When and where to sell steers?

Help Support CattleToday:

Lrj505

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 21, 2018
Messages
238
Reaction score
0
A 500 pound steer brings about $850-$900 at sale barn. But hay is $120-$150 a ton. So to feed a cow and calf til 205 days cost pretty much what your going to make from the sale of the steer? So my question is. How do I sell my steers to actually make money ? I have heard restaurants, feedlots at 900 pounds, or slaughter plants at 1,200 pounds. Seems it would be more profitable to buy $300 weaned Calves and feed them til 500 - 600 pounds and take them to sale barn opposed to cow calf operation. Advice experience thanks !
 

Son of Butch

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 30, 2010
Messages
7,489
Reaction score
1,262
Location
Frost Bite Falls, Minnesota
Lrj505":3iozt8o9 said:
A 500 pound steer brings about $850-$900 at sale barn. But hay is $120-$150 a ton.
So to feed a cow and calf til 205 days cost pretty much what your going to make from the sale of the steer?
So my question is. How do I sell my steers to actually make money?
Now cut that out!
If you're going to go thinking about it in a practical rational manner you'll never do it.
Just get started and figure it out later, otherwise the next thing you'll be asking is why would any choose to farm.
:)
 

Dave

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 12, 2004
Messages
10,279
Reaction score
2,163
Location
Baker County, Oregon
If the steer brings $900 and hay cost $150 and you are breaking even? That would mean with the cost you list you are feeding 6 tons of hay? Get them out to pasture and don't feed as much.
 

snoopdog

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 25, 2017
Messages
1,766
Reaction score
84
Location
ne oklahoma
Avg cost to keep a cow is around 500 a year , pasture inputs are generally cheaper than buying hay . Sell after weaning and vaccination is generally .10 more per pound around here, contact your barn for special sales . Don't be afraid to shop the barns for free hauling /lower yardage and commission . We have 4 local barns within 40 miles , and 3 major ones within 100.
 

callmefence

Hobby rancher
Joined
Mar 7, 2016
Messages
8,092
Reaction score
2,072
Location
Fencemans place...central Texas
Lrj505":127anjs6 said:
A 500 pound steer brings about $850-$900 at sale barn. But hay is $120-$150 a ton. So to feed a cow and calf til 205 days cost pretty much what your going to make from the sale of the steer? So my question is. How do I sell my steers to actually make money ? I have heard restaurants, feedlots at 900 pounds, or slaughter plants at 1,200 pounds. Seems it would be more profitable to buy $300 weaned Calves and feed them til 500 - 600 pounds and take them to sale barn opposed to cow calf operation. Advice experience thanks !

Reduce inputs.. it's the cows job to harvest forage and put pounds on the calf. If your feeding 150dollar hay 6-7 months of year your cattle are on welfare.
 
OP
L

Lrj505

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 21, 2018
Messages
238
Reaction score
0
I feed about 20 pounds of hay a day per cow. I have pasture in the winter ten acres for about 4 months.
 

Dave

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 12, 2004
Messages
10,279
Reaction score
2,163
Location
Baker County, Oregon
Your location would help. But irregardless of your location if you are breaking even on $900 calves your inputs are way too high.
 

backhoeboogie

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 16, 2006
Messages
14,984
Reaction score
28
Location
Texas
Lrj505":iij61v2b said:
I feed about 20 pounds of hay a day per cow. I have pasture in the winter ten acres for about 4 months.

$150 a ton at 20 lbs a day puts you at $1.50 a day for 8 months if they are on pasture for 4 months. I get $361 and change. You have meds and wormer. Fertilizer and seed on the 4 months? Lease expenses? Taxes ? Tractor maintenance or fence maintenance and fuel. There's simply not enough information on expenses.

None of us want to judge. $900 per cow would put a lot of folks out of business.

Volume to spread the cost of a new rear tractor tire helps. If you don't have volume, you have to spread the cost across fewer cows. Many of us have been there.

A win/win situation is providing prime beef to friends. Many of my peers at work are still asking to buy half a steer and I no longer have them for sale. My problem was always odd numbers. 9 people would want a steer so that meant selling 4 1/2. So process 5 and trying to find someone else to take 1/2. Take your cull steers to the sale barn. Sell some quality steers to other markets.

Lots of ideas here in the forum.
 

Latest posts

Top