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Growing US Cow Herd ?

Stocker Steve

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USDA reported that the cow herd size increased 3.4% last year. Exports look a little shaky... What do you think it will take to stop this expansion?
 

True Grit Farms

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I think we're seeing it already the numbers haven't caught up yet. Everyone around me held back all their heifers and some steersort. Now that the price has swung up a little they've been selling.
 

wbvs58

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Stocker Steve":3vjshzc9 said:
USDA reported that the cow herd size increased 3.4% last year. Exports look a little shaky... What do you think it will take to stop this expansion?

Widespread drought.

Ken
 

sim.-ang.king

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Stocker Steve":27vv7b6k said:
USDA reported that the cow herd size increased 3.4% last year. Exports look a little shaky... What do you think it will take to stop this expansion?
Stopping beef imports...
 

Caustic Burno

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Stocker Steve":2t1nmq6v said:
USDA reported that the cow herd size increased 3.4% last year. Exports look a little shaky... What do you think it will take to stop this expansion?
Most that got out in the 2011 drought haven't got back in along with those who hung are still at reduced numbers.
The biggest factor driving that IMO is the average age is 60+ for cattlemen in Texas. Most are enjoying lower inputs along with not worrying about drought.
I reduced them to less than half didn't restock due to health much more enjoyable. I don't know about your state according to the last TAMU workshop I attended 92% of beef owne were from operations of 35 head or less in the state.
 

Stocker Steve

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True Grit Farms":2hizrldh said:
I think we're seeing it already the numbers haven't caught up yet. Everyone around me held back all their heifers and some steersort. Now that the price has swung up a little they've been selling.

Steers are going to town here, but half of the bigger operations holding heifers for expansion.
 

Caustic Burno

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Stocker Steve":2s7jrmee said:
Caustic Burno":2s7jrmee said:
I reduced them to less than half didn't restock due to health much more enjoyable.

So you have extra grass and more free time now?

No free time with my back and neck I can't do the big jobs anymore. I thank the good Lord everyday for titanium.
I am just scared I would die without a cow. I do have extra grass
 

RanchMan90

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Stocker Steve":1xmt815x said:
RanchMan90":1xmt815x said:
X2 on drought

Most likely. This would also drive up grain prices.
Yep, that would sure make some cows come to town along with petroleum prices. It's a cycle, even if not a predictable 7-10 year cycle. I'm sure the old timers have seen this many times over. What do you think?
 

Stocker Steve

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- A hot topic here is integrating crops and cattle (like the old days). It is a very tough infrastructure sell even though it makes soil and financial sense. The organic folks buy in because they can not afford to purchase much fertility.
- A related topic here is retaining calves and taking them back to grass (like the old days). There are some commodity folks pushing this using financials from the peak of the cattle cycle... This is also a tough sell because the typical cow/calf operator does not have high energy feed nor working capital to do this. The grass fed folks buy in because they usually do not have another source of feeders.
- If you piece these together along with MIG you come up with semi interesting enterprise budgets. I think there is sustainable system here for folks in areas that have some history of crop production. And I see this currently increasing cow numbers in my area. You are also somewhat drought proofed. Practitioners can sell off yearlings in a drought, graze some annuals, and preserve the cow herd for a period.
- So who has the most risk in a drought? Who is the swing producer? Is it the traditional cow/calf guy on range?
 

True Grit Farms

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The Texas drought lined up with the Stars and inflated the price of beef to record highs. There was no rhyme or reason to the high prices of 2014 or the record low prices of 2016.
At $1.30 - $1.50 lb for steers, the consumers can afford to buy my product and I can make money. If fuel and grain go back to historic highs beef needs to follow. The price is about perfect right now, it'll weed the wannabes out. And those who stick with it will be able to make a living, living the dream.
 

sim.-ang.king

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True Grit Farms":1wto3r54 said:
The Texas drought lined up with the Stars and inflated the price of beef to record highs. There was no rhyme or reason to the high prices of 2014 or the record low prices of 2016.
At $1.30 - $1.50 lb for steers, the consumers can afford to buy my product and I can make money. If fuel and grain go back to historic highs beef needs to follow. The price is about perfect right now, it'll weed the wannabes out. And those who stick with it will be able to make a living, living the dream.
My thoughts also. Just as $6 corn was to high, $3.00 feeders was way to high, and $1 feeders was to low. If the price can just level off, and maybe get to $2 during a good year, we will all be better off. Going to weed out the one's that can't hack-it, and allow the "old-timers" to be able to buy cows again.
The prices right now are making for some really good deals on the once $3000 cows. ;-)
 

SIMMGAL

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sim.-ang.king":3sl04xps said:
True Grit Farms":3sl04xps said:
The Texas drought lined up with the Stars and inflated the price of beef to record highs. There was no rhyme or reason to the high prices of 2014 or the record low prices of 2016.
At $1.30 - $1.50 lb for steers, the consumers can afford to buy my product and I can make money. If fuel and grain go back to historic highs beef needs to follow. The price is about perfect right now, it'll weed the wannabes out. And those who stick with it will be able to make a living, living the dream.
My thoughts also. Just as $6 corn was to high, $3.00 feeders was way to high, and $1 feeders was to low. If the price can just level off, and maybe get to $2 during a good year, we will all be better off. Going to weed out the one's that can't hack-it, and allow the "old-timers" to be able to buy cows again.
The prices right now are making for some really good deals on the once $3000 cows. ;-)

:nod:

Such a voliatle market! I sure do miss the prices of 2014 though! They bought me my new car!
 

farmerjan

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We can survive on the 1.50 for steers but as my son said, if they were 1.75 we would be able to make a bit and have a decent return. We always said that the 2.50 and 3.00 was way too high, nice while it lasted but not sensible or sustainable. We always get a little less here due to the trucking costs to "anywhere they have to go". Most are in the 1.25 to 1.45 right now. I will try to go by the sale on Friday and just sit for a bit and see. The weather has been good to get into places in order to haul cattle. It has been an up and down week for temps and supposed to get back up to 50's & 60's days. We have had alot of wind so the ground is pretty dry and firm. Rain maybe coming back in in about a week. If temps stay up, the cool season grasses will really start to green up.
We would just like to be able to make a decent living, don't have to get rich.

Will have some more to sell in early-mid march. Hope the weather will be encouraging. Should start spring calving in about 2 weeks.
 

reeler

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We would just like to be able to make a decent living, don't have to get rich.
farmerjan":1mjlmuky said:
We can survive on the 1.50 for steers but as my son said, if they were 1.75 we would be able to make a bit and have a decent return. We always said that the 2.50 and 3.00 was way too high, nice while it lasted but not sensible or sustainable. We always get a little less here due to the trucking costs to "anywhere they have to go". Most are in the 1.25 to 1.45 right now. I will try to go by the sale on Friday and just sit for a bit and see. The weather has been good to get into places in order to haul cattle. It has been an up and down week for temps and supposed to get back up to 50's & 60's days. We have had alot of wind so the ground is pretty dry and firm. Rain maybe coming back in in about a week. If temps stay up, the cool season grasses will really start to green up.
We would just like to be able to make a decent living, don't have to get rich.

Will have some more to sell in early-mid march. Hope the weather will be encouraging. Should start spring calving in about 2 weeks.

"We would just like to be able to make a decent living, don't have to get rich"
From reading your posts, sounds like you work really hard, & your desire is attainable.Hope you have a great calving season. :)
 

skyhightree1

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I have been having discussions with some folks about expanding the herd while prices down and my comment was yes its nice to buy cheap breds now. They look at getting a bred cow that's 1000 and say with current prices they should be able to pay for the cow in 2 years if each calf sells for 500.00 each. I told them that's in a perfect world you will get 1000 but IMO you will still be behind the 8 ball then because of care and upkeep for that cow ETC. Then I said if prices for feeds etc are still high it doesn't mean cattle prices will go up to offset the costs and that when prices do go up a bit you can still be in the red if you are true with your numbers. I said for me I will keep most of what I got and some money aside and if there is an upward trend and things are starting to get better then I will roll the dice and buy breds and see what happens but now for me its way too shaky to expand a lot when IMO things haven't even began to level off and show any kind of average trending. Does anyone see what im saying? Each cow I keep a year I truly believe it costs me $700.00 a year. So buying now and getting calves and being honest with myself unless we get $3.00 calves for several years I just don't see me being to the good.
 

RanchMan90

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skyhightree1":34cr4xin said:
I have been having discussions with some folks about expanding the herd while prices down and my comment was yes its nice to buy cheap breds now. They look at getting a bred cow that's 1000 and say with current prices they should be able to pay for the cow in 2 years if each calf sells for 500.00 each. I told them that's in a perfect world you will get 1000 but IMO you will still be behind the 8 ball then because of care and upkeep for that cow ETC. Then I said if prices for feeds etc are still high it doesn't mean cattle prices will go up to offset the costs and that when prices do go up a bit you can still be in the red if you are true with your numbers. I said for me I will keep most of what I got and some money aside and if there is an upward trend and things are starting to get better then I will roll the dice and buy breds and see what happens but now for me its way too shaky to expand a lot when IMO things haven't even began to level off and show any kind of average trending. Does anyone see what im saying? Each cow I keep a year I truly believe it costs me $700.00 a year. So buying now and getting calves and being honest with myself unless we get $3.00 calves for several years I just don't see me being to the good.
I agree on your cost # figuring a land payment, cow payment, and feed figured in.
 

skyhightree1

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RanchMan90":3b472gcp said:
skyhightree1":3b472gcp said:
I have been having discussions with some folks about expanding the herd while prices down and my comment was yes its nice to buy cheap breds now. They look at getting a bred cow that's 1000 and say with current prices they should be able to pay for the cow in 2 years if each calf sells for 500.00 each. I told them that's in a perfect world you will get 1000 but IMO you will still be behind the 8 ball then because of care and upkeep for that cow ETC. Then I said if prices for feeds etc are still high it doesn't mean cattle prices will go up to offset the costs and that when prices do go up a bit you can still be in the red if you are true with your numbers. I said for me I will keep most of what I got and some money aside and if there is an upward trend and things are starting to get better then I will roll the dice and buy breds and see what happens but now for me its way too shaky to expand a lot when IMO things haven't even began to level off and show any kind of average trending. Does anyone see what im saying? Each cow I keep a year I truly believe it costs me $700.00 a year. So buying now and getting calves and being honest with myself unless we get $3.00 calves for several years I just don't see me being to the good.
I agree on your cost # figuring a land payment, cow payment, and feed figured in.

I do not have any land payments so to speak but I rent land and my cows are paid for and feed for the most part is just my fuel to go get it. However, My time is worth something to check them daily and fuel fertilizer electric to run fences and many more things associated with the costs if I had land payments and cow payments id figure they would cost me 1000.00 per head per year. People don't figure in every little detail and cost on raising cattle. If its to be a profitable endeavor you really need to figure everything in. I was once in LALA land about the true costs of how much it is to keep cattle until Dun/CB really drove some points that hit home.
 

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