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Herd Rebuilding Slowed by High Prices

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Ranchers contend with high prices while hoping to restock

By The Associated Press Tuesday, August 09, 2005




CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) -- Ranchers recovering after five years of drought have had a hard time restocking their herds because of high cattle prices.

One rancher, Taylor Haynes, began culling his herds in 2000 because there wasn't enough grass or hay. He got rid of more cattle as the drought dragged on.

Now, after two relatively wet years, he has more grass than animals to eat it. "And cattle prices are at record highs," he said.

The ban on Canadian beef imports due to mad cow disease and increased consumer demand for beef have driven up prices just when ranchers need more cattle, according to Jim Magagna, executive vice president of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association.

Ranchers are wary of buying at high prices.

"While ranchers have a lot of grass this year and they're wanting to harvest that grass, most of the ranchers are being a little cautious," Magagna said. "They know grass is good this year, but we're not necessarily out of drought cycle."

Haynes was concerned that prices could drop. "It's anybody's guess what to do."

Wyoming herds shrank by 13 percent during the drought, dropping from 1.55 million head in January 2001 to 1.35 million in January 2005, according to Dick Coulter, director of the Wyoming field office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Cattle numbers have held steady the past two years, suggesting to Coulter that ranchers statewide have been slow to restock. "They really aren't rebuilding very fast at this point," he said. "A lot of that is prices."
 

Jason

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The smart ones won't restock on inflated prices.

Timing will be critical on this turn. I would say in about a year maybe 2 heifers will be slightly cheaper.

I know lots of guys wishing they hadn't bought $1600 cows in 2002 even though prices were still climbing.
 

3words

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Jason it would have been nice,if a guy would have known that there was going to be a lot of grass,and bought some of those cheap bred cows during the winter.Now that the border is open,and slaughter price for cows has come up.It will drive the price up for bred cows this winter,could have maybe made a few extra bucks selling them again,and had the calves to sell.That would go against my motto though,buy high and sell low.I'm defiantly not a farmer,thats in it for the money.
 

PPRM

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Butcher cow prices are of about a dime from late June in the Northwest......I think you can buy some bred cows this winter and do fine, I have a market for buthcer cows, so I can preg them and send them one way or the other....

PPRM
 
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Did anyone else hear the bred cow price predictions on the radio the other day? I think they said that according to Cattle-fax they were predicting bred cows to be 5% higher than last year-- with the average cow running $1250-1300..........I haven't been able to find anything in print about it...

That would put the top quality cows in the $1700 range if compared to last year...[
 

PORKER

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East of the Mississippi the weekend rancher will pay $2000 plus for a cow with a preg check with calf and twice that with papers. You got to remember that over 90% of US.cattle herds are 50 cows or less nation wide .Most of those herds are owned an payed for by weekend rancher's with off farm and ranch jobs. If you can't own a horse farm ,the next big status symbol is a beef cow herd even if you have to buy all the imputs at retail.
 

YoungFarmer

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PORKER said:
East of the Mississippi the weekend rancher will pay $2000 plus for a cow with a preg check with calf and twice that with papers. You got to remember that over 90% of US.cattle herds are 50 cows or less nation wide .Most of those herds are owned an payed for by weekend rancher's with off farm and ranch jobs. If you can't own a horse farm ,the next big status symbol is a beef cow herd even if you have to buy all the imputs at retail.
Wow! All I can do is look south east and dream of this promised land. If I could get this type of money for my cattle I wouldnt hesitate to sell them. I think sometimes the "Hobby or weekend farmer" can be more dangerous to fulltime or young farmers than any NAFTA or CAFTA agreements. These "Hobby" farmers drive up the price of land and breeding stock past their point of financial viability. Perhaps R-Calf should go after the American Hoby farmer and charge them with "dumping below the cost of production" like they tried with canadian ranchers in the late 90's.

Anyways, looking to possibly get out of the cattle business this fall or winter or next summer. Do any Canadian ranchers have any advice of what a average commericial cow should sell for and when would be the best time to sell?

(Or I have the financing in place to buy more but I doubt Bred cow or heifer prices will be low enough for me to convince my self to Use It.)
 

mwj

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PORKER said:
East of the Mississippi the weekend rancher will pay $2000 plus for a cow with a preg check with calf and twice that with papers. You got to remember that over 90% of US.cattle herds are 50 cows or less nation wide .Most of those herds are owned an payed for by weekend rancher's with off farm and ranch jobs. If you can't own a horse farm ,the next big status symbol is a beef cow herd even if you have to buy all the imputs at retail.

I live in the first state east of the Mississippi and I need the location of these people :shock: I could ease there pain for lack of cows and make the banker smile at the same time. We have enough horse people that you have a hard time even finding a vet that will work cattle,to much money in working with horses and tey are cleaner.
 

Jason

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I think many Canadians are looking to get out of their cows this fall or maybe in the next 3-5 years. From what I can see decent cows will trade at $7-900 this fall. The demand is for young black cows breed black. Those might hit 1000-1100.

With cull prices near 40 cents, there will be a base for older type bred cows in that 600 range.

If calf prices climb, there may be some income tax money out there for some cows.

I have talked with as many people wanting into the cow business as want out, those wanting in have cash, off farm income etc. and see cows as a way to suppliment their holdings. There is going to be opportunities for established herds to work with these people. The difference with the people coming in this time, they are doing it as a business venture and need definate numbers to see that it will pay in 3-5 years for them to own cows.
 

Aztumbleweed

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We just finished stocking this last spring. It was maybe not the brightest thing to do but you can't make a living without cattle might as well have full permit. We did bye a couple hundred nice heifers to breed and sale back this winter.(Thank God for the rain) We are still saleing $700 7 weights so a couple of years to pay off those spendy cows.
Adios :wink:
 
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Anonymous

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I caught a bit of Superior Video today-- Lot of no sales around $1000-1100 on bred heifers- most that sold were in the $1100-1200 range with one bunch of registered heifers selling for $1700 with papers...

Young cows that sold in the $1300-1400 range.......
 

PPRM

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All the idiots that wanna own $1500 bred cows go ahead and raise your hands, LOL........Fools and their money,


PPRM
 

Tumbleweed

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PPRM I'm curious about fools and their money and $1500 bred cows. Bud Williams says if you could sell them for that and don't then its really no different than if you just paid that for them. So I'm wondering if you've got any bred cows out in the pasture?
I used to pass through your area quite often in the year and a half I was touring the country in an eighteen wheeler. Hauled a lot of loads into Hermiston. Lots of big open empty country up your way and I always enjoyed traveling through there.
 

PPRM

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I Fall calve, so yes I do have bred cows out in the pasture.....

I understand what he is saying...Commonly known as opportunity cost. I know if I rn Bred cows through the sale, Murphy's law will give me $800 vs $1500. If someone came by and offered me $1500, then that is a bird in hand and something much different.

The other thing opportunity cost doesn't factor is a cow isn't a cow. My main cows took a lot of culling thru heifers from a variety of sources. I have a line of cows that have a little Shorthorn in them, fantastic udders, great milkers and classy calves. You don't just do that overnight.

My traded cows, now that is different. I mioght even take $1495 for thm, LOL,

You still hauling????? I spend a lot of Tuesdays at the Hermiston Sale....Even run into Hangin A there once in awhile. Hermisdton is a great place to feed cattle,

PPRM
 

Tumbleweed

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PPRM I was bettin you did have some bred cows at home and was just wantin to jerk your chain alittle cause it gave me a chuckle lol. I pretty much agree with all your reasons for keeping the ones you have that are your best cows. I bought some tradin cows last winter for $810, kept them four months, calved them out and sold them as pairs for $1500 in the spring then sold the grass they would have ate this summer. The only thing I wish was that I would have had a hell of a lot more of them.

I quit truckin cause I thought I'd seen enough of this country and it was starting to seem a whole lot smaller than it used to. It makes this forum a lot more interesting having traveled through so many areas where people who write on here live. When I took that working vacation in a truck I didn't sell the ranch though just put things on hold for awhile.
 

PPRM

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It was a good Point and one we all should consider. Heck, If someone offered, I might still sell my good ones for $1,500, LOL


Pat
 

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