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Deepsouth

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As I said in my introduction my family has a good amount of land for the area where we live, over 1000 acres, most in timber. We have about 40 acres in established bahia grass. I am clearing another 40 acres right now that is right across the road from my house. It's good ground and was once used as a corn field years ago. We are not real high on the timber futures and I have been interested in getting into the cattle business for a couple of years. I thought this might be a good time. I am in an area where I could do some contract grazing on stockers or buy my on. I was not to interested in getting into cow calf because of my inexperience but the markets are indicating that with the U.S. cattle numbers being low that cow calf may be the way to go. I would only be using the 40 acres of new pasture for grazing the established fields could be used for hay production. It is reasonable to expect the ground in this area to support 1000 - 1200 pounds of live cattle per acre. With the contract grazing I would have less over head but buying my own may make me more money. I not sure I trust the stock contractee to bring me quality yearlings. What do ya'll think?
 

JSCATTLE

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With the drought people are going to be holding heifers .. you may find someone that needs a place to raise heifers. You could charge them on gain or lease to them..with only 40 acres your going to be limited..
 

bigbull338

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heres what i think.you have 2 40ac pastures you can use.id use 1 pasture for hay.an 1 to run 15 or 20 cows.an then you can expand your pasture an hay ground if you clear any land.keep in mind it takes 2 or 3 yrs to get a pasture estb.
 
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Deepsouth

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Thanks for the responses. I am thinking about doing the contract grazing because it will be less over head and possibly an opportunity to Learn from someone with experience. Bigbull when you say get some cows are you saying get some grown cows? If so should they be bred or should I get a bull? I also wondered about getting a bull and buying some older heifers breeding them and selling them as bred. This might give me a quicker return on my money. I know I won't have my pasture ready this summer but I will be able to put in winter pasture next fall. I'm actually thinking about planting some water melons on it this spring they do good on that new ground.
 

1wlimo

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Contract grazing can be good, you just need to make sure that you have a contract before you start, so that you know when you get paid, what happens if an animal escapes, an animal dies etc, or there is a majour issue and several animals die. Much better to have it all sorted before you have the animals themselves.
 
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Deepsouth

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I believe most of the contracts here are weight gain. I think it is done by the total gross gain of the herd. There are two options on the contract. The first is I would be totally responsible for the cattle from delivery till pickup that means I would be paid for the total gain on the herd so lost animals or animals that are light because of sickness would cost me on the total gain. The second option is for the owner to be responsible for the care of the cattle and I would only be responsible for grass and and keeping them in the pasture and I guess I would also provide hay if needed. This second option pays less. I am not sure how a dead animal would tally up. By the way around here most of the contracts or for 150 days. As I said before one concern about contracting is the quality of animals. I know I man who has done this for the last 3 winters, the first two years he bought his own last year he contracted. His gain went down on the contracted herd because they were just not good stock.
 

bigbull338

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you could buy the cows 2 ways to start.1.is bred cows,an then buy a bull after they calve.2.buy 3 in 1s that way you have a calf to wean an sale.an buy a bull when they calve back.
 
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Deepsouth

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I have been wondering about the 3 in 1 and keeping the heifers but I've been told that the time it takes to get them to breeding age eats to much money. I have a lot to think about but I believe I have some time to think it through. I sure appreciate the input from ya'll I have alot to learn. I guess my biggest dilemma is whether to go ahead and buy cows either for weight gain or for raising calves or to contract graze. I know its a matter of figuring out which operation I'm best suited for. Please keep the suggestions coming.
 

JSCATTLE

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You could also buy some older pairs in may and put a bull with them . Sell everything in the fall .. you wouldn't have to hay and your pasture would have time to get a head of them in the spring..
 

JSCATTLE

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I think you would do better by not having any animals to feed during the winter.. sell the calves about 2 months before the cows and sell the cows about Oct. Let the grass set until the spring when u buy more pairs or over seed it with rye grass and buy pairs in Feb..its hard to make money feeding out of a sack ..
 

gimpyrancher

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I'm thinking that with my limited forage that needs to be reclaimed, perhaps I can start with someone else's cows. I'm less interested in making a profit at the moment as much as reclaiming the unproductive land and making it fertile. Seems to me getting someone else to pay to improve my land is worth a lot in the long run. At least for a couple of years to kick start my grass growing operation. :compute:
 
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Deepsouth

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JSCATTLE":1mpvn1qd said:
I think you would do better by not having any animals to feed during the winter.. sell the calves about 2 months before the cows and sell the cows about Oct. Let the grass set until the spring when u buy more pairs or over seed it with rye grass and buy pairs in Feb..its hard to make money feeding out of a sack ..
Most all the weight gain grazing here is done in the winter with rye grass and a little hay and no supplemental feeding. The only feeding out of the bag would be range cubes and that just to tame the cows. I've been told that the cattle just don't gain as well in the summer and to do weight gain in the summer you have to cut back on the number of head. I may be confused. I see your in s.e. Texas if you are north of Houston we should have very close climates and growing seasons. We plant rye in the fall and put the yearlings in anywhere from early November to mid January.
 

JSCATTLE

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I due east on the sabine river ... My rye grass never really produces until end of Feb to first of march... Depends on the type of cattle mine gain in the summer..I planted 40 acres of rye grass this year I have 900 in seed and 1800 in fertilizer .. ill have to put another 1200 on it in the spring .. that's a big deficit to start with .
 

JSCATTLE

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Bahia and Bermuda . Bermuda does make good hay . It makes good pasture also .. I may plant my rye grass a little late but if I plant it ,any earlier than the first of Oct I have problems with army worms ...
 

1982vett

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in a quick skim of this topic.....what I see that has been avoided is answering the 1000-1200 lbs of cow per acre.....were is deepsouth.....well probably in the sout in watermelon country....hmmm...which means he needs rain/irrigation and fertilizer.... jscattle mentinon fertilizer and seed cost.....so the question is can 10 pair on 40 aces (southeast watermelon guys correct this) pay the cost of water and fertilize?






(the second 40 isn't in production yet............)
 
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Deepsouth

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85vett, i will be close to jscattle's seed and fert cost but where I am we usually have to lime also, not every year but maybe every 3-5. I have not had my soil tested yet because l have not decided what I'm going to do. I may grow some melons this spring they do good here on new ground. There is no water cost no one irrigates pasture here. You have me confused about the 10 pair on 40 acre. If I can run say 1100 pounds of cows per acre and I believe that is being conservative then 40 ac @1100 would total 44000 pounds. That would mean your 10 pair would average 4400 pounds per pair. That's some heavy cows. I would think an average cow with a weaning size calf would only be about half that.
 

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