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Veteran Advisor

Re: Another thing to remember

You can buy decent, older bred cows starting at $850-$900 around here, though.

WIth the drought, it seems that practically everyone is selling off at least some cows.

I know we kept no heifers this year, and are selling down a minimum of 10-15% of the herd.  We already sold all the ones with bad temperment, and the ones that get out.   Next will be if we sell younger cows, that may calve late this year, but will still have several years left in them, or older cows, that are bred on time, but past their prime, so to speak.

 

I know one guy, who bought bred 2nd calvers, for $2400, and was going to sell some this spring, but cows coming into their 3rd calf, have dropped to about $1150-$1350, and he said he will take a smaller loss, buying $250 a ton hay, and feeding them into the summer.   He is gambling that it will rain this spring, and by mid June, they can go to pasture.   If it doesn't rain, they won't be worth a penny more, and he'll have an extra $500+ per head in expense.

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Senior Contributor

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

How set are you on doing this in Iowa. Just thinking land prices. If you were willing to relocate. The mid south may provide more bang for your buck. Then again as I said earlier, if my kids don't want to have cattle i will have a great cattle farm for sale in about the time frame you are talking about. Just thinking out loud there.
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Frequent Contributor

Re: Another thing to remember

Just wondering but how are older bred cows only $850-900 when in my area average sized cows in average fless will bring $1000 to make hamburger out of?

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Frequent Contributor

Re: Another thing to remember

Where in Nebraska are you. Sounds like a guy needs to line up the pots and send them your way.  Breds have backed off a bit in my area recently but a local cow sale last week was still topped with $2400 bred heifers.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Another thing to remember

Do you have a problem in your life

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Another thing to remember

Custer County, central to West central Nebraska.

The only problem, is unless you are there in person, you don't know what you might get.

With most ranches selling 10% or so of their herd, if you are not careful, you can wind up with some cows you really wouldn't want.

However, mixed in, are some OK cows, that are just old, or will not calve with the others.

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Another thing to remember

I sold an open cow a 3-4 weeks ago, a big old thing, weighed in at 1450#, and I got under $700 for her, I think 48 or 49 cents a pound

 

Unless the market really changed in the last month, count your blessings you are getting that kind of price.  We are right in the heart of the drought area, and cow prices really took a hit.

 

Now, younger cows, still have some value to them, especially if from a reputation herd, but run of the mill cow prices are weak.

They really aren't bringing muck of a premium for being bred, unless they are of good breeding.  Just more out there, than there is demand.   Many are going for slaughter.

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Frequent Contributor

Re: Another thing to remember

Wow, I sold about a dozen opens between Christmas and New Years.  They averaged 1270 a brought just over $1000 before commision was taken out.  One thinner cow was $.68/#, a couple around $.73, and most were $79-81.  I have heard that recently several are in the mid $80s.  And we are still several hundred miles from any cow plants.

 

I have been to numerous cow sales and bought many cows over the years.  I would agree about being there in person.  Even in person, you don't always end up with what they said or you thought you were getting.  I bought cows in late Nov. one time that were all 2nd term and bred to start calving mid-March.  They started calving before Christmas when the snow was about 2 feet deep and  running out on 370 acres.  

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Advisor

Re: Thanks Itsmetoo, nebrfarmer, cowfarmer

honestly, just rent some pasture and put some cows on it. no sense buying land anywhere right now and its going to keep going up; rent cant unless income goes up. everybody owns 50 acres and rents thousands. well, not everyone, but thats more common in big operations than small ones, from the stats ive seen.

 

at least if you get bored in the 1st year w/ cows and rented pasture, you can walk away. its probably only 1 year of getting yourself killed too, versus 2.5% commission on land or bankruptcy if you fail. Unless your bringing in 200k/year after taxes/have your house paid off, I wouldn't bother. 25k/ year income is not enough, you need at least 268% more income for farm payments.. banks stop lending you money when your interest accruals exceed 35-40% of your income. You would be as bad as the USA: 120%, if your sole source of income was the farm.

 

everybody rents land.. its the easy cashflow way. you gotta get over the desire to own everything, cause we have all been taught to own our house vs rent, though renting is more advantageous w/ a crappy housing market. there will be AMAZING buys, and you may find cheap rentable land too, just probably not in the corn belt.

 

Overall, bad things will happen to you if you play with cows.

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Another thing to remember

My guess is the trucking is the difference.   We have a cull cow plant in Nebraksa, but they only buy so many.   Once they are full, they have to go out of State.   If we had enough local capacity, I'm sure we'd be doing better.

On the other hand, I can still buy hamburger for $2.69 a pound, and ground beef for $2.89.

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