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Planning for Cow-Calf Operation Need ALOT of Info!!

willowingacres

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Hi, My parents and I are in the beggining stages of planning a cow-calf operation. We are currently located in Upstate NY but are planning to move to start our farm. I am not certain where we will move to, that will depend on where my research for the best location puts us. What we would like to end up with is a decent size farm to to graze cattle, raise hay and rotational crops(this is where I have the least amount of experience (corn, oats, soybeans ect....?)) enough to supplement the cattle in the winter and possibly a surplus to sell. So what I'm looking for is a little insight into the best location to look into (longer growing season/good soil composition). What size acerage to look into, obviously this depends on how many cattle we want to support(I'm thinking eventually 100 head or so). From the limited research I've done so far it looks like the best way to start breed wise is a Herford-Angus cross. Does this seem logical? My Grandfather raised Beef cattle years ago and this is what he did. My Father has some experience with cattle from back then(He's in his 60's now). I DON"T want to go into this with my eyes closed, I want to gather as much information as possible. Any and All information and insight is greatly appreciated. I know I have ALOT to learn and have ALOT of hard work ahead of me and I can't wait! I know there is alot more I need to know and research but this is all I could think of right now.
Thanks a TON
Josh
 

Angus Cowman

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welcome Josh
Finding land that will do it all will be expensive I and a few others on here live in Missouri and it is the 2nd largest cattle producing state in the U.S. Land in Mo is probably priced as reasonably as anywhere else, most of the land in the southern half of the state is good for raising cattle and hay but not so much for crops other than some wheat or rye for grazing and or baling. the Northern half and a small part of the southeastern corner is good for crops but the crop land is 2-3 times more expensive than the grazing land.
On to the cows if you are just wanting to run a commercial herd the Angus/hereford cross for momma cows is a good one then you can use a different breed of bulls like Limousin,or some others for calves that would wean a large good grading end product.

to run a 100 momma cows in this area you would need at least 400-500 acres and that is with intensive management on pastures and cattle and still be able to produce hay but in most instances it is more economical to buy hay than to raise it yourself .

I hope this helped and if you have anymore ? feel free to ask
 

willowingacres

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Angus Cowman":20os5fpc said:
welcome Josh
Finding land that will do it all will be expensive I and a few others on here live in Missouri and it is the 2nd largest cattle producing state in the U.S. Land in Mo is probably priced as reasonably as anywhere else, most of the land in the southern half of the state is good for raising cattle and hay but not so much for crops other than some wheat or rye for grazing and or baling. the Northern half and a small part of the southeastern corner is good for crops but the crop land is 2-3 times more expensive than the grazing land.
On to the cows if you are just wanting to run a commercial herd the Angus/hereford cross for momma cows is a good one then you can use a different breed of bulls like Limousin,or some others for calves that would wean a large good grading end product.

to run a 100 momma cows in this area you would need at least 400-500 acres and that is with intensive management on pastures and cattle and still be able to produce hay but in most instances it is more economical to buy hay than to raise it yourself .

I hope this helped and if you have anymore ? feel free to ask

Thanks so Much! I was thinking the same thing about the crop land, that sort of simplifies things in my head.
 

buckmaster33

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Hey Josh,

Farming is one of the most self gratifying jobs out there, IMO, and I respect your ambition to do so. And I'm glad to see you're not just jumping into it without first gathering the necessary info as to what you need to make it successful. No offense to anybody out there...but WAY too many people get this idea in their head that getting 10-20 beef cattle will be a great tax writeoff, have beef to eat, etc, etc without first figuring out a gameplan beforehand, esp those with no farming experience at all!...and 60 days later, have 20 starved animals with no shelter, no water and NO CLUE how to handle cattle or what to do with them! By then the damage has been done. Anyways.

Yeah, the location you choose is going to determine alot of the other factors...assuming you must at least have somewhat of a preference? Obviously, the practices here in WI are different than for Cowman in MO for such things as wintering practices, ideal calving times, grazing practices, etc. Kinda depends on how tough you are and if you can handle the tougher northern climate winters! Of course, I would NEVER survive the summer heat in TX!

Black baldies(Hereford/Angus X) are great cattle. Without getting into EPD's etc, they are usually very calving ease friendly...which is something you'll definitely want at first...you'll have plenty of other things to worry about without pulling calves! :) I run a Limi/Angus X and am very happy with it. Everyone on here is going to have a breed preference, but on that one, you have to find what works for you in your environment and go with it. But wherever you get your cattle to begin with, make sure it's a reputable seller...and I wouldnt recomment a sales barn(although there are still a few good ones out there) the last thing you want to do is get your cattle all settled in and find out 6 months later that you have brought in various diseases from the outside. Not to say this doesnt and cant have this happen with a good seller, but why risk this from the get go? Too much invested in my opinion....esp since you're starting from scratch.

There are lots of knowledable people on here...and you can pick up alot of info by reading old posts as most everything has been asked at one time or another. Good luck.
 

willowingacres

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Yes we have somewhat of a Location preferance. We want to get away from heavy winters, we currently live in Upstate NY about 5 miles from Lake Ontario. South Central seems to be where we are looking at right now.
I'd like to start out with as few inherant problems as possible although I know with animals our best laid plans rarely if ever go as planned.

Thanks alot, I have gone through some of the older post looking for more info and have found quite a bit.
Thanks again Josh
 

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