our cattle and see what they say.
All any of us can do is try to deliver to the market what the market wants. Doing it profitably is the challenge.
Making Cattle Today Great Again!
Sometimes you do have to throw out the babies with the bath water.

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