I often hear cattlemen say, “With the cost of hay so high, I cannot afford to also buy a supplement.” If a supplement makes sense in your operation with lower priced forage, it only makes more “cents” with higher priced forage.
Cash Flow Considerations THEN and NOW
As I travel in cow calf regions and visit with cattlemen, I have noticed a distinct shift in their plans for retaining heifers.Last year at weaning, a heifer calf was more valuable as a feeder than a breeding animal.On many farms and ranches cash was tight due to increasing input cost. Generating some cash and paying bills by selling the heifer calf had very little risk.If a cow in the herd needed to be replaced a young cow could be purchased for about the same or less money.
I had the opportunity to attend two beef industry gathering events this past week that brought together producers and beef industry partners in the plains and western United States. The first was the Outlook and Strategies Seminar offered by CattleFax that painted current and future economic opportunities in the beef cattle business and our overall economy. There were a number of talks that covered a wide variety of topics impacting the beef industry. The bottom line… It is a great time to be in the beef cow-calf business! This also has strong signals that it will not just be a year or two but indications are that it could last three to five years before market conditions begin to fall. Now, there are always regional issues that can crop up, like the recent drought in the Southern part of the U.S., in addition to other environmental or economic factors that can temper just how good of a ride the cow-calf segment of the industry will have, but right now I would have to say the future has never looked so bright!