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linda/IL
Senior Contributor

calf $$ shock

.DH went with neighbor to sale barn 2 hrs. away to buy some bucket calves.  Of course, we always had our own when we dairyied, and still had been able to pick up a few here & there.  We had an agreement with the fella that bought our heifers to buy back the calves but we used semen for heifers on the last we sold so no bull calves to bring back.

 

Anyway, they were expecting to buy for $300+ or low $400 and were shocked to see them all $500+ range.  One lady was buying for a grower and picked up 20 to 30 calves without blinking an eye.  My guys are rethinking their plan.  We have seen 500# animals go for not a lot more than that.  Crazy.   They jokingly said they would be home soon as they didn't have to unload anything.

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7 Replies
dairy mom
Senior Contributor

Re: calf $$ shock

yes Linda calf prices have been pretty up there for a while now.  Doesn't seem to be slacking any.

All I can say is meat is gonna be really expensive when these animals hit the market. 

Glad I'm not a beef rancher.  Not good for our grocery pocketbook I don't think, but boy are those guys gonna need big money to recoup the price of calves.

Gotta say it's not doing much to help with the cost of springers or replacements either.

They're changing the program here again.  We're going to start keeping about 10 or so heifer calves a month now.  Felt we were losing too much on genetics. 

It is kind of sad to so easily be able to tell the superior genetics on our original herd cows over the replacements he's been able to find and that's even buying a couple of complete herd dispersals..

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SLC
Senior Contributor

Re: calf $$ shock

Cattle prices are crazy now.    Old cull cows are bringing close to $2000 here - and they are typically the low spot on the market.  Like anything, I suppose it will cycle down, so hoping to take advantage of the good prices as best we can now.     I notice hamburger was on sale at our local grocery store ..   figured out to be 3.65/# and people thought that was a good deal.   

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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: calf $$ shock

So when you lok at 500 pounders now, our grazing tenant sold them for over $2 a pound, over $1000 a head. I cannot imagine how anyone can stock at thise pruces and come out ahead. We are sure counting on our first little steer sale soon....
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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: calf $$ shock

You make a great statement about how hard it is to replace the genetics your family worked to develop over many years fo selection. It is possibky partly that different farmers have a different ideal of " the perfect cow" or " the best sow".

Then, there is always that extremely important asset of disposition. When you have to handle an animal, especially in the enclosed environs of dairying, being well-behaved is so crucial.
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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: calf $$ shock

At least some of the pruce of beef and cows as a portion of that price is the historically low numbers of cattle in the US right now. Throw in a lot of people eating Paleo and/ or low carb diets, which raises demand.

Also, extreme losses in poultry/ eggs from svian flu, and swine losses duevto PEDV and PRRS 174, reduce protein availability right now. Saw something about USDA and meatless meals not long ago. I really think protein is going yo become more scarce...

Smithfield's new owners are building three further-processing plants in China, so since they own the pugs and want the product, I think less of it will be going into domestic supply lines eventually. Your BLT may become just a lettuse and tomato sandwich...oh, and don't forget what the California drought is doing to produce prices.

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Suey73
Advisor

Re: calf $$ shock

Do your local fairs have  a bucket calf class?    I've been told that the price of bucket calves goes up as parents get desperate to get their kid a bucket calf.   

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linda/IL
Senior Contributor

Re: calf $$ shock

Not much for bucket class here in our county.  I think these prices are from the high prices of beef.  They are predicted to stay up for awhile yet and I suppose some hope to cash in even on older calves & heifers.  Don't see how they can ever make the pencil pushing work if they are waiting 2 yrs. for cashflow, but what do I know.  Newbie to beef other than selling ours when we had the dairy.  As said before, with the avian issues for poultry things may get interesting.

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