Taking matters into their own hands

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HDRider

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Seeing some new small USDA facilities show up in central Texas. Any chance the good profits everyone complains about the big 4 making is the thing attracting new startups.... 🤔
Hopefully they get a piece of the pie, but smaller economies of scale mean smaller profits.

It is going to be hard for them to compete with the big boys. It is going to take a change in consumer buying habits, and having a steady supply of animals to process. Idle time will kill them. Luckily idle time is not their problem right now, but that is what hurt them in years past.

Plus, the USDA places need to supply retail outlets to be viable. It will take a smart cookie to make all the parts work right to thrive.

Then again, all the newbies might just be a knee jerk reaction to a blip in the big boys supply chain

Time will tell
 

Lucky

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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.
Thanks for the reply

The answer you gave for green yearlings is what I was hoping for. Mine are feed/water trough, horse, dog, and truck broke by the time they are sold. They’ll walk through the corrals good and haven’t had any hormones or implants, one or two may get an antibiotic. Doing this and being able to guarantee the heifers open has really helped. It’s fairly easy to do as well.
 

Ky hills

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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.
I understand what you are saying. The other side of the equation is the cow/calf folks like we are that do wean, vaccinate and background our calves prior to selling. Most times there isn’t a major incentive to do so as the markets usually drop for all calves green or otherwise when these are ready to be marketed. Sure they will bring more on that day than the ones not value added, however the loss doesn’t really make the so called premium all that beneficial. The cow/calf folks take a lot of the risk out for the next folks up the chain at an expense to themselves. Bottom line without the cow/calf producers the chain is not possible. If something were to change and the big packers really do get control of the supply chain then the feeders looks like to me could get hit by them and essentially be in a situation similar to the current cow calf producer only a little worse off
 

Ky hills

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Seeing some new small USDA facilities show up in central Texas. Any chance the good profits everyone complains about the big 4 making is the thing attracting new startups.... 🤔
Good chance that’s the case. Now the real story will be if they can last, under the power that the big boys have as far as squeezing out the competition simply by buying influence with the government and imposing restrictions and regulations that only they can absorb the cost of. And the same ol same ol continues only with a more people bankrupt.
 

Bigfoot

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I understand what you are saying. The other side of the equation is the cow/calf folks like we are that do wean, vaccinate and background our calves prior to selling. Most times there isn’t a major incentive to do so as the markets usually drop for all calves green or otherwise when these are ready to be marketed. Sure they will bring more on that day than the ones not value added, however the loss doesn’t really make the so called premium all that beneficial. The cow/calf folks take a lot of the risk out for the next folks up the chain at an expense to themselves. Bottom line without the cow/calf producers the chain is not possible. If something were to change and the big packers really do get control of the supply chain then the feeders looks like to me could get hit by them and essentially be in a situation similar to the current cow calf producer only a little worse off
I personally feel like it's my "duty" to sell a weaned, vaccinated calf, that knows how to eat. I go a little overboard and keep them 90 days after weaning. Most years, I'm not real sure the economics of that works out. I'm seriously thinking about trailer weaning this year (I know, I've spoke against that 1000 times). I'm just so busy, I seldom even get to sit down. I don't need anymore work....especially if there is not a return.
 

shaz

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I personally feel like it's my "duty" to sell a weaned, vaccinated calf, that knows how to eat. I go a little overboard and keep them 90 days after weaning. Most years, I'm not real sure the economics of that works out. I'm seriously thinking about trailer weaning this year (I know, I've spoke against that 1000 times). I'm just so busy, I seldom even get to sit down. I don't need anymore work....especially if there is not a return.
I think most of us would agree that preconditioning is the right thing to do but trailer weaning is more profitable. for the past few years I've held my calves over for months to get more weight but mainly because I need a group trained to hot wire that I can use to manage grass in places that I won't take the main herd.
 

Ky hills

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I personally feel like it's my "duty" to sell a weaned, vaccinated calf, that knows how to eat. I go a little overboard and keep them 90 days after weaning. Most years, I'm not real sure the economics of that works out. I'm seriously thinking about trailer weaning this year (I know, I've spoke against that 1000 times). I'm just so busy, I seldom even get to sit down. I don't need anymore work....especially if there is not a return.
I feel like it’s a good thing to do and we have have been doing it that way for several years, usually ours are weaned any where from 60 days to more likely 90 days or more and are used to eating from feed bunks. We did trailer wean a few odd ones this year, Getting ready to wean some pretty soon, not sure how long I’ll hold them, with feed costs as they are. I participated in the first CPH 45 type program around here years ago, and that sale flopped, they do a better these days as far as bringing a premium over non value added calves, but the problem is those actual dedicated sales are usually timed wrong for our calving and we end up having to hold them longer.
 

SBMF 2015

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I understand what you are saying. The other side of the equation is the cow/calf folks like we are that do wean, vaccinate and background our calves prior to selling. Most times there isn’t a major incentive to do so as the markets usually drop for all calves green or otherwise when these are ready to be marketed. Sure they will bring more on that day than the ones not value added, however the loss doesn’t really make the so called premium all that beneficial. The cow/calf folks take a lot of the risk out for the next folks up the chain at an expense to themselves. Bottom line without the cow/calf producers the chain is not possible. If something were to change and the big packers really do get control of the supply chain then the feeders looks like to me could get hit by them and essentially be in a situation similar to the current cow calf producer only a little worse off
Don't necessarily think of it as a premium. Think of it as a lack of a discount.
I visited with a sale barn manager once about wean vs not and vacc vs not. He said it's a no brainer. He said if a group of calves come in the ring with two rounds of shots and weaned 45+ day, every buyer in the place is watching. If they have one round of shots half the buyers don't pay attention. And if they have no shots, shiny noses, and not castrated he said that one other buyer and himself divide those calves up, because no one else wants them.

I get that everyone thinks that what they put in to a calf is worth more than they get, but if the next guy in the ownership chain isn't making any money then he has to bid less to stay in business. It's a trickle down effect.
Believe me I haven't ever met a farmer/feeder yet that doesn't under value the feed they raise to help pencil in a profit one a group of calves.
 

Ky hills

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Don't necessarily think of it as a premium. Think of it as a lack of a discount.
I visited with a sale barn manager once about wean vs not and vacc vs not. He said it's a no brainer. He said if a group of calves come in the ring with two rounds of shots and weaned 45+ day, every buyer in the place is watching. If they have one round of shots half the buyers don't pay attention. And if they have no shots, shiny noses, and not castrated he said that one other buyer and himself divide those calves up, because no one else wants them.

I get that everyone thinks that what they put in to a calf is worth more than they get, but if the next guy in the ownership chain isn't making any money then he has to bid less to stay in business. It's a trickle down effect.
Believe me I haven't ever met a farmer/feeder yet that doesn't under value the feed they raise to help pencil in a profit one a group of calves.
I've done backgrounding of stocker calves as well as cow calf, so I understand a little about the next step in the chain, though admittedly no experience in an actual feed lot capacity. When I referred to it as a premium, that is how it was promoted to us cow/calf peons years ago and still is currently. Though the term value added is now widely used.
Your point about the next guy on the ownership chain not making money and it being a trickle down effect, is exactly my point. In the current situation, it doesn't look to me like the cow/calf producer and the feeders, should have to have a feast or famine relationship. We are both being squeezed as well as the retail stores and consumers by the packers. It's a trickle down and trickle up monopoly that the packers save on one end and mark up on the other. Without the cow calf folks on the bottom of the chain, the next links would have to change their business. There should be more money going to both cow calf and feeders.
 

SBMF 2015

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I've done backgrounding of stocker calves as well as cow calf, so I understand a little about the next step in the chain, though admittedly no experience in an actual feed lot capacity. When I referred to it as a premium, that is how it was promoted to us cow/calf peons years ago and still is currently. Though the term value added is now widely used.
Your point about the next guy on the ownership chain not making money and it being a trickle down effect, is exactly my point. In the current situation, it doesn't look to me like the cow/calf producer and the feeders, should have to have a feast or famine relationship. We are both being squeezed as well as the retail stores and consumers by the packers. It's a trickle down and trickle up monopoly that the packers save on one end and mark up on the other. Without the cow calf folks on the bottom of the chain, the next links would have to change their business. There should be more money going to both cow calf and feeders.
The answer is to take them all the way. You can raise calves cheaper than you can buy them, raise the feed, and finish the cattle. You can make money in the current market. That's just more risk than most people are willing to accept.

I understand where you're coming from. In my personal cow herd I sell feeder calves, weaned 90-120 days, 3 rounds of shots. In the neighbor's herd that I have managed for 20years we feed out our calves. Used to buy a lot of feeders. I always want my calves to bring more, but back when we were buying feeders I always thought they brought plenty compared to what we had invested in our home raised calves of the same size.
 

Ky hills

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We are not in a position to raise any of our own feed and are also buying most of our hay. Most farmers around here are similar in that they don’t raise crops. That takes a significant amount of investment. There also are no markets here to sell fat cattle. We do fatten a few a long, and try to sell some heifers privately.
 

Dave

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If a group is interested in getting those dollars which the packers are making take a look at Oregon Country Beef. Doc and Connie Hatfield started this venture with a group of ranchers 30 plus years ago. They have their calves custom fed at feedlots. Then they contracted with a kill plant to slaughter the cattle. They then sell the meat directly to the super markets under several of their own licensed brands. I met Connie back in the late 90's. At that time she was doing a lot of the marketing for them. It was a very interesting concept which has worked well for a number of eastern Oregon ranchers. I believe they are now operating as Country Natural Beef.
 

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HDRider

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HDRider

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Here is another successful venture.


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He sell on Amazon too

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BlondeD

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.....For Tennessee residents......can check out Lazyjbeef.com He's an aquiantance of mine that's opened his shop about 6 months ago. Seems to be doing well in the East Tennessee/Virginia area so far....with plans to do limited overnight shipping......inside Tennessee only.....in the next few months.
 

Lucky

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Would anyone be willing to say what they avgd on a trailer weaned or 60 day weaned group of say 10 calves between August and October of this year? We could get some real #’s this way. I know what I avgd on weaned calves, might be interesting.
 

Dave

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We haven't sold our weaned calves yet. The 17th is the planned sale date.

Neighbor sold 2 pot loads of weaned vaccinated steers on Superior. Shipping date later next week. A base weight of 575. Weighed at home with a 2% shrink. They got $1.81.
 

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