Not paying much for weight

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Muletrack

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Watched a couple of area livestock sales this week, and am about to turn on Herried (S.D.) now. Interesting that they are not paying much for extra gain. At Napoleon (N.D.) yesterday I saw a guy sold a pen at 558 lbs. at $1.81, and a pen at 649 lbs., fetching$1.58 -- only about $16 for that extra 91 lbs.
 

BFE

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Watched a couple of area livestock sales this week, and am about to turn on Herried (S.D.) now. Interesting that they are not paying much for extra gain. At Napoleon (N.D.) yesterday I saw a guy sold a pen at 558 lbs. at $1.81, and a pen at 649 lbs., fetching$1.58 -- only about $16 for that extra 91 lbs.
It's that way in my neck of the woods more often than not. Seems like once they get over 600 you don't get much more per head until they get close to finished weight.
 
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Muletrack

Muletrack

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It's that way in my neck of the woods more often than not. Seems like once they get over 600 you don't get much more per head until they get close to finished weight.
Yes, price slide effect. Also some are sized so they'll finish at a time when futures are low. Still, to make it work (and actually pay bills and pay down some debt), you have to have more of those smaller cows -- I guess about a third more. But, as Kit Pharo says in his "Aha Moment," a 50,000 lb. load of 450 lb. steers is worth more money than the same 50,000 lb. load of 600 steers. The difference is 28 more calves.

The-Ahaha-moment.jpg
 
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Silver

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Every situation is different. I have no intention of increasing the number of cows I run, so I want the cows I have to wean more pounds. That doesn't mean monster cows. People seem to forget that there are two sides to a ledger, expense AND income. People also seem to think that it's a choice between monster cows and little cows. Raise a style of cow you like and continue to demand more from them. Maybe I'm greedy, but I want moderate cows (moderate might be subjective and vary by habitat / locale ) that stay in the herd and wean heavy calves in 210 days.
I don't buy feed, but I have a real good idea what it costs me to make it. The difference between feeding a 1350 lb cow and a 1100lb cow might be $50 on the real high side if you believe small cows always eat less than a larger counterpart. If she gives me 200lbs more calf then that feed was a great investment.
In the summer time my cows are on grazing tenure that is a around $3.20 per AUM. Doesn't matter the size of cow. If I had a third more little cows I'd pay that many more AUM's. I'd also have a vet bill 1/3 higher, 1/3 more selling expenses, etc.
I think if those selling the 1000 lb cow idea really believed the numbers they'd switch to sheep or lowline cattle.
 

SmokinM

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Far from an expert but in my opinion for our area if they break 650# for the average cow calf man here you might as well keep them til they go down a rail. You go backwards in price so fast it doesn’t offset gain. The key to making money is having calves that reach that 450-650 sweet spot the fastest with the least inputs. I know this because I am not very good at it.

I am sure there are specialty sales here and there for these backgrounder calves but they aren’t many in this area that I know of. All the ones that I know of have connections in PA or the Midwest and do pot loads direct.
 

Dave

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I looked at the report from Vale last week. Price si always listed in a range so I calculated the top end 500 and top end 800. There is a $291 price gain. The bottom of the range for 500 to 800 the range is $268.
That puts the value of gain on the top end at $0.97 a pound and at the bottom end at $0.89 a pound.
 

Rydero

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Yes, price slide effect. Also some are sized so they'll finish at a time when futures are low. Still, to make it work (and actually pay bills and pay down some debt), you have to have more of those smaller cows -- I guess about a third more. But, as Kit Pharo says in his "Aha Moment," a 50,000 lb. load of 450 lb. steers is worth more money than the same 50,000 lb. load of 600 steers. The difference is 28 more calves.

View attachment 2572
This idea gets thrown around a lot and my question is where does the $ to buy 28 more cows come from? Subtract that from the extra money you get for the load for several years and are you still making more? I'm all ears about the idea but it doesn't seem to compute. From my experience tbe cattle business is a $/h business that works better with volume.How am I wrong?
 

Lucky

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I’ve been long weaning a few years now and it’s a gamble. I can feed the calves from mid November to mid March for about 75-90 cents a day. They gain pretty good and grow allot of frame during this time. Once they go to grass the gain is less but doesn’t cost anything out of pocket. While the price per pound goes down the calves bring more per head and this ads up quick if you have very many. The question is could I sell the calves sooner and do something with the free space to make more than keeping the yearlings. For me the answer is nothing that I’m interested in doing. I’m open to ideas though. Here it takes about 4-5 acres per cow and 1-2 per yearling.
 

RDFF

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I've been noticing the impact of that price depreciation as they get bigger too. Makes it hard to understand why you'd want to carry them past that 650# mark.
 

Stocker Steve

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This idea gets thrown around a lot and my question is where does the $ to buy 28 more cows come from? Subtract that from the extra money you get for the load for several years and are you still making more? I'm all ears about the idea but it doesn't seem to compute. From my experience the cattle business is a $/h business that works better with volume. How am I wrong?
Lowline cows can be very inexpensive... They were about U$S 400 here. Who needs sheep.

On a more serious note, a profitable theme depends a lot on your first limitation - - labor, land, or capital ?
Land is overpriced in most of the US, so you need to pay attention to per acre numbers IF you are a landowner.

Canada is different. Renting is different. Context matters.
 
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Muletrack

Muletrack

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This idea gets thrown around a lot and my question is where does the $ to buy 28 more cows come from? Subtract that from the extra money you get for the load for several years and are you still making more? I'm all ears about the idea but it doesn't seem to compute. From my experience tbe cattle business is a $/h business that works better with volume.How am I wrong?
I'm not sure what you are asking here. The money to buy more cattle sometimes comes out of pocket, and sometimes from the bank. Often it comes by retaining extra heifers. I'm a fall-calver, so I can buy lighter heifers as replacements (to breed in November) than I could if I were breeding in July. But the smaller cow formula is all about stocking rates. And the Value of Gain (VOG) is on calves less than 600 lbs. The biggest money maker is tied to the number of head across the scale, not the weight. I'm looking for smaller cows, but they are tough to find in my neck of the prairie.
 
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Muletrack

Muletrack

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I'm not sure what you are asking here. The money to buy more cattle sometimes comes out of pocket, and sometimes from the bank. Often it comes by retaining extra heifers. I'm a fall-calver, so I can buy lighter heifers as replacements (to breed in November) than I could if I were breeding in July. But the smaller cow formula is all about stocking rates. And the Value of Gain (VOG) is on calves less than 600 lbs. The biggest money maker is tied to the number of head across the scale, not the weight. I'm looking for smaller cows, but they are tough to find in my neck of the prairie.
All the rage is $/acre, not $/cow.
 

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