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cattlepower

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I have a good friend that is about to take on 60 acres of good ground that is cross fenced into 4 different pastures. Everything is in place--land, fencing, water, facilities etc. He will not have to invest any $ and even the capital for the cattle investment is being provided. Can he make a profit off this venture. If you need more specifics I'll answer what I can?

Forgot to add that he is deciding between cow/calf and stockers
 

Jogeephus

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Yes, if he doesn't chase every rainbow and pipe dream and keeps the operations realistic. I know some people who could be given a million dollars and free land and they will lose their a$$ while others could make money. Just depends on the person. JMO
 

backhoeboogie

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He can make money if he takes good care of the cows, good care or the pastures, and doesn't spend a lot of nickels on things the cows do not need. They need hay in the winter and he can probably bale it on a part of that pasture if he manages it correctly, does not over stock etc.

You mentioned capital. Is there interest to be paid? That cuts into profit.

You did not mention working facilities. He's going to need a head gate or medina gate as a minimum. Portable is good and he can take it with him when the lease is up. A way to load cattle too. Water at each portion of the pasture if he is going to rotate.

He's not going to make a lot of money.
 
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cattlepower

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backhoeboogie":2z4xgwmb said:
He can make money if he takes good care of the cows, good care or the pastures, and doesn't spend a lot of nickels on things the cows do not need. They need hay in the winter and he can probably bale it on a part of that pasture if he manages it correctly, does not over stock etc.

You mentioned capital. Is there interest to be paid? That cuts into profit.

You did not mention working facilities. He's going to need a head gate or medina gate as a minimum. Portable is good and he can take it with him when the lease is up. A way to load cattle too. Water at each portion of the pasture if he is going to rotate.

He's not going to make a lot of money.

The facilities are there including working facilities. There is no interest to be paid on the capital it's a gift. A neighbor farmer (1 mile away) will sell him hay as he thinks he can utilize more pasture this way and it will be just about as cheap to just buy the hay. I think the hay price is $15 or $20 a roll. There is a nice size spring fed pond but it's obviously only in one place, so water will have to be figured out for rotational grazing. As I said he is considering cow/calf or stockers and I honestly don't know what to tell him so I'm getting experienced opinions.
 

cypressfarms

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There are so many different factors that go into any business, I wouldn't personally "trust" any one person's opinion. I would research this puppy for a while on the internet, talking to other cattleman, going to livestock auctions, etc. This is, in the end, a business. IMO, running a business where you raise cattle or tulips for the local flower shop are the same. It's all about controlling expenses and maximizing your revenue. From a larger picture almost every business is similar in this respect. If you can run a business sucessfully, I would venture to say that you could plug in which specific type of business and still succeed. Obviously there are special facets of the cattle industry; these can be learned. You can't "learn" someone how to control expenses, however. Their normally tight or loose with money. Just my humble opinions, however.
 

Jogeephus

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I read somewhere that if he would plow up the pastures and plant milet then he could safely stock it with 360 brood cows. :shock:
 
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cattlepower

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Jogeephus":1lj919ak said:
I read somewhere that if he would plow up the pastures and plant milet then he could safely stock it with 360 brood cows. :shock:

That sounds about right, thanks for your sincere help-- :tiphat:
 

irked

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you left out one of the most important things - - how much cattle experience your friend has. can we assume that since he has a friend asking the questions to strangers on a message board that he has none? that will probably make it harder for him to profit. a good mentor - - even these forums - - will help tremendously.

if you're wanting to know what type of operation is best for your friend, we really need to have more information. we need to know more about his grasses and his location. some areas and forages are better suited to cow-calf, some are better suited to running stockers. some areas have a better market for calves, some areas have a better market for feeders. some areas have a better market for cull cows that could be bought thin and cheap and upgraded with flesh. some areas have weaned calves available year around, in some areas the supply is limited. knowing where he's located and what type of native forage he has available year around would be helpful.

one thing is fairly certain, however - - if your friend can't make it with the conditions you describe (free land, free working facilities, free cattle, hay to be purchased at less than the cost of production, etc.) he is better off doing something else.

if he can't make it with everything given to him, he can always go to work for a slick cattle magazine or a prestigious ag university telling the rest of us what we need to do.
 
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cattlepower

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Believe it or not some people still don't have or do computers. One of the big things he's trying to decide is cow/calf or stockers. What do you all think on that :?:
 

dun

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cattlepower":mnnahk1y said:
Believe it or not some people still don't have or do computers. One of the big things he's trying to decide is cow/calf or stockers. What do you all think on that :?:
Stockers. More flexibility
 

Jogeephus

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cattlepower":3l4pcazf said:
Jogeephus":3l4pcazf said:
I read somewhere that if he would plow up the pastures and plant milet then he could safely stock it with 360 brood cows. :shock:

That sounds about right, thanks for your sincere help-- :tiphat:

Can only give general answers to over generalized questions. The only question I have seen so far is whether or not your friend can make money. The answer to that question is yes BUT he can also lose money.

Now that you have added one more tiny bit of information that he is considering stockers let me ask a few questions.

1. How does he plan to market the calves?
2. Where will he buy the calves? Will they be preconditioned or run of the mill stockyard calves.
3. How well does he know cattle diseases and how to treat them?
4. Is there a quarantine pen - one with its own water and not water from the communal pond?
5. How much time can he devote to caring for them especially the first two weeks of arrival?
6. What is the minimal rate of gain you will need to break even and what is your maximum cost per day you can spend to break even? And can you do it?
7. What is the backup plan in the event the calves are ready to sell but the market tanks?
8. How many calves can you afford to lose before you are in the red?
9. What is the spread between the estimated purchase price of and the target weight price?

These are just a few questions I'd be asking myself if I was looking at doing this.
 

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