Suckler cow profitability

DanMidWales

Member
Livestock Farmer
I’m running 130 suckers along side sheep but I’m think of changing to rear AAx dairy calves. I think I could rear 250-280 calves on similar acreage to the suckers and be left with the same margin per calf but have double the calves to sell. But maybe I’m missing something.
I looked at it a few times but they do look poor sorts no weight at killing and unless it's a holstein heifer I don't think a lot of them care if they have colostrum or not and yes the Angus premium is helping but you have to give it as a calf I'm going on keeping the cow for what I'd have to pay for one
 

aled1590

Member
Location
N.wales
What is the reason so many up your way have converted to dairy what sort size farms we're they before
Not sure really maybe the uncertainty regarding brexit etc. And I think a bit of ‘well if so and so are going into dairy it must be a money maker’
Some have joined forces with neighbours to have one sizeable grazing block. Probably before they would be 150-200 acre farm and then they would be up to 3-400 acre block. The money these banks are throwing at them i find is crazy, it could all go pop. Few traditional 100 cow dairy herds in the area can’t believe the money these new guys are spending for a modern new green field site. Good luck to them but I’ll just keep ticking along and invest in a few things every now and then. Only live once might as well enjoy it :)
 

DanMidWales

Member
Livestock Farmer
Not sure really maybe the uncertainty regarding brexit etc. And I think a bit of ‘well if so and so are going into dairy it must be a money maker’
Some have joined forces with neighbours to have one sizeable grazing block. Probably before they would be 150-200 acre farm and then they would be up to 3-400 acre block. The money these banks are throwing at them i find is crazy, it could all go pop. Few traditional 100 cow dairy herds in the area can’t believe the money these new guys are spending for a modern new green field site. Good luck to them but I’ll just keep ticking along and invest in a few things every now and then. Only live once might as well enjoy it :)
You would have to get on real good with your neighbour I'd say its a recipe for disaster myself, the money they are spending is frightening million quid before you turn around, those 100 cow herds are getting less and less these big boys don't seem to like to milk themselves I'd say its a hell of tie twice a day 7 days a week same time every day would do my head in
 

Werzle

Member
Location
Midlands
I’m running 130 suckers along side sheep but I’m think of changing to rear AAx dairy calves. I think I could rear 250-280 calves on similar acreage to the suckers and be left with the same margin per calf but have double the calves to sell. But maybe I’m missing something.
Biggest hurdle is having the courage to sell the sucklers, once they are gone , they are gone. Big fattening unit told me the aa job is well over done or very soon going to be. At least we wouldnt have the sleepless nights calving rearing calves. Arla calf job looks likely to knock the beef price in 18-24mths so decisions will have to made which way to go and whens the best time or not to press the button
 

t murrr

Member
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
That's seems quite high a margin even if you take them lads to get finished would take 1.5 tonne of meal I reconed you were getting £300+ on them .Round here if you are screwing £200 that's your lot .If you count your hours roughly and divided it into you profit that should give a good indicator. If I use my figure of 200 over your 120 head that's for sale is 24000£ .Its small enough for the work involved. I would be toying with the idea of buying in calves and taking them to beef maybe not as much in it but can increase numbers to take up the cow slack.
 

Werzle

Member
Location
Midlands
You would have to get on real good with your neighbour I'd say its a recipe for disaster myself, the money they are spending is frightening million quid before you turn around, those 100 cow herds are getting less and less these big boys don't seem to like to milk themselves I'd say its a hell of tie twice a day 7 days a week same time every day would do my head in
Yes brave/foolish to be making no money at something and then decide to borrow a million+ to try something else.
 

DanMidWales

Member
Livestock Farmer
Biggest hurdle is having the courage to sell the sucklers, once they are gone , they are gone. Big fattening unit told me the aa job is well over done or very soon going to be. At least we wouldnt have the sleepless nights calving rearing calves. Arla calf job looks likely to knock the beef price in 18-24mths so decisions will have to made which way to go and whens the best time or not to press the button
What cows do you run now, that arla job will surely knock the cull cow rather than the fat cattle those calves are about only suited for dog food
 

Werzle

Member
Location
Midlands
What cows do you run now, that arla job will surely knock the cull cow rather than the fat cattle those calves are about only suited for dog food
lim x and bb x run with lim and char bulls. Trouble is dairy herds will use sexed semen to get there hfrs and put the rest to better beef bulls or breed them all to beef bulls and buy in hfrs, dairy beef will improve as the arla type thing progresses.
 

unlacedgecko

Member
Livestock Farmer
lim x and bb x run with lim and char bulls. Trouble is dairy herds will use sexed semen to get there hfrs and put the rest to better beef bulls or breed them all to beef bulls and buy in hfrs, dairy beef will improve as the arla type thing progresses.
Upmarket steak house Miller and Carter get all their British beef from Blade. I assume it's dairy X.
 

Early moves to target wild oats

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Growers and agronomists now face the dilemma of an early application to remove competition from emerged wild oats, or holding off to allow more weeds to germinate.

Syngenta grassweeds technical manager, Georgina Wood, urges Axial Pro treatment as soon as conditions allow, once weeds are actively growing.

“That offers the chance to control wild oats more cost effectively at lower rates, whilst there is still the flexibility to tailor application rates up to 0.82 l/ha for larger or over wintered weeds and difficult situations.

“The variability of crops and situations this season means decisions for appropriate Axial Pro rates and application techniques will need to be made on a field-by-field basis,” she advised.

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Miss Wood urges...
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