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hobbyfarm    0

Someone please help me understand the beef feeder market. Looking at the market reports 500lb black beef bulls or steers are in the 1.50lb range.  I would like to buy just 15 or so animals this fall.  I have the facilities in place. I would be feeding individually wrapped silage bales which I own and are about worthless if i would try to sell them right now.  I would have to purchase a grain mix to supplement the hay.  I would sell to someone else to finish them when the time was right.  I used to do this and play the market so to speak.  It worked okay and I enjoy the cattle.  It seems like the finished cattle price doesn't support what people are paying for feeders.  Even worse what if market prices decline?  Any thought on why the market is the way it is?  Margins seem tighter than ever.  Even with cheap corn feeders seem high to me.

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Our last projections have a profit of $183 per head feeding high quality 500 pound steers to 900 pounds. This is really good for us. In the cattle business there are NO guarantees though. Feeders are always higher than they should be, which is why we plan on backgrounding instead of finishing them right now. Not going to get into our numbers as they are such huge variables for all farms.

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iowaboy1965    0

I dont understand it either. For a few years now bottle calves. Have been advertised for $500. Went to local sale barn sat. Very few cows mostly goats n sheep. One nice group of steers around 400-500 lbd went for $1.60. But when i check web for bigger sale barn close latest sale they had been going for 1.80 to 2 there. How can ya make any money on that?  800 bucks for a 400 pounder feed it all that feed, pay vet bills and sell it for $1200 to $1500 if your lucky? Doesnt seem like a very good pay back to me...

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That's farming boys. On a small scale it's hard to make anything pay. I raise them and am scared to put pencil to paper. You think they are bad look at hogs. I hauled in 25 NICE fat hogs for my uncle this spring and he got like .60. He had more than that in feed. I just raise a litter here and there to butcher. I sell them for $1/lb on the hoof.  I still ain't making much. Corn prices down. I have a barn lot full of calves to sell right now and am waiting to see what the markets doing. Meanwhile they are eating good and putting some weight on. 

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mmi    0

have 50 to go..was specifically discussing AM today what to do...???

all the feed they need is here and made/ paid for...little to no resale excepting maybe february

takes about an hour per day for care  with other chores 

dump them now....raise to 500-600#.....build another barn/shed/other/which we do need more straw/sale storage/set up to hold them for 900# which is what our usual buyer does.......need another shed for the mothers....cut the herd in 1/2...?......?....

we did agree that EVERY   single piece of SILAGE/related equipment goes as they are beef and dont need it..cant sell any of it for enough to get some used straw/hay equip upgrades

hogs went out about 3yrs back here ...alive down thru packed to order...citidiots like it better at store where they just pay for todays meal

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IHCfarmer    0

WHAT your supposed to make money farming?? Come now!!

In all seriousness making it pay is hard but like you say you have no feed cost! Your hay is worthless anyway you say and is sure isn't worth a lot and about the time you sell it you give it away anyway cuz you don't get paid for it!

There for I thing you can't go wrong feeding it to your own cattle and then at least you have some manure to spead in the end!!

 

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dale560    0

Distant cousin good friend of mine is set up with a modern feedlot for a 1000 head. For 5 or 6 years straight he was making money 4 years ago or so he made into his pocket over 150 head after all expenses. 2 years ago he lost 70,000 on 600 hd. That is farming some years you make some not. . Buddy usually bought all steers around 480 lbs and last couple years bought just black angus or cross calves. He does a heck of a job usually with under 10 head for death loss and always got a premium for cattle at barn. One year the feedlot in Minnesota were some of his went to finish was full getting ready to ship fat cattle.they couldn't bid on his no place to put them. The order buyer made a deal with buddy the calves they bought would come back to feedlot and he took care of them for 3 weeks for new owners. They paid him to feed cattle and also bid 500 some head they didn't get up 4 cents a lb. the feedlot works for him as second job he puts cattle in in November and tries to have them gone by seeding in spring but in springtime cattle are usually healthy requiring less attention so he has held onto them until summer.

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George 2    0

The reason it is tough to make a living on feeder cattle being fed corn, is to look at the competition in much of the world. In the USA below the snow line you can pasture the cattle on marginal land 12 months a year. Just think no barns, no high priced feed, etc. The same holds true for many other cattle raising areas of the world. South America, Central America, Australia, South Africa, India, etc all can raise beef cattle with only a grass fed diet. Take a look the next time you are in northern Florida at the big cattle ranches that pasture year round. Obviously cheaper to produce beef there. 

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caseySD    0

Been watching 6 weights sell for $1.50 and 9 weights sell for $1.80 the last few weeks.  Not sure how that works :huh:

 

Where are you at Hobby?  I'll have 14  5-6 weights for sale here coming up.  

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dale560    0

One thing you don't know on the finished or end sale is the premium for grade and yield. They say up to 150 dollars a head premium for grade targets.  Always a way for big guys to make money

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hobbyfarm    0

Casey i am in central PA.   Our area is mostly dairy and  poultry.  We are within 60 miles of multiple sale barns that hold good monthly feeder sales.  Although the auction isnt the idea place for healthy cattle anyone local with home raised beef calves just wants too much of a premium.  Unfortunately you are obviously way to far away.

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13 hours ago, hobbyfarm said:

Any idea how much wait gain people are getting on grass or pasture only?

My 6 mo olds are usually right around 700 lbs when I sell them. But, that's with Mammas milk in addition to what they start eating in the pasture. Not sure about gains after that as that isn't what I do.

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Cattech    0

Not to hijack the thread, but where does the mark up between the farm and the store come into play? Farmers barely squeak a nickel raising the beef - but low grade, fatty grocery store hamburger sells for $5.00 a lb?

I know beef prices were up a few yrs ago and consumer prices had to follow. Doesn't seem like they came back down accordingly, who's getting that money?

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iowaboy1965    0

I would guess it is split somewhat between packers and grocery stores but that is just a guess.

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Bdse25    0
23 hours ago, hobbyfarm said:

Casey i am in central PA.   Our area is mostly dairy and  poultry.  We are within 60 miles of multiple sale barns that hold good monthly feeder sales.  Although the auction isnt the idea place for healthy cattle anyone local with home raised beef calves just wants too much of a premium.  Unfortunately you are obviously way to far away.

We have had good luck at middleburg and at new holland. Used to haul into leesport but that place is a dive now. We're north of allentown. Here dairy is dead except for some relatives who self bottle. Used to be 3 dairys on the block. Now nothing. Everyone here has at least 10 beef with some guys having 150 plus. Really don't pay unless you use your head. Around here grow corn beans and hay. Plant rye after both corn and beans. Acts as cover crop. Chop in mid may and slam back in corn or beans. Loose almost no acerahe that way and practically free feed. Also keep the cows pastured on thee steep hills and gullys during the summers. Everyone who makes hay here hauls it to Lancaster. Insane amount of dairy there and not nearly enough feed. Hay only sells if top top quality. Everything rained on or weedy , to dry , dusty guys feed to their beef. 

Using this strategy guys can feed quite a few cattle cheap as most of the feed would be thrown away anyway. Only grain is some corn in winter. We still fill a half dozen or so old cribs with ear corn. No drying and cheap. Corn and beans are the way to make money but cattle have their place

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ky966boy    0

I get tickled when people tell how much they make feeding their calves and ill say how much hay did you feed them they say didnt figure hay , thats when i say if it isnt worth anything next year ill come and take couple hundred rolls out of your way. Some years i have had $25 a roll in fertilizer.

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Bdse25    0
30 minutes ago, ky966boy said:

I get tickled when people tell how much they make feeding their calves and ill say how much hay did you feed them they say didnt figure hay , thats when i say if it isnt worth anything next year ill come and take couple hundred rolls out of your way. Some years i have had $25 a roll in fertilizer.

You have an excellent point. Even rye takes fertilizer out the ground but it takes minimal fertilizer for rye to produce. Hay around here needs to be excellent quality to sell in Lancaster. Most guys haul their first cut to the mushroom barns or feed it to their own beef. It really don't pay to make 1st cut, load truck, drive 3 hours to Lancaster, sleep in the cab for 5 hours( in January) then get 95 a ton for first cut, pay commission, deliver it, then drive 3 hours home. By the time you pay fuel profit is gone. 

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bitty    0

I want to get a few feeder steers for the kids to have a 4H project. It's a two year project that it sells in the sale at the end of the second year. Teaching them about working=earnings ( or should anyways)

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Bdse25    0
23 hours ago, bitty said:

I want to get a few feeder steers for the kids to have a 4H project. It's a two year project that it sells in the sale at the end of the second year. Teaching them about working=earnings ( or should anyways)

You should have good luck. I think you're in pa but not sure on the county. I'm in carbon and steers sold at the 4 h auction from 6000 to 1800 

in schukyll county I believe the champion steer was around 40k. There's money to be made there

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bitty    0
2 minutes ago, Bdse25 said:

You should have good luck. I think you're in pa but not sure on the county. I'm in carbon and steers sold at the 4 h auction from 6000 to 1800 

in schukyll county I believe the champion steer was around 40k. There's money to be made there

Tioga

One sold for 6.60 a lb around 1400 some pounds. I would be happy with closer to the market even. Want to teach them about work mainly

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Bdse25    0
10 minutes ago, bitty said:

Tioga

One sold for 6.60 a lb around 1400 some pounds. I would be happy with closer to the market even. Want to teach them about work mainly

Oh your pretty close then. I've been up in your neck of the woods a few times. Lots and lots of ih up there. Going to fraleys on Saturday?

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bitty    0
4 hours ago, Bdse25 said:

Oh your pretty close then. I've been up in your neck of the woods a few times. Lots and lots of ih up there. Going to fraleys on Saturday?

Looking at the" stuff" on Friday night but I don't think I will be there. 

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