Taking matters into their own hands

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SBMF 2015

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It's a nice thought. There was a farmer owned co-op in northern Iowa. They built the plant, couldn't make a go of it. It now has new owners. Seems to be working, but they only have shackle space for 200 a day. Pretty hard to compete with a place that kills 3,800 a day.
 

Hpacres440p

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Just another option is a benefit. If co-op processed beef can be marketed more locally, or at a slight premium as “not corporate beef”, that may be enough of a benefit. Local guys are booked a year out. Why are the only options 3000+ head/day or 10? Staffing may become their biggest issue.
 

HDRider

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We had two low volume USDA faculties open up, one 50 miles north, and one 50 miles south. Great news.

We had one new custom place open about 20 miles away. I take two steers there Wednesday.

Retail beef is up over 20% from last year. I hope people buying off the farm is not just a blip on the radar, but rather a permanent change in buying habits.

Higher retail beef prices opens the door wider for fake meat.
 

Ebenezer

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“Higher retail beef prices opens the door wider for fake meat.”

And isn’t that the goal?
If the higher retail prices are due to government controls (I think that they are) then the headline would honestly be "Higher fake retail beef prices opens the door wider of fake meat."
 

Dave

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Anyone remember IBP (Iowa Beef Producers). I believe they started out as a coop. They must have gotten to be fairly large. I know they had a very big plant in Washington. But they sold out to Tyson.
 

HDRider

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Anyone remember IBP (Iowa Beef Producers). I believe they started out as a coop. They must have gotten to be fairly large. I know they had a very big plant in Washington. But they sold out to Tyson.
JBS grew to the giant they are today by buying out small processors and aggregating to mega plants.

I suspect they all did, but JBS's story is well known.
 

Dave

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There was one that had a novel idea. Schacke's? (sp) was just out of Ellensburg Washington. They had a feedlot of about 10,000 (my guess) with a kill plant attached to it. No trucking to the plant. Remembering what was in the pens by the plant I am guessing 200 head a day capacity. Their downside was they built it right by the Yakima River and the other side was right against I-90 just an hour or so east of Seattle. Close to the freeway probably sounded like a good idea when they built it but turned into their downfall.
Agribeef which based out of Boise Idaho has 4 or 5 good size feedlots. They also own a kill plant with about 1,400 head a day capacity. I know several people who have retained ownership and had their cattle fed in Agribeef feedlots and then harvested in their plant. Those people seem to do very well.
 

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I wish them the best we need more of this. The problem I see though is can they pay the $2 a pound the producer needs to be profitable and still be profitable themselves? I really think one of the problems ranchers face is public perception, common folk automatically think ranchers are “rich” why are they complaining about what they get for a calf? On FOX news this morning there was a rancher on the border who said the illegals had ruined his fencing so last year he $150,000 in new fencing, but now they are tearing up the new fencing. My thoughts were if he spent $150,000 on fencing he’s got a rough couple years ahead of him. I guarantee most thought $150k he must be super rich.
 

SBMF 2015

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Anyone remember IBP (Iowa Beef Producers). I believe they started out as a coop. They must have gotten to be fairly large. I know they had a very big plant in Washington. But they sold out to Tyson.
Tyson at Joslin, IL started out as Illini Pack, then became part of IBP, and is now one of the bigger (if not biggest) Tyson beef plants.
 

SBMF 2015

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can they pay the $2 a pound the producer needs to be profitable
? If you need $2,800-$3,000/hd to make money you have WAY more over head than the avg feed lot. I feel like $100 profit per head is a home run. Sometimes we're thankful for a $25/hd in the black.
 

Lucky

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? If you need $2,800-$3,000/hd to make money you have WAY more over head than the avg feed lot. I feel like $100 profit per head is a home run. Sometimes we're thankful for a $25/hd in the black.
I probably should have said $2 @ 825# steer. I say that because it seems most say that would make them semi profitable. I’m in money at $1.50 on a 825# steer, $2 would make life much easier though. I have no idea what it takes to make money on a 1,400-1,600 pounder ready to slaughter.

I definitely think there’s a place for mid size independent meat packer/butcher shops. I’m not talking about the ones you carry a feeder calf or lame bull to but, a bigger one that buys from feedlots and sells to the public and local supermarkets. I’m just not sure how much they’ll help the 90% of producers selling calves at 500-800 pounds. It would be very interesting to know the percentage of cow/calf operations that are willing to wean and grow a calf to 800 + pounds. I’m not talking turn one into a butterball with feed but keep it for 9-10 months after weaning to let him build frame and be a good feeder. It seems we currently have cow/calf operations and yearling operations with very few in between.
 

SBMF 2015

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I probably should have said $2 @ 825# steer. I say that because it seems most say that would make them semi profitable. I’m in money at $1.50 on a 825# steer, $2 would make life much easier though. I have no idea what it takes to make money on a 1,400-1,600 pounder ready to slaughter.

I definitely think there’s a place for mid size independent meat packer/butcher shops. I’m not talking about the ones you carry a feeder calf or lame bull to but, a bigger one that buys from feedlots and sells to the public and local supermarkets. I’m just not sure how much they’ll help the 90% of producers selling calves at 500-800 pounds. It would be very interesting to know the percentage of cow/calf operations that are willing to wean and grow a calf to 800 + pounds. I’m not talking turn one into a butterball with feed but keep it for 9-10 months after weaning to let him build frame and be a good feeder. It seems we currently have cow/calf operations and yearling operations with very few in between.
We've both seen it on CT time and time again; " wean them in the morning sell them in the afternoon ". A lot of producers either don't have the space or just don't want the risk of back grounding their calves. Green yearling strs always bring a premium.
If a 800lber brings $2 =$1,600. Figure a $1 a pound for another 600lbs = $600. If you want to " build in " $100 profit you would need $1.64/lb for a 1,400lb finished str. The bid last week was $1.24. $0.40 different. 1,400lbs * $0.40 = $560. You take that away and the packers are making $140-$240/hd. That's fine. They should be able to make a go of it with that profit margin.
Just remember, if the cattle feeders are making another $560 a head that doesn't mean they will be willing to pass it all along to the cow calf guys. If I'm making $100/hd profit it's time to start thinking about upgrades to equipment and facilities. If I invest profits into maintenance and improvements I'm passing the profit on, just not all to the next wrung down the cattle producing ladder.
 

Lucky

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We've both seen it on CT time and time again; " wean them in the morning sell them in the afternoon ". A lot of producers either don't have the space or just don't want the risk of back grounding their calves. Green yearling strs always bring a premium.
If a 800lber brings $2 =$1,600. Figure a $1 a pound for another 600lbs = $600. If you want to " build in " $100 profit you would need $1.64/lb for a 1,400lb finished str. The bid last week was $1.24. $0.40 different. 1,400lbs * $0.40 = $560. You take that away and the packers are making $140-$240/hd. That's fine. They should be able to make a go of it with that profit margin.
Just remember, if the cattle feeders are making another $560 a head that doesn't mean they will be willing to pass it all along to the cow calf guys. If I'm making $100/hd profit it's time to start thinking about upgrades to equipment and facilities. If I invest profits into maintenance and improvements I'm passing the profit on, just not all to the next wrung down the cattle producing ladder.
When you say a “green” steer are talking one that’s been weaned and grown out over 18 months or one that’s a year old? I’ve been keeping mine a little longer every year so this interested me. Last 3 yrs I’ve been weaning in November and selling in July/August. I realize not everyone can or is willing to do this but it’s the only way I’ve found to be profitable, or at least make enough to keep improving and expanding.

When you say $100 per head profit would be very good I’m guessing you are talking about running big numbers of calves. From what little I know the cattle business is a numbers game, it takes allot of cattle to make it work.
 

cowgirl8

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Lucky, have you heard anything about the one going in in RR county? I've heard several things, but nothing lately..
 

Lucky

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Are you talking about the one going in on the Red River? If so I haven’t heard anything in a good while. Was supposed to be a slaughterhouse and something else then when he drilled the water wells he hit cold water so was going to have fresh pike too. I know he’s spent a fortune out there but haven’t heard anything in a good while.
 

SBMF 2015

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When you say a “green” steer are talking one that’s been weaned and grown out over 18 months or one that’s a year old? I’ve been keeping mine a little longer every year so this interested me. Last 3 yrs I’ve been weaning in November and selling in July/August. I realize not everyone can or is willing to do this but it’s the only way I’ve found to be profitable, or at least make enough to keep improving and expanding.

When you say $100 per head profit would be very good I’m guessing you are talking about running big numbers of calves. From what little I know the cattle business is a numbers game, it takes allot of cattle to make it work.
Green yearlings are yearlings that have been running on grass or wheat pasture and haven't seen a lot of grain. They are learn and desirable to the feed lots because they are at a point where they have the frame and age that once you get them started good you can really push them hard.

We used to be small by western standards, but we kept between 400-600 hd on feed depending on the time of year.

You are correct, feeding cattle is definitely a numbers game.

Sounds like your on to something, growing those calves out. If more people would start doing that, the cattle feeders would pay more.
 

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