Not paying much for weight

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mwj

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What % of your income is derived from the sale of cull cows. Those 900# gals don't bring a huge price.
 

Hpacres440p

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I have made good money buying those little calves in the fall and selling then as nice big feeders the following summer. They can be little but still growthy. Low lines are a give away at any stage of life.
At sale barns yes. Direct market they do pretty well-beef is amazing on grass alone. They haven’t been bred for feedlot management.
 

Dave

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At sale barns yes. Direct market they do pretty well-beef is amazing on grass alone. They haven’t been bred for feedlot management.
I much prefer living where there are no people so direct marketing just isn't an option here. But I do see low lines at the sale in Vale from time to time. That is getting closer to Boise so they aren't all end up in direct marketing. And at the sale they are $0.50 +/-.
 

Stocker Steve

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Met a guy who bought into more smaller cows per acre strategy. But he had the same issue we have debated - - how to fund becoming a BTO? He decided to buy every Highlander cow he could find, and then breed them Hereford. This was the maternal herd that produced his F1 replacements. Then he crossed these F1s to a polled black bull for his terminal calves.

What does a Highlander cow cost in your area? Do you think you could stock two cows per acre?
 

Hpacres440p

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I much prefer living where there are no people so direct marketing just isn't an option here. But I do see low lines at the sale in Vale from time to time. That is getting closer to Boise so they aren't all end up in direct marketing. And at the sale they are $0.50 +/-.
Yes, they definitely take a beating at the sale barn. Tasty, tender beef though. Rib-eyes aren’t so huge that you’re in pain from eating them.
 

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Hereford2

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In our area Highlander cattle, straight bred or crosses go for about $.50 a pound at the barn. Plus they grow slow and it's a toss up whether they are going to be big or runty , we used to own some... Also they're about $500 a head private party.
 

Dave

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Yes, they definitely take a beating at the sale barn. Tasty, tender beef though. Rib-eyes aren’t so huge that you’re in pain from eating them.
The county I live in is bigger than the state of Delaware and has a population of about 16,000. There is at least 3 or 4 times more cows than people. Not a lot of direct marketing opportunity. Those who don't live on a ranch know half a dozen ranchers.
There are certainly cattle here that go to the sale yard. But there are probably more that get sold directly to feedlots or are sold on Superior by the potload.
 
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Maybe so.

It means I screwed up wintering calves again this year thinking I would hold out for better weight in the spring. would've been better off selling lighter calves in Nov and saved the hay and feed.
 

farmerjan

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Friday at the local sale barn I watched heifers in the 450-550 wts bring from 1.30 to 1.48. That is 10-20 more than 2 weeks ago. Some decent looking ones. I did not get there to see the steers earlier.... but was told that some in the 4 wts brought up to 1.85? We have about 20 to go that are in the 5+ weights.... if it dries out this week enough they will be brought out of the pasture and go on this friday. Keep telling my son that we really don't need to be feeding them. I want to go through the heifers and pick out any I am not in love with and ship them too.
Between the snow and the rain there is so much mud...... they need to go so we can cut down on the feeding. Starting to calve out the spring cows (2 so far) most will be late Mar-April.... Hard to keep anything dry right now.
 

SmokinM

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The mud is beyond belief right now isn’t it?

Glad prices are up some I have a few that need to go as well. Is the sale at Staunton any better under the new management? Hopefully they have improved the flow some that line was ridiculous most of the time.
 

farmerjan

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@SmokinM ......Yeah, mud is just totally awful. No, the sale is not any better under the new management. There are things we don't really like and they take forever to get things done. If you have singles, and they are doing grading, they will put a bunch together in groups there at the sale which can be good and bad. You might get more for a so-so calf in the group. If you are not happy with what they are bringing then you do not have the option to buy back your own animal without buying the whole group. If they are not grading, then they will announce that this group in the ring is from so and so.... sometimes if you are shipping some of your "lesser" cattle, you might not want it announced. They get things mixed up still. They take a break inbetween steers and heifers even if there are only 500 total head there.
We are not really happy with some things the way they have changed. We have sold some in H'burg a couple times and have gotten as good a price as we used to get in Staunton. But, they are closer.... so still trying to support them.
Don't know about the unloading lines since we did not haul any during the "rush fall season" this year.
 

farmerjan

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@SmokinM ; Also, corn prices are up and so are soybeans. As grain prices go up the price of feeders goes down. There have been several "regular springtime buyers" buying alot already so once they get enough, it might drive prices down as demand / competition goes down. Don't know what this year is going to bring, so I am thinking that they need to be gone now.
DS said he wants to ship about 50 head this week. There are approx 30 steers and 40 heifers; and we planned to pick through the heifers anyway to keep some for replacements.... so I think we will have 50 to go. If you ship 50 they give a discount on the consignment price too, so instead of taking a load this week and one next week, he wants to take them all this week. It looks like we are not going to get any rain this week, Wed was 30% and now is down to partly cloudy. It has been windy today, and getting colder, clouds but no rain after like 9-10 a.m....... hopefully the wind will help to dry it up a bit.
 

SmokinM

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I sell a couple loads each year thru Harrisonburg and have always been happy with the results. I like Darryl and he will explain why he is doing what he is doing if you ask. He is pretty sharp on cattle best I can tell. Any time I or a customer have more than one or two off color that’s where they go an they don’t beat you up near as bad as other sales.
Went to Staunton a half a dozen times mostly with customers cows at their request. Never really had a good experience there. Doesn’t sound like it has changed much. Your plan and reasoning sounds as good as anything else I have heard. Sure doesn’t seem like it will be another $3 a lb. year!
 

Rydero

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I was just looking at yesterdays local results, 720lb steers at $2.01 ($1,447.20), 532 lb at $2.31 ($1,228.92). That $218.28 per calf would sure add up on a big group.
Took my yearlings and they sold today. In October I take everything big, if I think it's under 500lbs I wean it. One package of steers weighed 785 and brought 1.895. Heifers I sold a group of that weighed 675 that brought 1.78. Heaviest heifer was 830 and dollared out to $1260. Idk. I'll take 1487 for my smallest steers in March over less than $1000 in October anytime.
 

Dave

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I was at the sale yesterday. Sitting watching feeders sell waiting for them to get to the cows. They have a reader board that shows the results of the last thing through the ring. Number of head, price per pound, total weight, average wieght, and $ per head. So groups of 15-20 head. Same person's cattle. That lets a person compare apples to apples. Steers weighing 520 versus steers weighing 620. The 620 pound steers brought $100 a head more. This $1 a pound for the weight played out up to around 800 pounds. Heifers were a little less at around $0.80 a pound for the increase.
 

Rydero

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I was at the sale yesterday. Sitting watching feeders sell waiting for them to get to the cows. They have a reader board that shows the results of the last thing through the ring. Number of head, price per pound, total weight, average wieght, and $ per head. So groups of 15-20 head. Same person's cattle. That lets a person compare apples to apples. Steers weighing 520 versus steers weighing 620. The 620 pound steers brought $100 a head more. This $1 a pound for the weight played out up to around 800 pounds. Heifers were a little less at around $0.80 a pound for the increase.

Groups of heifers over 25 here yesterday same owner. Dollar/hd
592 lbs - 1154
631 lbs - 1303
692 lbs - 1335

$181 for 100lbs. I'm pretty sure my cost of gain was .75/lb in my ration software so a good investment to feed here, not very good there.

Dave, what's a finished animal worth there live? It's interesting the slide seems to have them at a steady value/hd, it must be jumping at some point, feedlots/packers up to no good? Ours is usually a steady progression unless the market is moving.

Strange thing I saw yesterday was light calves under 500 were cheap (barely broke $900 on average for the whole sale) and suddenly they're paying more than they have been for the heavier calves. We're getting closer and close to grass, seems to make very little sense.
 

Silver

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That's the risk of raising light calves. When the feed grains are up (I'm assuming they are up, I haven't looked) light calves take a beating. Heavy calves do much better because they are "short keep". To me the downside risk of weaning light calves is just too high.
 

Dave

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They just don't sell fat cattle through the sale here. There is a lot of feedlots in the area just east of that sale. Including some real big ones. The two kill plants are in Washington. Tyson in Pasco and Washington Beef in Toppenish. There is a pretty steady flow of cattle pots full of fat cattle on the freeway here headed west and empties headed back east. I know that Tyson buys on the grid. I haven't kept up on fat cattle prices.
 

Rydero

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They just don't sell fat cattle through the sale here. There is a lot of feedlots in the area just east of that sale. Including some real big ones. The two kill plants are in Washington. Tyson in Pasco and Washington Beef in Toppenish. There is a pretty steady flow of cattle pots full of fat cattle on the freeway here headed west and empties headed back east. I know that Tyson buys on the grid. I haven't kept up on fat cattle prices.
Mainly smaller producers then? Bigger guys selling direct to the feedlots? Seems like the buyers are just taking advantage of something because they can(that's an absolute guess). It only makes sense that a feeder increases in value towards the value of a fat as it gets closer to being one assuming it's not going to finish at a bad time. Something that some in the cow/calf business tend to forget to ask themselves is when will this calf finish? Can be smart to calve at a different time to cut costs etc but will they finish when someone wants to fire up a barbecue?
 

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