Feeder Cattle Production – Are There Any Differences By Weight Purchased? • farmdoc daily

To help answer the question regarding differences based on purchased weight in feeder cattle production, we will be looking at feeder cattle operations registered with Illinois Farm Business Farm Management (FBFM) over a period of twenty years. years (2001 to 2020). As with all ranching operations in Illinois, the number of usable FBFM feeder cattle operations has gradually declined from a high of 165 operations in 2001 to 61 operations in 2020. In this study, Fattening operations are separated into three categories. based on the average purchase weight of feeder cattle. These groups weigh less than 500 pounds (

Weight and price

Table 1 shows the twenty-year average of the weights and prices for each of the three groups. The price paid per quintal (cwt) is highest for groups raw returns due to lower purchase weights.

Feed costs

In Figure 1, the average value of feeds per quintal produced for each group is shown from 2001 to 2020. The value of feeds includes not only the cost of feed purchased, but also a value for grain raised or produced at home. farm, silage, hay, pasture and other roughage used in the operation. In the majority of years, the

Food Books fed

Figures 2 and 3 show the pounds of different foods fed per hundredweight of gain. The concentrates in Figure 2 would include cereals and supplements. The under 500 group generally fed fewer pounds of concentrate per quintal of gain, while the 750+ group was normally the highest in the last twenty years. In 2011, while concentrates would have been at higher levels, all three groups experienced a decrease from previous years. Some of the year-over-year differences are due to the cost of other animal feeds such as silage or hay and roughage.

With the pound of hay and roughage fed per hundredweight produced in Figure 3, we see the opposite of Figure 2. The

Returns greater than feed costs

Figure 4 shows the yields greater than the feed costs per cwt produced. Returns include the sale price less the purchase cost plus the change in the inventory value of any livestock still in inventory at the end of the calendar year. The three groups in this graph tend to follow each other closely, except from 2013 to 2015 when the


When we look at the different factors involved in the production of feeder cattle (apart from production costs but including feed and the cost of buying cattle), we see many differences in the average selling weights. , average selling prices, value of food fed, and pounds of food fed. . However, when these elements are combined to calculate the yields greater than the feed costs per cwt produced, the difference between the three different groups is small. It is ironic that the 500-750 group, which has the majority among FBFM feeder cattle operations, also has the highest yields above the cost of feed per cwt produced of nearly a dollar. Therefore, it helps to keep good, accurate records and compare them over time to make the best financial decision for your feeder cattle or any other operation.

The author would like to point out that the data used in this study comes from farms in the state of Illinois registered with the Illinois Farm Business Farm Management (FBFM) Association. Without their cooperation, information as complete and precise as this would not be available for educational purposes. The FBFM, which has more than 5,000 farmers and 68 professional field staff, is a non-profit organization accessible to all farmers in Illinois. FBFM field staff provide agricultural advisers with computerized record keeping, farm financial management, business entity planning and income tax management services. For more information, please contact the State Headquarters located in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois at 217-333-8346 or visit the FBFM website at www.fbfm.org.

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