Fertilizer Value of fed hay

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Otha

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Rydero, I'm gonna bet most producers in the southeast do not average a weaning weight much higher than 500lb on heifers and 550 on steers.
Currently 500 lb heifers are around 1.25 with many less. That's $625
550 lb steers around 150-160. At 1.60 that's $880.
That's an average of about $750 per calf.
Many many producers will not meet that average.
I wish I could grow and sell calves like Silver does but I don't know of anyone here that does.
So I try to cut costs to make up a little of the differences. I'm definitely not the most profitable but I'm way above the average in this area.
That's about the prices I expect. I plan around a $750 average on my calves. If I wean it will be more. I haven't been able to make much money weaning so it's more about wanting the money at a different time or not wanting to sell due to a market condition.
 

SmokinM

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I definitely respect the fact of how well both you and Silver do with your calves. But tell me where I'm figuring wrong.
1200 lb cow at 3% of body weight is 40 lb of hay per cow per day.
40lb x 200 days = 8,000 lb of hay per cow.
If rolls are 1000lb that's 16 rolls per cow.
16x$75 is $1200 per cow.
You said your calves averaged $1,000.
Where is the profit with $75 per roll hay?
One little error in math, it is only 8 rolls so $600. I agree however that in our area a $1,000 average on even a weaned calf is a pipe dream. I figure my hay at $50 a roll because thats what i can sell it for. I probably feed between 5-8 rolls per cow depending on the year. Doesn't leave a lot of meat on the bone for anything else including me. I figure i lose about $35 everytime i set one out for the cows.
 

Rydero

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I definitely respect the fact of how well both you and Silver do with your calves. But tell me where I'm figuring wrong.
1200 lb cow at 3% of body weight is 40 lb of hay per cow per day.
40lb x 200 days = 8,000 lb of hay per cow.
If rolls are 1000lb that's 16 rolls per cow.
16x$75 is $1200 per cow.
You said your calves averaged $1,000.
Where is the profit with $75 per roll hay?
Kenny. I have absolute respect and envy for your ability to go without feeding and I think there's a ton that you say that folks in your climate should listen to but you just proved why you wouldn't ask a vegan about a cut of meat.

First off you said 40lbs a day x 200 days = 8000lbs and @ 1000lbs/bale you'd need 16? ...you doubled it.

Let me also say 40lbs is too much per/h/day (I fed about 500 cows today between work and home), I hope you can take my word for it. If hay's over 7 cents a lb we'd also never feed an entire ration of that hay much before calving. We were in pretty much the worst drought ever here this year, good hay is $150/bale currently (a bale is 1400-1500lbs) but you can still find cereal straw and rougher wild hay for about $35/1000+lb straw or 1250lb rough wild hay bale. I'm currently feeding 4 wild bales (about 1000lbs cost approximately $40 ea to buy standing and make) and one good alfalfa grass or greenfeed bale (put up myself for approx $60/bale expenses included) every 2 days for 85 cows and they're doing just fine. I keep a couple bales of extremely ugly cheap bullrush bales in feeders in case anyone is actually in need of something to put in their belly between feedings and I don't refill very often.

As far as there not being money in cattle that are being fed I call BS. The operation (500-600 head) I work full-time, year round for is the sole source of income for a family of 5 and it's putting all 3 kids through college. They're doing pretty well from what I can tell and my cheques keep cashing.

I probably shouldn't say too much because I haven't raised cattle outside this environment but I'm baffled why the same species of animal would be impossible to get to similar weights somewhere else. In this environment most of the factors that affect weaning weight are within my control and management.

If I had to take significantly less for my calves I'd definitely be looking for ways to slash feed costs which is exactly what you've figured out how to do.There's definitely multiple ways to be more profitable saving money is as good as earning it.
 

Stocker Steve

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The local performance management bean counters break cow operations into two groups here based on selling weight:
1) cow calf
2) backgrounders

A minority of cow calf guys make a consistent profit by doing better in a number of areas. Weaning percentage, selling price, number of cows, feed cost... The average producer has historically only maked a profit about two years per cattle price cycle due to the high calf prices.

I have not studied the backgrounds as closely - - but I think they have scale and focus on feeding truck loads of by product mixed with manure fertilitzed corn silage. An interesting calcualtion would be to sell the bottom third of your cow herd, and carry over some yearlings instead.
 

kenny thomas

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Kenny. I have absolute respect and envy for your ability to go without feeding and I think there's a ton that you say that folks in your climate should listen to but you just proved why you wouldn't ask a vegan about a cut of meat.

First off you said 40lbs a day x 200 days = 8000lbs and @ 1000lbs/bale you'd need 16? ...you doubled it.

Let me also say 40lbs is too much per/h/day (I fed about 500 cows today between work and home), I hope you can take my word for it. If hay's over 7 cents a lb we'd also never feed an entire ration of that hay much before calving. We were in pretty much the worst drought ever here this year, good hay is $150/bale currently (a bale is 1400-1500lbs) but you can still find cereal straw and rougher wild hay for about $35/1000+lb straw or 1250lb rough wild hay bale. I'm currently feeding 4 wild bales (about 1000lbs cost approximately $40 ea to buy standing and make) and one good alfalfa grass or greenfeed bale (put up myself for approx $60/bale expenses included) every 2 days for 85 cows and they're doing just fine. I keep a couple bales of extremely ugly cheap bullrush bales in feeders in case anyone is actually in need of something to put in their belly between feedings and I don't refill very often.

As far as there not being money in cattle that are being fed I call BS. The operation (500-600 head) I work full-time, year round for is the sole source of income for a family of 5 and it's putting all 3 kids through college. They're doing pretty well from what I can tell and my cheques keep cashing.

I probably shouldn't say too much because I haven't raised cattle outside this environment but I'm baffled why the same species of animal would be impossible to get to similar weights somewhere else. In this environment most of the factors that affect weaning weight are within my control and management.

If I had to take significantly less for my calves I'd definitely be looking for ways to slash feed costs which is exactly what you've figured out how to do.There's definitely multiple ways to be more profitable saving money is as good as earning it.
Darn, you are totally correct on the fact I doubled it. Shew not sure what I was thinking.
But I assure you I am accurate on many calves in the southeast US are not paying their keep. The difference is you are making a living with cows and most here it is something to keep the land clean.
I make more money improving their mistakes than what I'm keeping year round.
 

Stocker Steve

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But I assure you I am accurate on many calves in the southeast US are not paying their keep. The difference is you are making a living with cows and most here it is something to keep the land clean.
I make more money improving their mistakes than what I'm keeping year round.
I read that the SE was the lowest cost area for producing feeder calves?

Cheap pasture and no real winter...
 

Rydero

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Rydero or Silver, what are you doing different than us to get the weaning weights you get. Even I realize if I had bigger calves with the same inputs means more profit.
I can only guess, I haven't seen what's being done in your neck of the woods yet.

Things I do (not saying you don't):
I put terminal Continental bulls on mostly British cross cows, high weaning weight EPD's. Birth weight on the high side of moderate - biggest calf in the spring is usually the biggest in the fall. Calves don't have to be black here. Good water (wells), like there to be legumes in my pastures. I rotate but not.on the level that many do. 12-14 rotations. Just before calving until grass feed as well as my feed allows (now is the time to save $ on feed not when they're lactating). Calves born mid March to hit grass by the beginning of June. A good start - calving is highly managed, calves not sucking on their own in the first few hours will be put on or given colostrum. Feed test/ration software. Move calves to clean ground/larger areas as their age allows.

Don't believe the hype and think a 500 weight calf is better because it's more $/lb when a cow only has one calf/year and a 6 weight is more $/HD.
 
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Rydero

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Another thing I have decided is even though I can graze more my weaning weights have went down with rotational grazing. Guess I'm making the cows eat all the grass not just the best.
I've often wondered if that was the case in highly intensive grazing. Maybe a creep panel that allows the calves to graze ahead could be a partial solution?
 

Rydero

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I totally agree on the 6wt being better. For years I could get several 7wt each year but the cows had a little dairy in them and bred them to Charolais bulls. Hard to find the cows that milk in this area now.
Milk + Charolais = gain. It's hard to find a cow in this area that doesn't have at least a little Simmental in her. It's a fine line though, heavy milkers are less likely to last. Biggest calf this year was mid 7's.

One year I didn't like the market and kept April calves on the cows until January. Also happened to have 100's of Oat/Barley bales more than I needed. Unlimited greenfeed for cows and calves. One grey Simmental cross cow with a bag almost to the ground had a steer calf that went over the scale at the Mart @ 980llbs.
 

Stocker Steve

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Another thing I have decided is even though I can graze more my weaning weights have went down with rotational grazing. Guess I'm making the cows eat all the grass not just the best.
I am running a $1100 cow on $4600 of land, so land utilization is very important to my business.

Unless your land is free - - need to calculate per acre.
 

BFE

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I totally agree on the 6wt being better. For years I could get several 7wt each year but the cows had a little dairy in them and bred them to Charolais bulls. Hard to find the cows that milk in this area now.
Unfortunately, I've seen Char calves bring 20-25 cents less at the salebarn. That means a black 600 pounder at $1.50 is virtually the same money as a 700# at $1.30. Sad but true.
 

BFE

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My best weight around here to hit is 600 or slightly under, not to sound like Kit Pharo, but once you get much over 6 the price per pound drops enough to make that extra gain not worth it. If I have 6 600# calves or 5 720# calves, I'm making more with the six if the 6 pair are eating close to the same as the 5 pair.
 

Rydero

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My best weight around here to hit is 600 or slightly under, not to sound like Kit Pharo, but once you get much over 6 the price per pound drops enough to make that extra gain not worth it. If I have 6 600# calves or 5 720# calves, I'm making more with the six if the 6 pair are eating close to the same as the 5 pair.
What's a 300lb calf worth? What's the same finished animal worth? Do you actually believe that feedlot operators making their living buying and feeding calves are so dumb that they consistently pay more $/HD for a calf 200 lbs lighter? Where does the $ to buy the extra cows come from? I doubt Kit Pharo buys them for you but he sure saves a lot of money on feeding his bulls. 😉
 

BFE

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What's a 300lb calf worth? What's the same finished animal worth? Do you actually believe that feedlot operators making their living buying and feeding calves are so dumb that they consistently pay more $/HD for a calf 200 lbs lighter? Where does the $ to buy the extra cows come from? I doubt Kit Pharo buys them for you but he sure saves a lot of money on feeding his bulls. 😉
Not talking 300#. You’re muddying the waters.
 

Rydero

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Ok. What's a 500lb calf worth? What's the same finished animal worth? Do you honestly believe feedlot operators are so dumb they'll consistently pay more $/HD for a calf that's 200lbs lighter? Does kit Pharo have a vested interest in what he says? Where does the $ for the last extra cows come from?

I'll put my money where my mouth is. We'll sign a binding contract and send $ to a third party. I'll ship calves and if the 500 weight calves are more $/HD than the heavier ones you keep the difference. If it's vice versa I'll keep it. Easy money for you right?
 

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