Suckler cow profitability

DanMidWales

Member
Livestock Farmer
Been on here on a few occasions, lots of different articles and so on, I'm looking back at the previous year and to be fair I think the cows have paid reasonably well 120 cow herd, plus 20 heifers all home bred with all progeny fattened males as bulls at about 15 months, heifers at 22 to 26 months, cows calve outside end of April for 9 weeks, housed and weaned end of November on slats or cubicles, working on 650 a cow a year with fixed costs bulls averaged 1480, heifers 1240, no rent no paid labour just little old me I'm thinking I'd struggle to buy a good weanling for 650 and would have fixed costs on top of that purchase price, and if I bought a dairy x say at 550 600 it would be worth 150 200 less come to sale time, just a lot of negative information about suckler cows surely must be someone else out there who thinks they're cows are paying aswell
 

milkloss

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
East Sussex
Whilst I don't doubt your figures...... I've got a few thoughts in my mind that aren't meant to be offensive or awkward but here goes!

Do you have a young family?
Do you get away with them much?
How many weekends off?
How do you handle big operations with the cattle such as calving, tb testing etc on your own?
what happens if you cant work due to illness or accident?

I only ask because I could be far more profitable if I didn't employ one man full time and a student on occasion but I would never have time to do 'my things'. We need to be fair to ourselves and paint a realistic picture of our lives to the world at large.

I did chuckle at the title because, if I'm honest, I couldn't make it pay without other income.
 

DanMidWales

Member
Livestock Farmer
Whilst I don't doubt your figures...... I've got a few thoughts in my mind that aren't meant to be offensive or awkward but here goes!

Do you have a young family?
Do you get away with them much?
How many weekends off?
How do you handle big operations with the cattle such as calving, tb testing etc on your own?
what happens if you cant work due to illness or accident?

I only ask because I could be far more profitable if I didn't employ one man full time and a student on occasion but I would never have time to do 'my things'. We need to be fair to ourselves and paint a realistic picture of our lives to the world at large.

I did chuckle at the title because, if I'm honest, I couldn't make it pay without other income.
Whilst I don't doubt your figures...... I've got a few thoughts in my mind that aren't meant to be offensive or awkward but here goes!

Do you have a young family?
Do you get away with them much?
How many weekends off?
How do you handle big operations with the cattle such as calving, tb testing etc on your own?
what happens if you cant work due to illness or accident?

I only ask because I could be far more profitable if I didn't employ one man full time and a student on occasion but I would never have time to do 'my things'. We need to be fair to ourselves and paint a realistic picture of our lives to the world at large.

I did chuckle at the title because, if I'm honest, I couldn't make it pay without other income.
Whilst I don't doubt your figures...... I've got a few thoughts in my mind that aren't meant to be offensive or awkward but here goes!

Do you have a young family?
Do you get away with them much?
How many weekends off?
How do you handle big operations with the cattle such as calving, tb testing etc on your own?
what happens if you cant work due to illness or accident?

I only ask because I could be far more profitable if I didn't employ one man full time and a student on occasion but I would never have time to do 'my things'. We need to be fair to ourselves and paint a realistic picture of our lives to the world at large.

I did chuckle at the title because, if I'm honest, I couldn't make it pay without other income.
If I'm honest never have a weekend off knock off early on a Sunday afternoon perhaps, 3 kids all under 6 try and get a few days away in August, calving not bad outside and go around twice maybe 3 times a day if I loose one I loose one always a few twins to adopt and if she doesn't rear she's down the road tb testing isn't bad always a neighbour comes to help and I help them with silage or sheep like they help me with the sheep, and then there's always the wife if I can't get anyone, I see quite a few Tennant farms around here 40 60 cows 500 600 ewes full-time workman plus all the toys you can think of and fresh stuff to how do they make it pay with 20 25k wage to pay and probably something similar in rent
 
If I'm honest never have a weekend off knock off early on a Sunday afternoon perhaps, 3 kids all under 6 try and get a few days away in August, calving not bad outside and go around twice maybe 3 times a day if I loose one I loose one always a few twins to adopt and if she doesn't rear she's down the road tb testing isn't bad always a neighbour comes to help and I help them with silage or sheep like they help me with the sheep, and then there's always the wife if I can't get anyone, I see quite a few Tennant farms around here 40 60 cows 500 600 ewes full-time workman plus all the toys you can think of and fresh stuff to how do they make it pay with 20 25k wage to pay and probably something similar in rent
If you're working nearly all day, every day, on your own then they have to pay!
 
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Formatted

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Sussex
There is probably a lot of infrastructure on your farm, could you pay to put that in with the amount you are making now?
 

DanMidWales

Member
Livestock Farmer
There is probably a lot of infrastructure on your farm, could you pay to put that in with the amount you are making now?
Not if I had to build it all at once but if I have a bit spare I always try and spend to better the place am considering another slat shed for youngstock this year and maybe convert the current shed into another sheep shed
 
Whilst I don't doubt your figures...... I've got a few thoughts in my mind that aren't meant to be offensive or awkward but here goes!

Do you have a young family?
Do you get away with them much?
How many weekends off?
How do you handle big operations with the cattle such as calving, tb testing etc on your own?
what happens if you cant work due to illness or accident?

I only ask because I could be far more profitable if I didn't employ one man full time and a student on occasion but I would never have time to do 'my things'. We need to be fair to ourselves and paint a realistic picture of our lives to the world at large.

I did chuckle at the title because, if I'm honest, I couldn't make it pay without other income.
Surely the question with a one man band and 120 single sucklers is, what do you do after breakfast ?
 

DanMidWales

Member
Livestock Farmer
Maybe I should do what I've seen a few north Wales boys do and sell all the sucklers cut the sheep to by half and milk 250 300 cows it seems what the banks want you to do spend 500 to a million on a dairy set up, good luck to those that do but I'd need to find at least 50k a year in wages and no guarantee the milk price will hold up but it seems that what the banks and advisors keep pushing for or a chicken shed
 
Maybe I should do what I've seen a few north Wales boys do and sell all the sucklers cut the sheep to by half and milk 250 300 cows it seems what the banks want you to do spend 500 to a million on a dairy set up, good luck to those that do but I'd need to find at least 50k a year in wages and no guarantee the milk price will hold up but it seems that what the banks and advisors keep pushing for or a chicken shed
Do what works for you, not the bank
 

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