Pounds per Acre all over again ?

Help Support CattleToday:

Stocker Steve

Well-known member
Joined
May 2, 2005
Messages
11,359
Reaction score
677
Location
Central Minnesota
I revisited some old threads over the holidays. One humorous oldie was a warning that cheap feed and cheap fuel could not last - - so we needed to buy low line bulls. I tried to ballpark how long it would take to flip a cow herd regardless of the direction chosen, and came up with 8 to 10 years... Does this sound right?
Also looked at running more yearlings. I realize the value of gain is down a bit due to cheap corn, but this still looks like a good opportunity. What prevents you from doing this, and running fewer cows? Is there too much management required or ?
 

shaz

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
2,338
Reaction score
708
Location
Middle Tn
Not a 100% sure what you're asking. Are you saying "why not run a smaller cow-calf herd and supplement with stockers"?
 

bball

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 25, 2015
Messages
3,483
Reaction score
5
Location
Indiana
Stocker Steve":s0nmmuks said:
I revisited some old threads over the holidays. One humorous oldie was a warning that cheap feed and cheap fuel could not last - - so we needed to buy low line bulls. I tried to ballpark how long it would take to flip a cow herd regardless of the direction chosen, and came up with 8 to 10 years... Does this sound right?
Also looked at running more yearlings. I realize the value of gain is down a bit due to cheap corn, but this still looks like a good opportunity. What prevents you from doing this, and running fewer cows? Is there too much management required or ?


Two things for me. Time and availability. My area decent yearlings just aren't readily available. 2 options: sale barn or private treaty. Sale barn is a weekly investment of time = a full day shot. To flip a coin if there will be something worth the trip. Private treaty is tough because there are very few around me and those that may have some yearlings have them priced high enough that the margin is very small. Supply and demand reigns in my neck of the woods.
I have often wondered if I'm doing this all wrong with cow/calf. I believe I would enjoy running some stockers from spring until late fall or even first of year, but finding them around me in groups of more than 3 or 4 is a real challenge.
A neighbor of mine has 3 hog barns and also grows out some fats on the side. I suppose he has 70 to 140 beef at any given time. He runs the sale barn circuit in our area every week. We have talked often on the topic. Some weeks he brings home 4 or 5 young calfs; plenty of weeks, he drives an empty trailer home. Best he can do is keep 3 groups that are 'close' in size because the supply fluctuates greatly.
 

shaz

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
2,338
Reaction score
708
Location
Middle Tn
bball":3dp6zsdr said:
Stocker Steve":3dp6zsdr said:
I revisited some old threads over the holidays. One humorous oldie was a warning that cheap feed and cheap fuel could not last - - so we needed to buy low line bulls. I tried to ballpark how long it would take to flip a cow herd regardless of the direction chosen, and came up with 8 to 10 years... Does this sound right?
Also looked at running more yearlings. I realize the value of gain is down a bit due to cheap corn, but this still looks like a good opportunity. What prevents you from doing this, and running fewer cows? Is there too much management required or ?


Two things for me. Time and availability. My area decent yearlings just aren't readily available. 2 options: sale barn or private treaty. Sale barn is a weekly investment of time = a full day shot. To flip a coin if there will be something worth the trip. Private treaty is tough because there are very few around me and those that may have some yearlings have them priced high enough that the margin is very small. Supply and demand reigns in my neck of the woods.
I have often wondered if I'm doing this all wrong with cow/calf. I believe I would enjoy running some stockers from spring until late fall or even first of year, but finding them around me in groups of more than 3 or 4 is a real challenge.
A neighbor of mine has 3 hog barns and also grows out some fats on the side. I suppose he has 70 to 140 beef at any given time. He runs the sale barn circuit in our area every week. We have talked often on the topic. Some weeks he brings home 4 or 5 young calfs; plenty of weeks, he drives an empty trailer home. Best he can do is keep 3 groups that are 'close' in size because the supply fluctuates greatly.

I would have thought most of Indiana would have a large enough calf selection that he would easily be able to find what he wants unless there are a lot of other guys doing the same thing. Maybe the corn farmers dabble with stocker calves when corn prices are low?
 

bball

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 25, 2015
Messages
3,483
Reaction score
5
Location
Indiana
shaz":2yn584c8 said:
would have thought most of Indiana would have a large enough calf selection that he would easily be able to find what he wants unless there are a lot of other guys doing the same thing. Maybe the corn farmers dabble with stocker calves when corn prices are low?

Im in the northern half of the state. More row crop country, and until very very recently, most of these boys didnt have time or need to fool with beef cattle too much. Plant spring, harvest fall, count your money and head to Florida for winter. Of course the past few years have squashed that for a lot of folks.

Southern half of the state has more cattle and is better suited for it too. East of Indy still has some cattle folks and of course, south.

That's the problem we have in our area, there just isn't a lot of guys growing beef. Those that are, have 30 cows or so, and there aren't many of them here. Nothing like what you see in KY, TN, AR, TX, OK, MO.
It's one of the reasons we are able to sell all our calfs so easily private treaty. Just not much supply by us...which is why I keep cow/calving it.
 
OP
S

Stocker Steve

Well-known member
Joined
May 2, 2005
Messages
11,359
Reaction score
677
Location
Central Minnesota
shaz":1qs1pajk said:
Are you saying "why not run a smaller cow-calf herd and supplement with stockers"?

Yes
I know it is hard to sit all day at the sales barn - - but you can retain your own or find a good order buyer.
 

ddd75

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 19, 2015
Messages
2,433
Reaction score
2
Location
KY
i'm building 2 new barns this year to raise stockers. and I just built one I can use in the summer for a group as well.

I think the main drawback is the costs and risks. Most people don't want to put that much money into something. I can build my barns myself so I can really be cheap at it.. My 30k barn would be 60 - 75k to have built by someone else. Add in feeding equipment, storage for feeds, lanes to get semi trucks in / out, barns, pens and fencing for all the animals, and handling facilities. After a few hundred thousand you're ready to start receiving cattle.
 

shaz

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
2,338
Reaction score
708
Location
Middle Tn
Stocker Steve":2ift7dtf said:
shaz":2ift7dtf said:
Are you saying "why not run a smaller cow-calf herd and supplement with stockers"?

Yes
I know it is hard to sit all day at the sales barn - - but you can retain your own or find a good order buyer.

I imagine you could run 3-4 stockers for every cow/calf because you would bee feeding 20-30% daily intake to the stocker calves. In effect you would produce a lot more pounds per acre.

Makes sense because you can match herd numbers to forage in any given year.
Would you run stocker calves with your cow/calf herd?
 

Lazy M

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 4, 2013
Messages
1,617
Reaction score
373
Location
KY
I wean at around 7 mos and feed until around 10-11 mos. I'd love to finish out a large group of my own calves, but mud and the need for $ always makes me throw in the towel.
 
OP
S

Stocker Steve

Well-known member
Joined
May 2, 2005
Messages
11,359
Reaction score
677
Location
Central Minnesota
shaz":2pnywjer said:
Would you run stocker calves with your cow/calf herd?

- Traditional theory is to do leader follower grazing, but I don't believe in it.
- Serious stocker guys supplement on pasture, so stockers would need to be separated. Been there, done that, works OK if you have the right set up. Should do this if your calves are light.
- I have been doing the big mob thing recently. I think this works well if you can sort off the stockers and pop them on annuals before you sell.
 

Brute 23

Brute 23
CT Supporter
Joined
Apr 19, 2007
Messages
10,406
Reaction score
2,209
Location
Gulf Coast of South Texas
ddd75":2hcv2vot said:
i'm building 2 new barns this year to raise stockers. and I just built one I can use in the summer for a group as well.

I think the main drawback is the costs and risks. Most people don't want to put that much money into something. I can build my barns myself so I can really be cheap at it.. My 30k barn would be 60 - 75k to have built by someone else. Add in feeding equipment, storage for feeds, lanes to get semi trucks in / out, barns, pens and fencing for all the animals, and handling facilities. After a few hundred thousand you're ready to start receiving cattle.

That doesn't make your barns cheap. It makes your numbers skewed. Which goes to answer the original question. It doesn't make sense unless you ranch full time and have time to spare or its on such a large scale you can hire help. For the average cow calf guy who work another job already the risk is not worth the reward. You are better off throwing a ball with your kids, taking your wife to dinner, or going fishing.
 

shaz

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
2,338
Reaction score
708
Location
Middle Tn
Stocker Steve":1rgje91i said:
shaz":1rgje91i said:
Would you run stocker calves with your cow/calf herd?

- Traditional theory is to do leader follower grazing, but I don't believe in it.
- Serious stocker guys supplement on pasture, so stockers would need to be separated. Been there, done that, works OK if you have the right set up. Should do this if your calves are light.
- I have been doing the big mob thing recently. I think this works well if you can sort off the stockers and pop them on annuals before you sell.

True,
When I wean calves or receive stockers the first stage is the dry lot to get the calves bunk-broke. I use a 14% Coop feed and hay of whatever quality and the calves come out of the dry lot 2 weeks later looking worse than when they went in. Once they're on pasture and supplemented with 5lbs of feed per day I start to make some progress. Obviously my dry lot program doesn't work.
 

ddd75

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 19, 2015
Messages
2,433
Reaction score
2
Location
KY
Brute 23":mta57xop said:
ddd75":mta57xop said:
i'm building 2 new barns this year to raise stockers. and I just built one I can use in the summer for a group as well.

I think the main drawback is the costs and risks. Most people don't want to put that much money into something. I can build my barns myself so I can really be cheap at it.. My 30k barn would be 60 - 75k to have built by someone else. Add in feeding equipment, storage for feeds, lanes to get semi trucks in / out, barns, pens and fencing for all the animals, and handling facilities. After a few hundred thousand you're ready to start receiving cattle.

That doesn't make your barns cheap. It makes your numbers skewed. Which goes to answer the original question. It doesn't make sense unless you ranch full time and have time to spare or its on such a large scale you can hire help. For the average cow calf guy who work another job already the risk is not worth the reward. You are better off throwing a ball with your kids, taking your wife to dinner, or going fishing.


More money in the bank, less financial risk, more reward. I'll take my skewed numbers.
 

farmerjan

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 1, 2016
Messages
3,916
Reaction score
1,115
Location
Shenandoah ValleyVirginia
Shaz: 2 weeks is not enough time to get the calves turned around from being shipped in, often right off the cow, trained to the bunk and getting their own "pecking order" figured out, and then you turn them out. They are at the lowest point at 2 weeks. When we wean our own and put them in the barn/lot to make sure they are going to the bunk, and we mostly only do this for retained heifers, they are looking their worst at 2 weeks. Then by 3-4 weeks, they are eating better and starting to regain the lost weight from the weaning/moving to the barn lot.
Don't think it's your program not working, they just haven't had enough time to get acclimated.
 

shaz

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
2,338
Reaction score
708
Location
Middle Tn
farmerjan":a7xhcqqo said:
Shaz: 2 weeks is not enough time to get the calves turned around from being shipped in, often right off the cow, trained to the bunk and getting their own "pecking order" figured out, and then you turn them out. They are at the lowest point at 2 weeks. When we wean our own and put them in the barn/lot to make sure they are going to the bunk, and we mostly only do this for retained heifers, they are looking their worst at 2 weeks. Then by 3-4 weeks, they are eating better and starting to regain the lost weight from the weaning/moving to the barn lot.
Don't think it's your program not working, they just haven't had enough time to get acclimated.

I agree but what I'm seeing in the manure suggest a protein problem as well that tends to correct it'self when I get them out of the dry lot. I supplement but it doesn't help til they go out to grass.
 

Latest posts

Top