Big runs at Texas sale barns

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SBMF 2015

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This morning I watched some 425 pound steers from about 70 miles southwest of here bring $2.74. That is nearly $1,200 per calf. My neighbors steers sold for over $1,200 and his heifers brought over $1,000. The market hasn't looked this good in years.
As long as demand for beef continues, prices are going to stay strong.
Some extreme speculators are even whispering that in two years the packing plants will have to slow production because there won't be enough cattle to kill at full capacity.
 

SmokinM

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So does all of this change your thinking on retaining heifers? If she is worth $1,000 now do you cash it out on guaranteed money?
 

Dave

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So does all of this change your thinking on retaining heifers? If she is worth $1,000 now do you cash it out on guaranteed money?
My crystal ball is still a bit foggy. There are a lot of variables other than heifer price. Feed cost and availability, pasture? What are other cattle options doing, stockers, BM cows, etc? I will say the heifers which I bought to raise and sell as bred heifers in 2014 cost me $1,000 to purchase. And they made me a ton of money. I will also say that I am pretty certain that my neighbor is keeping 40-50 heifers. He is a cow / calf operator who runs the same program every year.
 

Stocker Steve

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So does all of this change your thinking on retaining heifers? If she is worth $1,000 now do you cash it out on guaranteed money?
I think bred heifers will be overpriced for a while, and I have 18 heifers being bred right now.

As Dave said - - you have to compare to other options that are doable. I like to look at a per acre return on investment. If you use that metric - - younger smaller more head per acre livestock usually win for graze only acres.

Sooo, you may want to retain some heifers and sell some cows if your grazing acres are capped.
 
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Dave

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I think bred heifers will be overpriced for a while, and I have 18 heifers being bred right now.

As Dave said - - you have to compare to other options that are doable. I like to look at a per acre return on investment. If you use that metric - - younger smaller more head per acre livestock usually win for graze only acres.
I just watched a load of bred heifers sell for a touch under $1,600. Can you pay $1,000 for a heifer and sell her a year later for $1,600? It depends on your costs. I know I bought some heifers for B last winter that he bred and is planning to sell. The budget when buying was $900. That will make money. But not huge per head profit. On 10-12 head not much profit for your labor. On 300 head it is worth doing.

I know that Steve looks at profit per acre. I don't do that here. There is a huge difference in the quality of the acre. Here we figure 5-10 acres per head per month. One of the issues with doing bred heifers here is having pasture which will grow the heifers out. The place we have the BM cows on probably wouldn't work for stockers or bred heifers. And the lease requires to cows out by August 31. So utilizing it with full mouth cows a person would need some fall pasture to move them to. The BM work good because we ship them to the plant and put their calves out of hay field regrowth.
 

Peace

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I ran across this sale from superior going on this week...lots of these are for future delivery...but I can't see how they can complain about the prices on these calves....

 

Dave

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I ran across this sale from superior going on this week...lots of these are for future delivery...but I can't see how they can complain about the prices on these calves....

The majority of the 200,000+ head sold on Superior at this sale every year are for future delivery. I was there in Winnemucca in 2014. There was some hooping and hollering. There was also some poker faces that stepped out side and danced on the sidewalk. I would bet the same thing happened there this week.
 

Peace

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The majority of the 200,000+ head sold on Superior at this sale every year are for future delivery. I was there in Winnemucca in 2014. There was some hooping and hollering. There was also some poker faces that stepped out side and danced on the sidewalk. I would bet the same thing happened there this week.
Yes they are...I saw a few loads of 500lb calves for delivery in Feb/Mar 23 north of $250/hwt...good deal if you can sell and deliver...IMO
 

Stocker Steve

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I know that Steve looks at profit per acre. I don't do that here. There is a huge difference in the quality of the acre. Here we figure 5-10 acres per head per month. One of the issues with doing bred heifers here is having pasture which will grow the heifers out.
The enterprise has to be "doable". The three main things are management and feed quality and management.

Our MIG pastures are too good for cows. Bred heifers are a mixed bag. Some genetics require supplement, and some do not. Stockers require supplement. You need a certain amount of ADG to cover the costs and make a profit.

The financial problem with bred heifers is many folks put too much into them. I have taken to roughing them thru the winter and then sending any that do not cope well to a feedlot.

The big stocker operators here have taken to feeding them daily on pasture with a TMR. I won't do that, but I am sure they are able to use some low cost commodities that way.
 
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Dave

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Yes they are...I saw a few loads of 500lb calves for delivery in Feb/Mar 23 north of $250/hwt...good deal if you can sell and deliver...IMO
I don't know if you realize and I am sure there are others here who don't but you don't "deliver" cattle sold on Superior. Well you deliver them to the loading chute. The buyer is responsible for the trucking. The rep is there to make sure they are weighed and sorted correctly. They are loaded on the buyers truck and the rep gives you a check. I have sold through them several times and find them the way to go the majority of the time. The commission is less. No hauling costs. Selling to a much wider audience. Eliminating the middleman.
 

farmerjan

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Sent 27 steers to sale yesterday. 10 @ 412 avg wt brought 2.03. 10 @ 500 avg wt brought 1.87. 3 @655 wt brought 1.83 .. Couple odd char and reds brought in the 1.60's. We were satisfied with that. Only 450 or 500 head... we have had all sorts of rain but it is very spotty... some places 15-25 miles away are getting only showers and rain in the 1/10ths and we are getting half inch and inch rains. Got another .8 yesterday and night and calling for severe downpours this afternoon...
Bred cow consignment from one farm this coming Tuesday... will be interesting to see prices. 50 bred cows, 20 bred heifers, 20 or so cow/cf pairs. Then the regular once a month sale for bred cattle at another sale barn on Wed. eve.
 

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