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Nebrfarmr
Veteran Advisor

Re: Sandhills and southern cows Nebrfarmer

We do have good grass out this way.  I have no problem with where the cows come from, or who's cows they are, but we have one guy who expects all the neighbors to watch the cows for him, because he is 'far away'.  I'll run them in once or twice, but after that, either I get paid like a hired man, or I quit being one.  If he'd at least taken me & the wife out for supper or something.  If he can afford to run everyone's rent up, he surely can afford that.

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cowfarmer
Senior Contributor

Re: Sandhills and southern cows

I have a guy who has a young grandson starting out in the business, I'm paying him to watch over my cows and he does a great job, good to see the young guys get a shot. Do the kids out there have the same trouble getting started in ranching as the kids here who want to farm or feed cattle. This young guy is a distant relative and man can he handle a cutting horse.

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Nebrfarmr
Veteran Advisor

Re: Sandhills and southern cows

Well, if you have a relative that can get you started, or are independently wealthy, you are OK. To start from nothing would be nigh on impossible. I can tell you stories of guys with a couple hundred cows, who have to work for the county, just to try and keep afloat. Other, established ranches with paid for land can pay rent for a few extra cows, that a startup guy never could. The real young aggressive guys grass yearlings, and I guess can get out if they need to, but they seem to be doing it all on borrowed money.
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cowfarmer
Senior Contributor

Re: Sandhills and southern cows NE Farmer

Sad to hear that. I started out with 120 acres, 8 cows, and around 50 Feeders, nowadays a young guy wouldnt even be able to get a line of credit to actually start. Let alone make a living and try to expand. I sometimes think that by the time I'm dead there will be about 3 farmers left. Are the banks out there pretty conservative or are they willing to give a guy a shot.

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GoredHusker
Senior Contributor

Re: Sandhills and southern cows NE Farmer

I think a lot of it depends on where you are located.  Around here, a young person with a little ambition could get started rather easily with cows and calves.  A lot of this is due to farmers owning grass and cows but wanting little to nothing to do with them.  There are different guys who rent their cows out with numbers crawling up into the 300 range.  One guy rents out his cows and supplies the grass for them on a 70% to the rentor 30% to him as the owner.  The rentor does all the work and has to find the winter feed (cornstalks).  The problem here lies with the actual profit which has been already touched upon.  Even with a $100 per head profit, 300 cows doesn't return much if the guy is married and has children.  During the winter months and calving time make it pretty difficult to have a full time job along with renting the cows. 

 

I've long feared that the days of the traditional rancher are long over.  Unless someone has a thousand or more cows, ranching has become a lifestyle rather than a career.  I've had an internal fight with myself for the past decade as to why I still have my cows.  There have been a lot of times this past decade where I can make as much if not more per head in the feedlot, and a feedlot isn't nearly as much work. 

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Nebrfarmr
Veteran Advisor

Re: Sandhills and southern cows NE Farmer

IF you have access to cattle facilities, you can calve out heifers, by the head, or for shares, but that is about it, and they want it done on your place, and no other cattle in there to prevent disease spread.  I know of exactly one guy who does that, and is looking to do something else, as during calving season, especially in bad weather, you just can't do it right, and do any other job.  So far, he is getting by, because he rents a farmyard, with cattle pens on it, and works for a farmer, so if he calves early enough, he can be done with that part, before the farming really begins.

The 'leasing' of cattle around here kind of took a nose dive, when a couple big-time cattle leasors shafted the owners.  They declared bankrupcy, and didn't pay the cattle owners their share.  When the owners went to collect, there were NO calves with the 'owners' brand on them, only the leasor's brand, and the calves were weaned, with no way to re-match them with the mothers.  They waited long enough, so the cows were dry, and you couldn't even tell if they had a calf that year.  Turns out that the leased cows had the world's worst conception rate that year, and all the owners got back, were old, skinny cows.   I know of one widow woman who didn't get paid for the 2010 calves sold (through the feedlot) and had a total loss of 2011 calving crop.  Seems the calving records were somehow 'lost'.  Good luck if she sues, the guy declared bankrupcy, and they aren't going to take his new house or Escalade, and the bank already has dibbs on the land.

Once word of that got out, people who are already leasing cows, went to lawyers, and got their lease revamped, and the others, who were about ready to retire, and thinking of leasing, just sold the cows, and are renting the pasture.

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highyields
Senior Contributor

Re: Sandhills and southern cows

Can they put that much gain on yearlings out there on that grass? 

couple years ago I was looking at this horse around Fremont, the wife told me that they had pasture in the "hills" then bring the cows home for the stalk season.  

I guess I would wonder where the hell my cows where at!!! 

 

 

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Nebrfarmr
Veteran Advisor

Re: Sandhills and southern cows

There is money to be made, either buying 'small' weaned calves, like 400-500#, and putting them out on grass for the summer.  They come out, ready for the feedlot.

The other movement, if you have a market for it, is beef from calves that are grass-fed only, some ranchers even started associations, where they direct market grass-fed beef, such as this one:  http://texasgrassfedbeef.com/grass_fed_beef_online_store.htm

 

Here's another:  http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/grassfedbeef/

 

 

 

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cowfarmer
Senior Contributor

Re: Sandhills and southern cows

I had a guy from Southwest Iowa pull into my place a few years ago wanting me to lease cows, I told him I had been in the cow/calf business a long time and most of my cows were paid for, he then told me that I would make more money off a leased cow over one of the cows I owned. Sounds a little odd.

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