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Advisor

Cost of Cow Calf rent?

Ok, here's my "brain storm".  I have some cash gaining very, very little.  I also have some nephews that are very good with beef cows and would like to expand.  If I buy 25 or 50 older bred cows, have my nephews care for them, including the feed cost, trucking, I would pay the vet bills.  Calve in the Spring and then sell as feeders in Fall.  What would be a fair agreement for both of us?

I could supply 2 rolls of corn stalks per cow, if that could be used in the feed. Should I just let my money in the bank? Central IA.

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11 Replies
Honored Advisor

Re: Cost of Cow Calf rent?

Well, i think alot depends on how much that you want to help your nephews verses get a return on your money.  If you want somewhat of a return you have to figure depreciation of the cow in the mix. A bred cow will cost $1800 @ 5% interest there`s $90, if she`s good for 5 years and the "salvage value" is $800, that`d be $1000/5yrs = $200 per yr Plus the 2 corn stalk bales per cow...$80?  You`d have at least $370 invested in each calf right there.  Your numbers may very  Smiley Happy

 

The thing with cattle is "you make your money when you buy `em" and they`re high priced now, just be aware of that.   Good Luck.

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Senior Advisor

Re: Cost of Cow Calf rent?

What do you mean you make your money when you buy them, where does that $1000 yearling calf come into the equation? What if you maintain a 50% restocking rate, wouldn't that lower your overall average cost per animal or am I just manipulating numbers to look the way I want them too?

I also believe grazing corn/milo stalks are cheaper than feeding bales to them and by grazing you'd be recycling nutrients, not removing them.
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Honored Advisor

Re: Cost of Cow Calf rent?

What I meant was if he buys a $1800 bred cow and she`s good for 5 years and after the 5 years he sells her for about 70¢/lb weighing 1200ish, that`s her "salvage" value about $800.  that "$1000" was the value that she lost over the 5 years.  I wasn`t even getting into "saving heifers" or maybe bad luck calving.  It isn`t some get rich scheme, but if he wants to help his nephews that`s a whole other deal. 

 

But making your money when you buy it, is that way with everything land, combines, stocks.  you ideally want to "buy low" everyone right now I think would agree that "cattle are high" ...yes they might go even higher, but it`s like holding $8 corn hoping that it would go higher...it might have, but as we saw, it didn`t  Smiley Happy

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Senior Advisor

Re: Cost of Cow Calf rent?

I don't think comparing corn to cattle is a fair comparison. $8 corn won't produce $4 offspring like an $1800 cow can produce a $1000 calf each year. I see your point on the upfront investment.
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Senior Contributor

Re: Cost of Cow Calf rent?

There are lots of people who 'lease' cows out to other people, and they split the calf check between them.   The details vary depending on who supplies how much feed, etc.

Your county extension agent may have some info, on what going rates are in your area.

 

OR, you could just 'hire' your nephews.
Common pay is $100-150 a head to care for them over winter, plus calving, you provide feed.  Exact price varies on how much they have to do to care for them.   Will the cows winter graze, or will they have to run a tractor to feed them every day, things like that.

Summer grass runs from $250 a cow/calf, if you take care of the cows. up to $350 per summer, if all you do is dump off the cattle, and their summer care comes with the grass.

 

These are just round ballpark numbers, and  you can adjust up or down, depending on the situation, how much you want to help your nephews, etc.

 

A couple things to remember, if you buy 'older' bred cows, they will have a short life, only a couple calves, so you will either have to keep back a LOT of heifers the first few years, or will have a high turnover rate.

Young bred cattle, are bringing $2500 locally, with premium bred cattle pusing the $3000 mark.   Right now, you can get a $1000 plus calf out of the cow, and the old cow will be worth $800.   However, within the last few, I sold calves for under $700, and old cows for just under $500, due to the big droughts flooding the cattle market.

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Advisor

Re: Cost of Cow Calf rent?

Might just be a poor time to start buying cows. Lots of different ways to do this.  I would like a % of the sale price of the calf going to my nephews for their labor, any feed (pasture or hay) or other costs, as an incentive to keep the calf healthy and alive.  For $14 a bale I can have my corn stalk bales injected, 
INGREDIENTS
Cane molasses, soy oils, urea, manganese sulfate, zinc sulfate, sodium
selenite, copper sulfate, iron sulfate, salt, ethylenediamine dihydriodide,
cobalt sulfate, vitamin A acetate, vitamin E acetate, flavors.

 

I'm sure the cows will need some hay but the injected corn stalk bales goes along way. Most of the fences on my ground have been removed so to graze the stalks would require a good electric fence, which can be done? 

What do good bred black heifers cost?  At my age I would like to keep this agreement rather simple if that is possible.

Thanks to all.

 

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Senior Contributor

Re: Cost of Cow Calf rent?

I can put up a mile of electric fence in a day, by myself, as long as the ground isn't frozen.   If the cows have any experience with electric fence at all, you can get by with T posts for corners, a single smooth hot wire, and those little skinny rod posts for the line posts.   I have found that if you disk a stripe around where you are going to put the fence, and put the fence in the middle of the stripe, you will have far fewer problems with animals getting out.   Even is something spooks the cows, they will associate the disked ground with their boundary, and will be far less likely to run through it, as they will both see, and 'feel' the border..

A good bred heifer around here brings $2400+ with the top ones bringing $2800+

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Frequent Contributor

Re: Cost of Cow Calf rent?

$1000 offspring every year????  In my world this is the first year that you could sell $1000 offspring unless you put some of that $8 corn in them and feed them so I'm not sure I would say "$1000 offspring every year."  I understand that cattle prices should stay good because of the low cow numbers and that will not change as rapidly as planting more acres of corn each year.  But do you think calves will bring $1000 next year if there is a bad corn crop and corn goes back to $7-8?

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Senior Advisor

Re: Cost of Cow Calf rent?

No, probably will move well beyond $1000 if we have another short crop. What pushed them to $1000 in the first place, abundance of grain? High priced grain makes high priced livestock.
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