Posts: 17
Registered: ‎02-10-2013

Rough idea – average annual profit per beef cow over cattle cycle

I’ve been looking at a lot of cow calf budgets online but would like input from the pros on this forum. 


I’m in my early 50s and have been away from the farm for 30 years.    My folks sold out in the 90s and I didn’t jump on it because we had a pretty good deal going in a small city about 4 hours away.   Not big money but secure and like the coworkers and people in the neighborhood.   Over the past few years I have milked in a double 4 parlor on the weekends for a great guy with a 50-60 cow dairy.


Anyway, I want to “retire” at 60 or so and then keep working to bring in $10 to 15K income at something I enjoy until I can’t do it anymore.  There is a guy at my job still going at 86 and he’s an inspiration to me.  I don’t do leisure real well and just want to make a little money but do something different.


Thinking, though, I may want that small income to come from running 100 or 120 beef cows in southern iowa.  Do you think it’d be realistic to net $15K (taking into account pasture rent or ownership cost – maybe I’ll buy but want to pay myself market rent or a decent ROI)?    I’m looking at a goal of $15k but that’s an average goal and will expect good and bad years.


I won’t clutter up the board w thank you’s but know I’m really grateful for replies.