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Contributor

question

Is there anybody on this board doing 30-40 sows semi confinement farrow to finish? I have been on this board for a number of years trying to figure out how to start raising some livestock. I am semi retired-65 (as some may remember) and have my grain farming up to 225 acres of wheat, soybean, and corn. My first career was in mangement and lived from Va to Ct to Indiana to Ilinois to Maryland, now live in Va.-just finished a round with Hirricane Sandy. I told my wife I would like to scratch an old sow behing the ears one more time in my life. I raised hogs in my 20s with Smidley houses and Luco finishing platforms. Some things you just love to do. I still don't know where to market them but am  getting old enough I have to do it now or forget it.

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8 Replies
marklaneisu
Friend

Re: question

Where are in in VA?  If you are in Northern VA you might be able to work with Niman Ranch.  515 641 5794 is the number to call

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Highlighted
Veteran Advisor

Re: question

I ran 40-50 sows for most of my life. I gave it up in 2009 when my facilities were about completely worn out, and I lost the last local market for my hogs. It just didn't make sense to haul 20-30 hogs at a time, on an all-day round trip. I had to take a few loads doing that, starting at 7 AM and getting home late afternoon. I still feel a small hog guy, with his own grain, could raise hogs at as low of cost as anyone, but that does one no good when there is no way to market them. Also, be sure to check out environmental laws. Part of why I didn't rebuild was all the regulations involved with new hog buildings, and the costs incurred. It makes it very hard to make it pay unless on a large scale.
Veteran Advisor

Re: question

I would stay away from the nieman ranch thingy.  Instead of 20=30 sows hows about 10=15 and just market those pigs locally?  you'd be lokking at about 150 or so fat hogs a year and you could prolly get in excess of a dollar a pound for them You live in an area that has population so it may not be to hard to get that done.  If youget 150 dollar per head that is a prety nice income and you stillhave grain to market.

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Veteran Advisor

Re: question

JR  any precip over the weekend - varied in NE. Nebraska from a trace to .60 ---

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Senior Contributor

Re: question

Why would you want to undercut yourself? That 150/hd may or may not cover costs given today's grain prices. Better have at least 80 cents per pound just to break even. That would be about minimum 200/hd.

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Veteran Advisor

Re: question

A dollar a pound, is about $250 a head, not 150, I assume you hit a wrong key.

 

Back, when I was the last mand standing, as far as having hogs around, and was getting out, I had a couple oddball sows ready to farrow for some reason (when none of the others were) and wound up raising those pigs.  I got $250 a head for the 'picks', $200 for the general run, and $175 for the last couple runts.  I'd still have 10-15 sows, except my facilities were shot, it would have taken a few thousand dollars just to keep the sows from walking through the sides of the building, and it takes as much propane to heat a building with one sow in it, as 20, anyway.

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marklaneisu
Friend

Re: question

FYI if the location works for the producer the Niman Ranch Price would probably be over $1/pound in the meat.  Niman helps with the trucking to the harvest.  If you are going to direct market you have to find a processor and customers.  Niman Has all of that done already. 

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Contributor

Re: question

Thanks to everyone for their comments. I have time to think about as I just finsihed planting wheat today. I may call the Niman ranch number. The closest slaughter house is about 100 miles and across the bridge tunnel-expensive. I live near the ocean in the Eastern Shore just south of the Maryland line-Accomack County.

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