Smaller Cattle Operations Should Invest in Planning Now to Increase Profit LaterTue, 28 Jul 2015 14:30:35 CDT
The average beef cow herd may only be 40 head according to U.S. Department of Agriculture, but those with small herds can add value by working together. Tom Brink, Top Dollar Angus, gives some suggestions for smaller cattle operations to find their path to profit.
"..if you're a smaller producer and maybe you can only come up with 30,000 pounds of steers to put on a load or to contribute toward a load--and of course a standard load semi load is 50,000 pounds--the thing to do is to find somebody in the, in the vicinity, in the same county, in the same general area that you are that has similar genetics, similar cattle, similar weights and to work with them to put together a load," Brink said. And it's really not that hard to do. It just takes a little bit of cooperation and a little bit of planning ahead if you know some people in your area that have similar genetics, they don't have to be identical."
Brink recommends limiting weight variation to 250 pounds from the lightest to the heaviest, and consider that range when pooling animals together. But marketing is only part of the path to higher profits that path begins with focused planning.
"I think one of the most important things producers can do right now--cow calf producers--should be using these good times to position for the next five to ten years because we know prices won't always stay as high as they are now," Brink said. "So use that extra cash flow to really position your herd for the future, for the long term and I think the way to do that is: One, invest in things that last. Genetics definitely last. That's the place I'd start."
Brink suggests buying better bulls, starting an A-I program and matching your herd to market demands.
"I would say another big one for a lot of people is upgrade your facilities," Brink said. "One of the biggest limiters to using, starting an AI program for example is the lack of facilities. So use these good times to really improve your cattle handling facilities, maybe your feed handling facilities and what you're doing there. Uh that's going to last a long time. It's going to help your operation. It's going to make the work load a little more fun too, and maybe a little lighter. These kinds of things are good to do in times like these."
All of those tweaks might take more planning to begin with, but it's worth it in the long run, Brink says.
This video news is provided by CAB and the American Angus Association.
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