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Raising Beef
03-02-2016, 09:55 AM
Post: #21
RE: Raising Beef
I read an university study on the economics of raising beef. I believe it concluded that you needed a minimun herd size of 300 head to turn a profit. I will try and find a link for it. We already know that in farming, "you can make a small fortune out of a large one".
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03-02-2016, 01:07 PM
Post: #22
RE: Raising Beef
One of the biggest problems with the organization that I have worked the last two years for......is the large overhead.

1) All animals are purchased, no breeding program of any kind. Many in the beef business have started with one or two heifers. A good friend has started with a few good holstein heifers. One was bred to a large Angus bull by AI. That calf just dressed at 629 lbs at 17 mos! He did two "embryo transfers" using Simmental genetics, hoping for a at least one bull calf that he could raise, and use, as a "pasture bull". He is on the ground and he is simply stunning for such a little guy. This man does NOT have any money to waste, but he has two good things, a real nice lady partner who is not the least bit afraid of work, and between them they use their heads for something other than a hat rack. Beef herds all over America were started just like this one!

2)No hay production! All grass is used for grazing consequently around $15,000 was spent on hay last summer!

3) Owner has little to no part in the actual running of the operation. I know a few SMALL beef growers in Maine, that make a modest living. They are "mom and pop" operations!

Obviously if you are going to run 300 head you need quite a bit of paid help. My uncle was a lobsterman all his life. His philosophy was simple: "One can either bring in tons of money....but have lots of overhead, or one can keep the overhead to the absolute minimum, and make a profit with lots less revenue.

I have long subscribed to his point of view.

We have a new idea that is hatching as we speak that might keep us in the beef business, with little money to invest. Not sure where it is going yet but have done lots of thinking in the last several weeks. This is NOT an easy business.....or everyone would be in it!

WC
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05-03-2017, 07:11 AM (This post was last modified: 05-03-2017 04:12 PM by John Smith.)
Post: #23
RE: Raising Beef
The fields are so wet where I am that there is no chance to spread fertilizer for 1st crop this spring. The good news is that it doesn't look like it's needed. I spread urea twice last year and didn't get much out of it because of drought. This year the grass is really taken off with just poor man's fertilizer and rain. Now, will the fields be dry enough to harvest?

The cattle dealers have been talking the price down I guess in preparation for the spring feeder auction so they can buy cheap and sell high. Cattle futures are up and if the news isn't fake, we should expect demand to outweigh supply this fall.

Beef Prices Soar After Blizzard Clobbers Midwest

"Cattle futures extended a surge to a record and wholesale beef jumped to a 13-month high after a weekend blizzard hammered the Midwest, and a Kansas livestock group estimated the snowstorm may have killed thousands of animals, signaling tightening meat supplies."
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/...rs-midwest

Like progressives and their media, whatever a cattle dealer tells you, the opposite of what they say is true. Lobster fishermen are masters at this too. "Ain't none, ain't going to be none". They all want to make money on what you are thinking. If you have enough feed for your cattle in the fall, they won't have you over the barrel when you negotiate sale.

But, if you have to bend over anyway, complain a lot and keep smiling. It heightens their enjoyment and they will keep coming back for more. I like the phrase "I not going to make nothing on this deal!"
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05-23-2017, 12:20 PM (This post was last modified: 05-24-2017 05:36 AM by John Smith.)
Post: #24
RE: Raising Beef
I am up to 9 cows now with 2 calves expected in July. I bought two Holstein steers for $700 and then bought 3 heifers and two steers beef feeders mostly Hereford and some crosses for $3000. Today I traded a 1990 F450 for two bred Dutch Belted cows that are supposedly bred with a Holstein bull. They aren't pure Dutch Belted of course and are likely 50% if I am lucky, but with my luck, they will be 25%. Good looking animals anyway. I am thinking of keeping the Dutch Belted ones and may try breeding up to pure. That takes 5 generations to do. http://www.dutchbelted.com/
I would love to see two belted heifers from those two bred cows this summer. The beef critters and Holstein steers are going for sale this fall.
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05-23-2017, 09:29 PM
Post: #25
RE: Raising Beef
I used to spend quite a bit of money on beer, cheap rum and cigarettes. But life sure does change us as we go through it.

I gave up the cheap rum and cigarettes, learned how to make my own beer and now I spend my money on arthritis and blood pressure medicine.....and cows and farm stuff.

Can't tell which life I liked better sometimes!

WC
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06-21-2017, 06:15 AM
Post: #26
RE: Raising Beef
I sold the last of the 7 beef critters I had yesterday. Considering the short time that I had them, I did pretty good on the profit. Look for prices to continue to rise and don't let them go cheap. They need lots of beef in China.

China opens gates to US beef imports

"Beijing (AFP) - China opened its gates to US beef imports this week, giving American cattle farmers much sought-after access to the country's massive market following a 14-year ban."
https://www.yahoo.com/news/china-opens-g...05130.html
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06-22-2017, 05:56 AM
Post: #27
RE: Raising Beef
Well I guess you have turned out to be the "trader". Are you going to get some more soon?

We just acquired about 25 more acres of hay, that is right across the road. The old farmer passed away last December. He was a great guy, with lots of knowledge of hay and machinery. Much of what I know about a square baler I got from him. We thought the big guys would scoop that up so didn't even bother to think about it. Two weeks ago his son came by and told us his mother wanted us to have the hay. Great deal for us for sure. Puts us in a lot better spot feed wise than we were in. Now we got to look at what we are going to feed that to.

I was over at a friends place late yesterday. He is the guy who bought the 5 Angus heifers when the guy I worked for gave it up early last year. First time I had seen those cows in a while. He has had a real nice Hereford bull with them, not awful tall but extremely well built. He just had his second baby born yesterday morning. Another heifer. He is two for two now. Told him he had better luck than his dad has. He has lots of grass and corn and is going to build the herd. He has a big Holstein cow in with em now so is going for numbers I guess. He will like the Chinese deal I bet.

We are supposed to get a few more Holstein bull calves when the calving season starts in a bit. Not so worried about the feed now though. The thing about the cows that I like is that no matter what happens, you can always eat em and not starve to death any time soon. What I am lacking the most is pasture. I may have to go try and strike a deal with the guy I used to work for. The fences are still up on the place along with the holding pens and headgate and other stuff. That is 40 acres plus 12 acres that a guy can have to use on the west side. I held around 40 head on it for 6 months year before last. Dealing with him is like dealing with Satan though!

Perhaps the cow business is looking up for a change!

WC
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06-22-2017, 06:38 PM
Post: #28
RE: Raising Beef
I still have those 2 dutch belted / Holstein cross that are due to calve next month. They would make a good start on your herd. I have read the dutch belted milk is extra special.

I won't buy any more this year. I made 20% on my cattle investment in about a month. I only wish I had 100 critters to turn for profit.
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06-23-2017, 06:39 AM
Post: #29
RE: Raising Beef
While I would love to have a couple of heifers, right now is not the time. We are talking about "poor Paul" here as I may have to cash in some returnable bottles to buy a new tire for my haybine. I have stripped the cutter bar and straightened it back to where it is supposed to be, something that was desperately needed as it had eaten way too many rocks, with previous owners. Now I need to go buy the parts to put the cutters back together this morning.

Don't know about your part of the state but haying is starting to get behind up here with this awful weather. It started off pretty good for a few days then "bang" the rains came! Lewis has a bale wrapper and equipment to handle them. My wife has become the "bale wrapper" this year and she is really fast at it, she can wrap one faster than they can bring em to the machine. But it costs around $3/bale for the plastic! He has offered the machine to us when he is not using it. Might wrap some just to try it!

Lewis has got behind bad due to the weather and is trying to plant his corn this week. Got to be careful with organic as stuff has to be pretty dry and warm before you plant it. They have worked after dark this week some on that. God this is crazy sometimes.

You did well on what you sold, 20% in that short time is great. I think you better round up some more before the price goes up too much as this Chinese deal,everyone here thinks, is going to be real good for the beef business. It is going to be interesting to see what Lewis can make, if anything, on his holstein beef project this fall!

WC
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06-23-2017, 07:21 PM
Post: #30
RE: Raising Beef
The grass looks good, but I am way behind on harvest. Soon it will be past prime. It's always a scramble to get the hay at prime with the weather.
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