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Cost of cow per day?

mobgrazer

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I think it could help a lot of people if some of use would post what there cost per head day is with some farm info. If you don’t want to let the cat out of the bag I understand.

THIS IS NOT TO BASH PEOPLE BUT TO HELP PEOPLE CUT COST
HOPEFULLY WE CAN ALL LEARN SOMETHING

Location-
Feed lot, breeder, both, ext-
Marketing style-
Specialty market-

Cost per head / day…
Winter cost, hay, grain feeding, supplement cost-
Spring cost, on pasture, supplement cost-
Summer cost, on pasture, supplement cost-
Fall cost, on pasture, supplement cost-
Weaning cost-
Feed out cost and what you use-

Supplements used… minerals, salt, kelp, ext.

Fly control… mineral mix, ear tags, ext.

Worm control… shot, feed, ext.

Bedding / wind control cost if used and for how many days rep year-

other important info…
 

mobgrazer

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Well I’ll start since it was my idea.

Location- 80 miles southwest of Roanoke, VA
Feed lot, breeder, both, ext- breeder, feed out my own, don’t buy cows
Marketing style- direct sell grouped by semi load
Specialty market- grass feed, natural, mob grazer

Cost per head / day…
Winter cost, hay, grain feeding, supplement cost- stock piled pasture $? Will give hay if cold or wet $.50
Spring cost, on pasture, supplement cost- pasture $?
Summer cost, on pasture, supplement cost- pasture $?
Fall cost, on pasture, supplement cost- pasture $?
Weaning cost- $.75 to 1.10 depending on grain cost. Mix listed below
Feed out cost and what you use- pasture

Supplements used… minerals, salt, kelp, ext.
free choice salt
free choice minerals 2 different mixes

Fly control… mineral mix, ear tags, ext.
mineral mix

Worm control… shot, feed, ext.
3 shots a year

Bedding wind control.
The have some trees they know how to huddle to stay worm.

Other important info…

Weaning mix; 6 tons cheap weaning mix, 8 tons shredded pasture grass, 6 tons first cut alfalfa, 100 lbs mineral mix, 100 lbs salt, and make a slug using 100lbs of kelp, 30 lbs of old sugar, and a few handfuls of ground vitamins. I have the hay grinder but the mixer cost me 2 bails of alfalfa to use for a morning. I store mix in bunk and some feed wagons. Fed in creep feeder.

Grow and sell alfalfa and some unneeded pasture grass.

Cost to keep cows on pasture has too many variables to put a cost on. I do not irrigate and put down lime and fertilizer if I can find a good deal. Drinking water is piped in using gravity.

Sell a few bulls but not many.

AI 100 every few years for new genetics
 

Caustic Burno

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I haven't finished the books but it looks like cost is going to come in between 1.30 and a 1.40 a day that makes Ole Belle cost between 475 and 511 froghides a year. This is a rough figure should have a solid one tomorrow.
Looking at current prices at Crockett for calves on 6 weights will turn a profit of 85 to 115 a cow. I will find that one out next tuesday.
 

Bez+

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Caustic Burno":4ffqpgqf said:
I haven't finished the books but it looks like cost is going to come in between 1.30 and a 1.40 a day that makes Ole Belle cost between 475 and 511 froghides a year. This is a rough figure should have a solid one tomorrow.
Looking at current prices at Crockett for calves on 6 weights will turn a profit of 85 to 115 a cow. I will find that one out next tuesday.

I was hoping to beat you CB but there is a good chance the fuel bill and some extra truck repairs to the tune of about $12,000 is going to put me right in there with you - driving me crazy because we brought in a load at home about a week before everything started dropping - we thought we might do some stocking up on a small dip in pricing before winter came along - when fuel traditionally goes up. And wife spent a bit of extra money on truck repairs. Then last night she tells me she is pricing a stock trailer. All adds up.

She keeps going with all the additionals I am going to be over a buck fifty - and if she buys a new truck I will be over two.

Have a good one my friend

Break break ...

Mobgrazer - where are your utilities, mortgages, machinery payments, fuel payments, repairs, contractor costs, electrical, plumbing, wages, taxes, vet costsand the beat goes on?

You seem to have left a lot of it out.

Every time someone tries this on this site they go with the direct costs and leave out the rest. It is bullschite to figure the daily cost per head if you do not add it all in. All a person needs to do is stand at the front gate - look at the operation and add up what it costs to keep YOU and the family on the place - the complete cost - that is your total cost.

If you can actually sell some and have money left over you are in a profit situation. If you are working off farm and supplementing the operation in any way - then you are in a loss situation.

No matter how you put it, if you need that off farm money you - are losing money on your cows - plain and simple.

I know, as I am in this situation right now - recovering - but still there.

That is why I tell people here that can brag about their costs that they are likely in a lot deeper than they figured.



Bez+
 

Aaron

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I was just thinking about this yesterday. Now I know my numbers aren't perfect. I am assuming there is value in our hay, which there is not because of mold, large chunks being frozen when fed and generally a lot of waste :mad: (30%+). Also, there are heifers and a couple open cows in with the fall cows with calves, so the consumption numbers are screwy.

Spring cows (as of the week Jan 4-10/09) are consuming 36 lbs of low-quality mixed hay with a daily cost of $1.12/head/day

Fall cows with calves at foot (as of the week Jan 4-10/09) are consuming 42 lbs of low-quality mixed hay with a daily cost of $1.31/head/day

Yearlings (without factoring in grain cost) are consuming 26 lbs of low-quality mixed hay with a daily cost of about $0.81/head/day

The average temperature day to day right now is about -25C, so these cows are pretty well at their max for consumption.

Based on the heavy consumption due to low temps, increased waste percentage and heavy snow (which cut down our stockpiled forage grazing time by over a month), for the spring calving herd, I estimate the wintering cost this year will be one of our highest in years at about $201.00/cow. Normally it would be $150 or less per spring cow.

EDIT: WHOOPS...WRONG BOARD. Oh well, although this isn't a cost for each day of the year, winter feed cost is the most significant expense for us each year.
 

Angus Cowman

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Caustic Burno":qydl8f0f said:
I haven't finished the books but it looks like cost is going to come in between 1.30 and a 1.40 a day that makes Ole Belle cost between 475 and 511 froghides a year. This is a rough figure should have a solid one tomorrow.
Looking at current prices at Crockett for calves on 6 weights will turn a profit of 85 to 115 a cow. I will find that one out next tuesday.
CB
you and I have discussed this before and I still think we are using the same calculator, for the last 3 yrs my cost comes out right at $500 give or take $10-$15.
We must of went to the same school together separately :lol:


ot +ot+ot =ot
 

Caustic Burno

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Bez+":248x852t said:
Caustic Burno":248x852t said:
I haven't finished the books but it looks like cost is going to come in between 1.30 and a 1.40 a day that makes Ole Belle cost between 475 and 511 froghides a year. This is a rough figure should have a solid one tomorrow.
Looking at current prices at Crockett for calves on 6 weights will turn a profit of 85 to 115 a cow. I will find that one out next tuesday.

I was hoping to beat you CB but there is a good chance the fuel bill and some extra truck repairs to the tune of about $12,000 is going to put me right in there with you - driving me crazy because we brought in a load at home about a week before everything started dropping - we thought we might do some stocking up on a small dip in pricing before winter came along - when fuel traditionally goes up. And wife spent a bit of extra money on truck repairs. Then last night she tells me she is pricing a stock trailer. All adds up.

She keeps going with all the additionals I am going to be over a buck fifty - and if she buys a new truck I will be over two.

Have a good one my friend

Break break ...

Mobgrazer - where are your utilities, mortgages, machinery payments, fuel payments, repairs, contractor costs, electrical, plumbing, wages, taxes, vet costsand the beat goes on?

You seem to have left a lot of it out.

Every time someone tries this on this site they go with the direct costs and leave out the rest. It is bullschite to figure the daily cost per head if you do not add it all in. All a person needs to do is stand at the front gate - look at the operation and add up what it costs to keep YOU and the family on the place - the complete cost - that is your total cost.

If you can actually sell some and have money left over you are in a profit situation. If you are working off farm and supplementing the operation in any way - then you are in a loss situation.

No matter how you put it, if you need that off farm money you - are losing money on your cows - plain and simple.

I know, as I am in this situation right now - recovering - but still there.

That is why I tell people here that can brag about their costs that they are likely in a lot deeper than they figured.



Bez+


We are both tighter than a crabs butt and thats waterproof. Mine would have been better as well replaced a tractor last year, old Massey 30+ still going strong will see how this New Holland fairs. Bez I don't know how you do it in the tundra my cows only consume 3 to 4 round bales a winter and I have winter pasture to boot. Our bad winters would make you laugh 35 to 40 and rain. My hat is off to you.
 

Alberta farmer

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I'll try. 130 cows.
Pasture costs: I rent one 55 acre pasture from an old neighbor. No fertilizer. Spot spray the weeds. I maintain the fence, he paid for posts the first year as the fence was poor. $1800/year. 20 pairs and one bull in June 1 out Oct 1...122 days cost a bit over 70 cents per cow per day. So I'll base my pasture costs at that.
Try to only feed 150 days a year, use stockpiled grass to extend grazing season as long as possible.
Feed 26 lbs. of hay a day and all the good two row barley straw(with chaff saver laid on top of rows) they desire. Feed everything on the ground over a large area...usually the area to be stockpiled the next year. Left over straw is bedding. Have a fair bit of willow brush for windbreaks.
Hay usually is 3 cents a pound. Straw about 1.5 cents a pound(not sure as it is my own straw). Costs about $23/cow/year for tractor cost for winter feeding. I buy almost all of my hay and figure I get the tractor cost returned in fertilizer value!
Salt/mineral works out to about $15/head/year. Vet costs are blackleg vaccine and IBR/BVD shot about $3.
Hardly ever use a vet....last visit was three years ago.
No fly control. No hormones. No wormers. Never saw a problem.
No mortgage. No loans.
Try to replace one bull a year. Used to save a couple of AI calves every year but have gotten lazy and now purchase from a local Angus breeder.
Keep all calves on Momma until about March 1 and then onto good hay until May 1st when they go out on a pasture that wasn't grazed very heavy in the fall. Sell them in late August/early September.
Calve in May/June on grass. About a 70 day calving season. Anything that doesn't have a calf, no excuses, goes to town. Anything that doesn't get bred in 70 days goes to town...no excuses.
Keep my own replacements. Probably cheaper to buy in replacements but I like to keep my own as I know what they will do.
Could run a lot more cows on my landbase but rent out some for crop share and don't like to eat the grass down too hard.
 

Bez+

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CB

I am an old grey haired fat guy. Been close to losing the whole place once - changes your attitude and how you operate.

We often find free feed.

I sometimes bale pastures late and do not wrap or tie the bales - leave them for fall and winter feed. Do not have to move a bale. Just turn the cows in and move them when the hay is cleaned up - I do not spread manure

I get free corn fines for my labour - as I am not worth a penny in money to anyone - my labour is well paid in dry corn fines.

I use hay that is more than a year old sometimes and sell my own - standing in the field. I actually make money doing this in many years.

I never start a piece of equipment unless I am forced to - most never think about that cost as they consider it cheap - but add it up over a year and you could often buy a decent bull with money spent on an annual basis.

My fert costs go down because of field feeding. In fact we have not bought any in a while.

Because of bale grazing - areas that were overgrown with weeds and willows are now nice grass - so I seldom have to re-seed - I do sometimes but not very often.

If I have to buy a board to fix a fence I cut a cedar rail and use that. Yes, I do re-use nails.

I have the use of a neighbours land for the cost of half a beef - about 40 acres of grass - I stock pile it and feed into snow about the depth of a cows eyes when she is rooting for grass. Then they go for a walk into their winter pastures. It is a special deal - they are old and we check in on them every day. Nice folks.

I do not bed. The cows can sleep on old hay.

Bottom line - what we do does not work for everyone - but if there is a cost we can cut or eliminate we work towards it. I have learned long ago that any profits made further up the line are never passed on to the producer.

One interesting side benefit - our animals actually seem healthier. And we seldom have calving issues.

Most of the time we calve on grass in the field now - very rare to pen for calving - helps to have bred and culled hard for this. Just some ugly old cows that I go look at once in a while rather than have to work. Was not always like this but if she needs help and there is nothing unusual - backwards, leg caught up etc - she is a goner. Burger for the family.

Best cost reduction to me - now that I live in another country - wife does it all - I do nothing. Just provide moral support and long distance direction and advice!!

Cheers

Bez+
 

bigbull338

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lets see im in notheast texas.an tween 80 an 90 cows calves an heifers.they are eating 6 big 6 by 5 bale a day.i figure thats 1300lbs.thats 15.3lbs a day for .31 a hd a day.thats $48 a cow a year.a rough feed figure is 16 sacks a month at $105.grain cost $1.31 a month or $16/cow pre year.$360yr in salt an minerals is $4/cow a yr.diesel is $160 a yr give or take $2/cow.so pre cow comes in at $70 a cow/year.not to brag but that beats every1 here.
 

Angus Cowman

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bigbull338":3b0m4h2g said:
lets see im in notheast texas.an tween 80 an 90 cows calves an heifers.they are eating 6 big 6 by 5 bale a day.i figure thats 1300lbs.thats 15.3lbs a day for .31 a hd a day.thats $48 a cow a year.a rough feed figure is 16 sacks a month at $105.grain cost $1.31 a month or $16/cow pre year.$360yr in salt an minerals is $4/cow a yr.diesel is $160 a yr give or take $2/cow.so pre cow comes in at $70 a cow/year.not to brag but that beats every1 here.
re is the prop taxes, insurance, do hey wter out of wells or do you have ponds?, do you have tractor? where is the cost of it figured in?
Like Bez was saying you have to figure every cost, do you fertilize or lime? do you buy your hay or grow it? if growing it and baling it yourself you have to figure all of that

if you have then you are doing great and I wish you well
 

1982vett

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Bez+":yxo85hq3 said:
Caustic Burno":yxo85hq3 said:
I haven't finished the books but it looks like cost is going to come in between 1.30 and a 1.40 a day that makes Ole Belle cost between 475 and 511 froghides a year. This is a rough figure should have a solid one tomorrow.
Looking at current prices at Crockett for calves on 6 weights will turn a profit of 85 to 115 a cow. I will find that one out next tuesday.


Mobgrazer - where are your utilities, mortgages, machinery payments, fuel payments, repairs, contractor costs, electrical, plumbing, wages, taxes, vet costsand the beat goes on?

You seem to have left a lot of it out.

Bez+

I look at the whole picture also. My figures are pretty close to Caustic's. For 2008 they show a profit of $.05 per day per head. Carrrying cost is $1.49/day with a return of $1.54/day.

These figures include income from: sales of capital , sales of calves and hay.

Expenses are: depreciation, chemicals, feed, fertilizer, insurance, hired labor, rents, repairs, seed, taxes, utilities, veterinary, fuel and oil, supplies, truck expense, hay costs relized prior years and used this year. I do not include myself in labor cost and have not made an allowance for it. I do not have interest expense and did not allow for it.

Herd consists of 92 breed cows, 15 replacement heifers, 3 bulls. This reflects a reduction over 2007 of 1 cow and 1 bull.

Areas that expenses will be cut this year:

repairs - fences, barns, hopfully equipment. Supply costs should fall in porportion to reduced repair expenses.

Capital exenses - across the board, do not look to replace any cows sold or buy equipment.

Might have an opportunity to reduce costs of chemicals.

Already bought fuel at a 60% savings over last year. Question is wether it will last the whole year will depend on how much tractor work I do this year.

Fertilizer cost might increase some and seed might stay the same or drop some. Depends greatly on rain patterns.

Bez+":yxo85hq3 said:
I am an old grey haired fat guy.

Sounds like you have at least retained hair that had a chance to turn grey. :p
 

bigbull338

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ok i reviseed my figures an just brought it up to $110 a cow including prop taxes an ins.an 1 last detail i forgot to mention.we prolly dont sale maybe 20 heavy bull calves a yr.an we keep all the heifers.
 

Caustic Burno

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Bez

Well I am definetly a buzzard as well, I guess that makes two old buzzards. The county was tearing out the old wooden bridges and replacing them with concrete, I got all of the timbers and treated boards for cleaning it up.
My creek crossing's are full of old bricks from several houses that were tore down, just had to haul it off. I got steel pipe pilings from the bridges as well. I also have a couple of hay fields that are free for helping the more elderly. Hussled up a lot of electical cable after the storms great for water gaps. Just have to keep your eyes open and think out of the box and be willing to do some back work. You are dead on about fuel cost, I try to minimize tractor use. Mule gets worked harder than any other piece of equipment here.
Very proactive in controlling pest that are in competeing for grass this includes crawling and growing( weeds army worm, grasshoppers) for every pound of weeds growing in your pasture you are losing five pounds of grass , for every 300 grasshoppers you are losing 30 pounds of grass a week to feed old Belle. I have never been able to find the consumption rate of army worms but they put grasshoppers to shame.
 

mobgrazer

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Yes I know I left a lot out. I put down the cost of everything and put it down I would have a 10 page list. After a few others did the same I would think people would get lost before they got any use full info out of it. I know that everyone’s info will not be to the penny but as long as you’re close I do think it can be worth the time some people put into it for others.

Utilities, fertilizers, farm trucks, your company jacket, the hole in you left work sock you just replaced, ext are not fixed costs. This stuff would be part of the pasture cost for standing there or eating the grass. To get a true number on fertilizers the cow dropped 80% of it back on the field after they ate it.

If there eating something besides the pasture then it should be looked at as food and fertilizers when it comes back out. But with most food the exchange rate is very low so most of the cost staid with the cow. All of my pasture bails because my cows did not as fast as I tried to get them to. I look at it as stockpiling because of cost. To be even cheaper just cut a pasture and it will be just fine when every they get there why spend the extra time and money to bail?

If I bail a pasture because my cows are not eating as fast as needed then most of the cost would be in time, fuel, storage, and wear in tear. When they eat the hay you’re getting about 80% of the fertilizers back but in a different spot. If you have to move the cow pies then that goes back into pasture cost because it’s fertilizers (this could be a place to improve).

I do have to start a good size something 2 times a day to move the water / mineral sleds. I use my truck that’s in a heated building (outdoor wood boiler) to move it and then use it to take kids to school and get things done off the farm all at one time when possible. What ever I use has to drag out my utility trailer that has the minerals, salt, and spare stuff to fix junk. The utility trailer has a class II 3 point hitch that’s hydraulic and 3 sets of hydraulic outlets driven off two 12 pumps I still don’t know how to put a PTO on it or it would have one. We have 3 electronic golf carts we use a lot to get around when possible.

My vet bills are low and my cows adapted to living this way. I will cull a cow for looking at my new truck finder to hard so if I don’t think they can live my life stile I’ll eat them or send them walking.

Bez+
My cows are healthier then other herds around me. It seams like every time I try to do something different with them they cost me more. I stopped believing in the science and more in the cows know what there doing best. Just keep moving them to new food and have plenty of water, salt, minerals, and there happy and make me money. It’s when I feel sorry for them because it’s cold and wet and feed them hay they cut into my overhead. I just can’t tell my self 30*+ is fine if it’s only for 24 hours but I still give them hay.
Yes I’m a tightwad but I think you have me beat when it comes to getting the last drop out of a penny they way you reuse a nail… ;-)
 

dyates

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Bez="C+":146e909o said:
[No matter how you put it, if you need that off farm money you - are losing money on your cows - plain and simple.




Bez+

I would have to disagree with this statement....a little bit. I am by no means a big operator, most of you would consider me a hobbyist. The cows and a little tobacco make most of my farm payments, including the house; this builds equity for me. I still have to have a job in town for cash flow to live and operate on because my profits are going into the equity pot. This doesn't mean I'm losing money, I just don't see it every day.

As for equipment, I have never bought anything new. Most everything I have is worth as much now, or more, than it was when I bought it, so I don't really figure much in the way of equipment costs.

This year is actually better than most. The cows are still eating cornstalks and stockpiled fescue, so I sold some of the hay at a profit. The cornstalks and stockpiled are grass are in exchange for my babysitting of the owner's cows. I also kept all my calves and bought more to feed with them (3 weights at .82/pound).

As for actual numbers, profits are generally right in line with what Caustic posted. This year is a little bit better, in spite of the roller coaster market.
 

mobgrazer

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This is my hobby all 1100 of them running around my yard, I’m not a farmer. My 14 year old girl is a farmer. If I had to give up my hobby and get a job I would be a high end manager, financialist, marketer, or something like that. No more of the good old days of day trading that made me the money to get into this hobby. It only took 2 BS degrees to be able to make mad money off day trading on the phone. We think our first child became more then a thought when I got a phone call saying I made $120,000 just by making 3 phone calls.

My wife was not able to quite working because she’s too tight to watch a CPA do the work that she went to collage to do. She doses the farm books and her dads drafting, CAD, has a sleep number bed in his office incase he somehow makes it to work, 3 hour a week business.


Ms. MobGrazer just got done running part of the numbers for 2008... Warning I’m typing as she tells it so it’s a bit messed up. She added in the cost of her parents, us two and our 4 kids. The numbers are based on 1100 cattle, 3 dogs, and 8 humans…

For the taxes, toys, trucks, toys, junk, grass seed, tractors, toys, frets, new truck, our house, her parents house that they stole from us, food, workshop, 3 electric bills, junk pile, lime, stuff we don’t need, insurance, 8 cell phone lines, high speed internet, 2 VOIP lines, our food, tuning her off now and it comes to 157,894 sold 8,570 in hay. So pasture cost $149,324. The goods still on the shelves were not included; hay, salt, minerals, bulk supplies.

Vet, health insurance, cattle insurance for some of them, speech therapy for deaf kid, health care cost, AFLEX?, human drugs, animal drugs, fly / worm control, is $63,975.

Primary CPA (her), secondary CPA, 2 lawyers, $68,789. I just found out that we have a second CPA and that she draws a paycheck hmm I think we can slim something back about now. 2 people doing one persons job ;-)

So she split everything into 3 groups. It cost us $282,088 a year. So it’s 1111 of us and give us $254 each a year. OMG 282,088 a year I had no idea that my hobby and family cost that much money. She will not tell me what we made off the cows, locked her computer, told me this is just my hobby, and walked away. I’ll try to get what we made off the cows sometime tonight.

Now I see why it’s so hard to list all the cost of a cow and had no idea it was nearly this complicated. Everything expensive gets prorated on what it’s worth that year. My wife just told me I suck down $.09 an hour and if I keep it up I’ll be in the dog house for a week and the dog in bed with her. It’s time for me to go do something special for my wife so hopefully I’ll be back.
 

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This is a very good thread, (with a few exceptions).

I am a part timer (=behind as usual) so have some catchup to do on last years accounting.

The method I have sort of fallen into as far as profitability of the farm goes is to look at it like there is a wall all around the place with just one gate.

The only thing that really matters in the overall operation is what goes thru that gate, including inputs and outputs. I try to think of the flow thru the gate like it is a two-way electric meter - overall goal is to have it running more incoming than outgoing over the year.

Then the only main decisions that have to be made are on capital improvements such as fences in how long to amortize them - or how much to charge/expense of the improvement cost as going thru the gate this year. I doubt that most folks write off fencing, waterer installation, corral installation etc in one year...or do you?

I have been considering expensing improvements over a 5 year period so 1/5th of fence costs for example would be charged off against 2008 income. Does that sound about right?

What time periods do you use to charge off typical cattle operation improvements?
 

Angus Cowman

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The way I understand this is new fences are a capitol improvement and can only be deducted when you sell the property ,you can write off the labor if you hire it done and you can deduct for repairs

I may be wrong about this but I beleive this is what I was told by my accountant
But that is why I pay her she knows what is and isn't deductible and what is depreciable I just turn in the receipts
 

Susie David

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Eastern Washington
Expected an eye opener when I reviewed this topic fron past years and then toyed with our numbers,
Since I'm a semi-retired, full time small beef operatior and another slightly overweight senior citizen with a touch of grey, our cost per head/day can be calculated fairly easily using Sch. F...which is still being worked on for this year but it looks like we will be right at $1.50 this year and that is with getting a barn full of winter hay for $1.35/ton delivered and a new truck. DMc
 
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