The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Agriculture and Energy 2011

March 26, 2011

Milking it for all it’s worth

Cattlemen weigh cost of operation versus the return

There are several stages in the cattle market, and each stage requires dollars invested to get the bovine to the next stage of the market.

Greg Highfill, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service livestock specialist, says it annually costs an average $400 to $500 per cow to bring it to the stocker cattle sector of the market.

“Sometimes, the market price for weaned calves is below break-even and sometimes above,” Highfill said. “Right now it is well above.”

The cattle market has seen record prices in recent months, possibly from high market demand.

As of early last week, a 500-pound weaned steer was bringing $1.60 per pound, or $800, which is easily a record level.

Cattle in this stage are sold once they generally reach between 400 and 600 pounds.

The next stage of the cattle market is the stocker cattle sector. The stocker cattle phase is when the people who buy weaned calves graze them on either winter wheat or summer grass, depending on when they’re purchases.

“If (the buyer) has a winter wheat pasture, they’ll buy those calves in November and raise them in winter wheat and sell them right now,” Highfill said. “If they have summer grasses, they’ll buy them right now, run them on summer grass and sell them next August, September or October.”

The upkeep cost for each head of cattle in each grazing season is about $175 to $300.

Once the feeder cattle reach between 700 and 900 pounds, they are sold into the feedlot sector, where the animals are fed a concentrate grain diet for 120 to 180 days.

The cost of feeding a head of cattle for that period is about $450 to $600. There may be additional costs of $50 to $100 per head.

A major factor that influences profitability in the stocker cattle industry is the buy-sell margin, Highfill said, which is the cost of the calf upfront versus how much you get in the end.

“As the market increases in price, we have to adjust the buy-sell margin,” Highfill said. “As you get caught in a price increase, it is much tougher to make a profit.”

Cattle in the feedlot sector generally are raised until they each weigh 1,200 to 1,450.

Highfill said when you average the three costs — $500 for the cow-calf producer, $250 for the stock producer and $550 for the feed lot, the final expense for all three sectors combined is about $1,300 for a finished beef cow.

1
Text Only
Agriculture and Energy 2011
  • Coveroilag.jpg Agriculture and Energy 2011

    One of the attributes of living in Enid and Northwest Oklahoma is the abundant pride residents have in its people, land and businesses. The 2011 News & Eagle Progress edition highlights these areas and pays tribute to all of those who make our region shine 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

    March 26, 2011 1 Photo

  • Wind_Farm_2_JK.jpg Seeking credit

    Wind energy developers are hoping the moratorium is lifted this coming fiscal year, which begins in July.

    March 26, 2011 1 Photo

  • Autry Wind_BH.jpg Energy supply that blows on trees

    In 2009, Autry installed a wind turbine on its campus not only to provide wind energy to the facility but to offer an educational tool for students looking to go into the wind energy field or who just want to learn more about wind energy.

    March 26, 2011 1 Photo

  • Hiland_Partners_1_BV.jpg ‘It was lightning in a bottle’

    “Our No. 1 asset is our employees." — Joe Griffin, president and chief executive officer of Hiland Partners

    March 26, 2011 1 Photo

  • hiland.jpg Pressure on Hiland, others to fill shoes of Continental Resources’

    While announcing Continental Resources is moving to Oklahoma City last week, Hamm told the News & Eagle he sees some of his other companies in the same position for growth Continental witnessed about five years ago.

    March 26, 2011 1 Photo

  • Harold Hamm.jpg This is not a drill

    Local city officials are bracing for the challenges the company’s move poses to economic development efforts.

    March 26, 2011 4 Photos

  • Lew_Ward_BH.jpg An endless supply of energy ...

    Ward Petroleum is drilling horizontal wells and using fracturing technology to get further production from wells in Oklahoma.

    March 26, 2011 3 Photos

  • ong photo.jpg President of ONG has a past in Enid

    “I was working for our company for just over a year, I began in 1986 and in the summer of 1987 they asked me to move to Enid for a while and work in our district office out there.” — Greg Phillips, Oklahoma Natural Gas president

    March 26, 2011 1 Photo

  • Aerial_Oil Well_BV.jpg Home of the brave, free ... market

    With the public crying for cheaper gasoline, Terry said whatever can be done to increase production should be considered.

    March 26, 2011 1 Photo

  • WAKO_1_BH.jpg Trickle-down theory has translated into years of business for Wako Inc.

    The company began in Wakita, moving to Enid 25 years ago. It celebrates 50 years in November. The name takes the first three letters from its hometown and the O from Oklahoma, Bland said.

    March 26, 2011 3 Photos