Sale Barn sales

Help Support CattleToday:

GAonmymind

Well-known member
Joined
May 28, 2017
Messages
68
Reaction score
0
Ok, I am having a difficult time understanding this. I know the prices at the sale barn go up and down dependent upon market, exports, feed lots, etc.

We run a closed herd except for the bulls. We try to minimize costs and maximize profits. Sold about $35k in the last 2 years of calves.

Brother took a load of his calves Monday and called and said that the calves 350 - 400 pounds made the most per pound. Said he made the same money off those as the ones weighing 500 and 600 pounds.

I told him we had noticed the same thing. Husband says it does no good to keep the calves to put on the weight because the ones in the 350 to 400 pounds bring the same amount of money as the 500 and 600 pounders. We have noticed this same thing repeatedly.

I was raised around cattle but not the business side. Retired two years ago and came back to GA when Dad got sick. Took over cattle to help out. Not ignorant just new to this. Any insight would be appreciated on what those guys dock for, look for, etc. :help: thanks
 

RanchMan90

Well-known member
Joined
May 19, 2016
Messages
1,320
Reaction score
1
Location
Southeast Oklahoma
GAonmymind":thi1soxn said:
Ok, I am having a difficult time understanding this. I know the prices at the sale barn go up and down dependent upon market, exports, feed lots, etc.

We run a closed herd except for the bulls. We try to minimize costs and maximize profits. Sold about $35k in the last 2 years of calves.

Brother took a load of his calves Monday and called and said that the calves 350 - 400 pounds made the most per pound. Said he made the same money off those as the ones weighing 500 and 600 pounds.

I told him we had noticed the same thing. Husband says it does no good to keep the calves to put on the weight because the ones in the 350 to 400 pounds bring the same amount of money as the 500 and 600 pounders. We have noticed this same thing repeatedly.

I was raised around cattle but not the business side. Retired two years ago and came back to GA when Dad got sick. Took over cattle to help out. Not ignorant just new to this. Any insight would be appreciated on what those guys dock for, look for, etc. :help: thanks
True. Your 350-480 lb calves are going to be the most overvalued and 500-600 lb most undervalued. There's only a $50 price spread between these 2 groups. Reason being is 5 wts are too small to go to feedyard and stocker operations want to buy the lighter weight calves they can put the pounds on themselves. Buyers will have these values calculated and contracted in the price before the cattle get on their trailer. Just try to target the market in your area and sell what they're buying :2cents:
 

Rafter S

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 17, 2013
Messages
4,512
Reaction score
239
Location
Grimes County, TX
In my experience, lighter calves will almost always bring more per pound, but heavier calves will still bring more per head. And if all it costs to get them to the heavier weights is grass, why wean early?
 

Ol' 243

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 14, 2016
Messages
738
Reaction score
1
Location
Wedowee, Al
Price per lb and price per calf are two vastly different things. Just depends on how much it cost you to get them to a higher weight, and what the price per lb difference is.
 

Bigfoot

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 16, 2012
Messages
13,219
Reaction score
536
Location
Kentucky
The sale here today, the best 430 lb calf would have brought $700. The best 550 lb calf would have brought $861. Giving up the $161 is giving up the profit. Silly not take it if it's there.
 

True Grit Farms

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 4, 2016
Messages
9,453
Reaction score
4
Location
Middle Georgia
GAonmymind":27ig6837 said:
Ok, I am having a difficult time understanding this. I know the prices at the sale barn go up and down dependent upon market, exports, feed lots, etc.

We run a closed herd except for the bulls. We try to minimize costs and maximize profits. Sold about $35k in the last 2 years of calves.

Brother took a load of his calves Monday and called and said that the calves 350 - 400 pounds made the most per pound. Said he made the same money off those as the ones weighing 500 and 600 pounds.

I told him we had noticed the same thing. Husband says it does no good to keep the calves to put on the weight because the ones in the 350 to 400 pounds bring the same amount of money as the 500 and 600 pounders. We have noticed this same thing repeatedly.

I was raised around cattle but not the business side. Retired two years ago and came back to GA when Dad got sick. Took over cattle to help out. Not ignorant just new to this. Any insight would be appreciated on what those guys dock for, look for, etc. :help: thanks

Yesterday at the Turner county sale #2 steers at 613 lb adveraged $835. And #2 steers at 420 lbs averaged $638. There's a lot of money just for feeding them some grass.
 

Stocker Steve

Well-known member
Joined
May 2, 2005
Messages
11,217
Reaction score
566
Location
Central Minnesota
Bigfoot":1fsan444 said:
The sale here today, the best 430 lb calf would have brought $700. The best 550 lb calf would have brought $861. Giving up the $161 is giving up the profit. Silly not take it if it's there.

When do light calf prices per pound bottom and peak in the mid south?

Here they often bottom in late October or early November (before deer rifle hunting), and often peak in early April (after snow melt).
 

talltimber

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 16, 2014
Messages
1,340
Reaction score
1
Location
Southeast Missouri
That's about the same time frame here, generally. Lowest when everyone's spring calves come to town, and highest when the grass is coming on (or earlier when wheat grounders are stocking up as well, year depending)
 

Bigfoot

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 16, 2012
Messages
13,219
Reaction score
536
Location
Kentucky
Stocker Steve":12w97gnq said:
Bigfoot":12w97gnq said:
The sale here today, the best 430 lb calf would have brought $700. The best 550 lb calf would have brought $861. Giving up the $161 is giving up the profit. Silly not take it if it's there.

When do light calf prices per pound bottom and peak in the mid south?

Here they often bottom in late October or early November (before deer rifle hunting), and often peak in early April (after snow melt).

I couldn't swear I see any true rhyme or reason. They dropped this week for some reason.
 

RanchMan90

Well-known member
Joined
May 19, 2016
Messages
1,320
Reaction score
1
Location
Southeast Oklahoma
Bigfoot":1s2247e1 said:
Stocker Steve":1s2247e1 said:
Bigfoot":1s2247e1 said:
The sale here today, the best 430 lb calf would have brought $700. The best 550 lb calf would have brought $861. Giving up the $161 is giving up the profit. Silly not take it if it's there.

When do light calf prices per pound bottom and peak in the mid south?

Here they often bottom in late October or early November (before deer rifle hunting), and often peak in early April (after snow melt).

I couldn't swear I see any true rhyme or reason. They dropped this week for some reason.
Futures board dropped a dime this week. All these paper traders have a big influence, that's who's setting the prices your local buyers are contracting too. When live cattle prices get a cold, feeder cattle prices get pneumonia :shock:
 

BC

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 5, 2004
Messages
2,591
Reaction score
129
Location
Van Zandt County, TX
I try to avoid selling in October. One calf buyer called it "National Dead Calf Month". I asked why. Hot days and cool nights increased upper respiratory infections. He said when there was a 30 degree or more spread between day time temperatures and night time temperatures cattle got sick more. They figure the extra death loss in their bids.
 

Bigfoot

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 16, 2012
Messages
13,219
Reaction score
536
Location
Kentucky
BC":2gzv3p0u said:
I try to avoid selling in October. One calf buyer called it "National Dead Calf Month". I asked why. Hot days and cool nights increased upper respiratory infections. He said when there was a 30 degree or more spread between day time temperatures and night time temperatures cattle got sick more. They figure the extra death loss in their bids.

I see more in August
 

BrandX

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 16, 2016
Messages
74
Reaction score
0
Location
oklahoma city
so the thought is if you have the grass run the claves longer and grow them for a few extra dollars. but wouldn't it make more sense to sell them at the smaller size and just run more animals. I would rather sell two $600 calves than one $800 calf. what are your thoughts?
 

Stocker Steve

Well-known member
Joined
May 2, 2005
Messages
11,217
Reaction score
566
Location
Central Minnesota
BrandX":25pn1pwv said:
so the thought is if you have the grass run the claves longer and grow them for a few extra dollars. but wouldn't it make more sense to sell them at the smaller size and just run more animals.

Depends on your feed and your cows and your accounting and your set up.
If you are land limited you need to look at it per acre NOT per head.
I have over improved pastures (for cows), half blood sim angus bulls, feed bunks, and long winters.
So back grounding calves is more profitable for me than more cows unless the market is crashing.
 

Rafter S

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 17, 2013
Messages
4,512
Reaction score
239
Location
Grimes County, TX
BrandX":2nj63xv5 said:
so the thought is if you have the grass run the claves longer and grow them for a few extra dollars. but wouldn't it make more sense to sell them at the smaller size and just run more animals. I would rather sell two $600 calves than one $800 calf. what are your thoughts?

It's not quite that simple. You need twice as many cows to get those two $600 dollar calves.
 

BrandX

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 16, 2016
Messages
74
Reaction score
0
Location
oklahoma city
ok so here in Oklahoma with unimproved pasture if you can run 1 animal unit per 6 acres you could run 26.6 animal units per 160 acre quarter section. for the sake of calculations we will assume A.I. so there is no bull. just cows and calves. most people would run 18 mamas and 18 calves which would equal 27 animal units. one poster said there was a 50 difference in weight classes and I think bigfoot said about 160 so lets split the difference and call it $110. 18 calves sold for 710 a piece = 12,780. now what if you ran 24 mama cows and sold 24 small calves at 600 a piece = 14400? my only point is to say that its not fair to say that the grass is just wasted if you don't run calves on it LONGER. you can just run more calves and achieve some results also.

disclaimer: this is just fictious for fun discussion and real life is not easy or fair. I promises everybody results will vary!!
 

Latest posts

Top