Cattle are large animals and require a lot of space. For this reason, they are usually raised on ranches or farms. They also need plenty of room to roam, so if you want to raise cattle at home, you will have to have a large yard. If you live in an urban area with limited space for keeping cattle, then consider buying milk from your local store instead
The cost of a calf depends on the age, gender, and what you want to do with it. If you want to butcher it, that will increase the price. If you want to raise it for beef, that will also increase the price. The average price for a calf in 2020 is about $1,000 for an average size calf, but this can vary by as much as $500 depending on the breed and where you live.
If you are wondering, “How much will a calf cost me in 2020?”, you’re not alone. The future price of a calf depends on its weight and the price of feed and hay. The first step in purchasing a calf is to determine the size of the calf. A calf weighing 300 to 500 pounds will be moved into a forage-based stockering program or a feedlot.
Feeder calf prices will probably be near 2017 calf prices in 2020
The January 1, 2020 cattle inventory report showed the first decline in the national herd since 2014. It also showed that inventories had increased more than expected, despite the strong price environment. The decline in calf prices reflects a combination of factors, including higher production and increased feed costs. The positive outlook for 2020 provided some reassurance for cow-calf producers. Nonetheless, the future isn’t as rosy as many had hoped.
The price of a feeder’s calf will be largely determined by its genetics. A dehorned calf will likely fetch top dollar, but other factors also play a role in determining what the producer will get for it. By purchasing feeder calf futures and options, producers can ensure a minimum price for their calves before they are sold. Cattle are sold in futures and options contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, where these contracts are traded.
The underlying price of feeder cattle is still high, but the future is not yet clear. The price of female cattle in particular has been highly volatile and will probably hit a bottom in 2020. The prices for spring and fall calves will probably be near 2017 calf prices in 2020. Until then, calves will be selling at a much lower price. This means that buyers should wait until November to sell calves before prices fall even further. A retained ownership program involves reducing risk, avoiding unnecessary purchases, and utilizing an experienced broker.
Calves produced in Georgia will likely be shipped to feedlot states. The prices for calves that weigh between 300 and 500 pounds will likely move into feedlots. Feeder calf prices will probably be near 2017 calf prices in 2020, so it’s crucial to plan ahead to purchase calves and steers in Georgia. When this trend continues, feeder calf prices will likely be near the prices of 2017 calves in 2020.
Feeder calf producers must budget for hay and feed
While determining your cost structure and projected calf prices, a producer must plan for hay and feed in 2020. For a better picture of the costs, modify Table 2 to take into account your specific cost structure and expected calf prices. Then, multiply the result by your cost structure to determine how much you can expect to recover from hay and feed. Make sure to include land and labor costs in your budget as they have a significant impact on your bottom line.
Creating a budget for hay and feed is a crucial part of running a cattle enterprise. Producers must account for the market value of feed and hay, as well as opportunity costs associated with the production of these commodities. In some cases, feed costs can represent up to 50% of the total revenue for a producer’s enterprise. Feeder calf producers must budget for hay and feed in 2020 to be successful.
A good base budget for hay and feed for a single production unit is based on the previous year’s costs. Producers must consider local feed options and balance rations with animal requirements. They should seek the advice of local Extension specialists to make sure that feed alternatives will not cause problems. The following examples are based on successful feed budgets for hay and feed for a single producer.
The last full cycle began in 2004 with a herd of 94.4 million cattle, consisting of beef and dairy cattle. The herd continued to increase through 2007, with a corresponding expansion in feed costs. Then, the cattle herd contracted to 96.6 million head in 2010 and continued to shrink through 2013 as environmental conditions became increasingly dry. This reduced pasture availability and caused producers to cull cows and restrict heifer retention.
Calves weighing 300 to 500 pounds move into forage-based stockering programs
If the calves are weighed between 300 and 500 pounds, they will most likely move into forage-based stockering plans. Younger calves, which are light in weight, are not able to digest high-forage diets. In order to reduce the cost of gain on older steers, feeding them grain rations on pasture will allow them to grow at an efficient rate.
In a forage-based stockering program, the calves eat forage grown throughout the year. The grazing period lasts 183 days, and the calves gain about 0.5 to 1.0 lb per day. When they reach 500 pounds, they are turned out and gain another five to 10 pounds a day. Their growth rate increases to 0.6 to 1.0 lb per day, making them ready for sale.
Nutritional supplements are a critical part of a forage-based stockering program. Proper mineral and salt supplementation are necessary to provide adequate amounts of vitamins A, E, and P. In addition, trace minerals such as zinc, copper, and vitamins A and E are also important. Calves of this weight should be supplemented with enough B vitamins to help them grow healthy and strong.
Forage-based stockering programs are profitable because they increase the growth rate of market bulls and cows. But they require special care to produce a quality product. A well-designed nutritional program improves the profitability of stocker cattle. Calves that weigh 400 pounds or more should be provided with good-quality grass hay that stimulates rumen function.
A good receiving ration is essential for stressed calves. Calves need to learn to recognize their feed, and their intake is generally low. They require diets that maximize intake while providing greater concentrations of the nutrients they need. These diets must also be highly palatable to minimize the risk of nutritional disorders. If they are more than 55 percent concentrated, calves may develop digestive issues and require higher medication costs.
Calves weighing 750 to 1,000 pounds move into feedlots
During their first year, calves will be sold into a feedlot when they weigh 750 pounds or more. Normally, these calves will be given extra feed and water to stay healthy. After a year, calves will weigh between 600 and 750 pounds and move into feedlots. Calves weighing more than this amount are classified as heavyweight feeders. These animals will be kept in feedlots until they reach a weight acceptable for slaughter – usually 1200 pounds.
After moving into feedlots, calves are usually moved into calf barns. The feedlot price depends on the price of the grain. If the price of grain goes up by a dollar, the feedlot won’t pay any more for the calf. Feeder cattle are typically purchased in the $50 to $60 per hundred-pound range. Calves in feedlots will have contracts in which they have agreed to pay a certain price at market time. A contract will have a set price for delivery and the premiums and discounts will be based on this contract.
The calves will be weaned three to four weeks prior to moving into feedlots. Traditional practices have involved feeding calves concentrated feed for the first month of their life and allowing them to continue nursing without supplemental feed. The University of Missouri Extension website states that calves fed concentrate during this time period have poorer feed efficiency in feedlots. Therefore, it is more economical to feed calves daily with supplemental feed before moving into the feedlot.
When it comes to selling a calf, prices are largely determined by the breed of the animal. While some breeds are more desirable than others, there are certain stereotypes that exist about particular breeds and the price they command. The breed association marketing programs can help overcome these perceptions. Crossbred calves also have higher demand than purebred ones. The advantage of hybrid vigor makes them cheap through the sale of barns.
Aim for a target weight for the calves during the growing phase. Feed them dry forages mixed with grain concentrates or without them. This phase is lower energy than the finishing rations, and average daily gains are lower. This stage is used to deposit muscle on the frame. However, the calf should be castrated or dehorned before they move into feedlots.