1 HOW HAVE WE PROGRESSED OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE COW/CALF SECTOR SASK BEEF INDUSTRY CONFERENCE
2 DAVID KERR Lashburn,, Sask. Operate Kerr Bros. Livestock with brother Harry and our families. Our children all work off the farm but do help when their time allows. Our wives Darlene and Sharon both work in town to support our cow habit.
3 1990 We were running about 100 cows and farming about 3000 acres of grain land We both wanted to be more involved in the cattle business and quit grain farming but kept putting off making that decision We fed greenfeed and basically fed in the corral from Nov. to May and sold our calves in Oct.
7 1995 Calving about 250 cows and farming 3000 acres of grainland. Calving in Feb. Sold calves in Oct. Started swath grazing to Dec. Fed silage in corrals from Dec. to May Bought more pasture land Hauled manure
12 2000 Calving 350 cows-quit grain farming and seeded some land to grass, grew acres of feed. Started calving mid March sold steers in fall and bred most of the hfr calves Swath grazed to Feb then fed silage in corrals to May. Sold a lot of bred hfrs in Nov. for May delivery with a live calf guarantee Started buying middle cut dispersal cows in fall, calving them and selling in May Hauled manure
13 SELLING BRED HEIFERS WITH A LIVE CALF GUARANTEE MAIN CUSTOMERS ARE OTHER CATTLEMEN THAT HAVE OFF FARM JOBS OR PEOPLE THAT DON T T LIKE CALVING HEIFERS. EX.-- SELL BRED HFR DEC. 1 FOR $1000 CHARGE UPFRONT FEE OF $300 TO FEED,CALVE,PAY ALL EXPENSES AND KEEP THE HFR UNTIL MAY1 AND THEN DELIVER A SOUND HFR WITH A CALF AT SIDE.
16 Calving 500 cows- backgrounding most of our calves Calving end March and then on crested wht grass by late April After BSE sales for dispersal cows ended and bred hfrs sales were slower Fed 600 feeder cows for Nilsson Bros. on swaths for 2 years Now swath grazing to mid March and then in corrals to late April on silage
17 Started grazing high % alfalfa pastures with yearlings- using alfasure Leased out our first group of bred hfrs on a 5 year contract with a buyback option Started using snow as a water source for our cows on a regular basis Put in our first Tire waterers for our calves Hauled less manure
18 WINTER SWATH GRAZING OATS AND BARLEY MOVE EVERY 4-5 DAYS
29 Still okay here
30 And here
31 But not here
32 Or here
33 SPRAYED OUT SOME ALFALFA
34 TIRE WATERERS ALL YEAR WITH NO HEAT
36 Calving 650 cows-backgrounding most of our calves Calving end March in corral then on crested wht grass by end of April Seeded more grass, rented more hayland,, quit feeding silage (no labor to put it up) Started grazing more hayland in the fall by using snow as a water source
37 We started leasing complete cow herds with pasture from various neighbors and paying a cash fee / cow Started to custom feed more cows for the winter and some summer custom grazing Started feeding calves in fields by yard and not in corral Haul very little manure Rented more pasture with more legumes
38 FALL GRAZING AL;FALFA AND HYBRID BROME HAYED IN JULY
44 Nsc cows
48 Smiddy cows
72 Feeding 1100 cows- calving 850 hd Backgrounding 900 calves Calving end April-75% on grass Bred hfrs and1st calvers at the yard Cows only home for preg check and weaning Cows are in 6 separate groups between 2 and 6 miles from the home yard Grazing stockpiled native and tame grass to end of Dec. or early Jan.
73 Grazed cows on some corn in 2008 Cows go to chaff and straw piles in Jan. and get supplemented with hay or pellets and then move to calving fields in mid April Have put up corn silage for 2 years for backgrounding calves and mixing with SO-1 oats and pea straw Run cows over corn stubble to clean up
98 HIGHLIGHTS Some of the things we have done over the last few years to help our operation are:
103 COW LEASES Assumptions COWS ARE WORTH $ % CALF CROP 10% CULL RATE 1% DEATH LOSS CALF PASTURE $125 WINTER FEED $150 BREEDING FEES $40 VET, MEDS,ETC. $25 TRUCKING, YARDAGE ETC $35 TOTAL $375
104 COST COMPARISONS OWNERSHIP OPERATING COSTS $375 COW REPLACEMENT $50 PRINC, INT COSTS $275 DEATH LOSS $12 LEASE PAYMENT $0 LEASE OPERATING COSTS $375 COW REPLACEMENT $0 PRINC, INT COSTS $0 DEATH LOSS $0 LEASE PAYMENT $140 TOTAL COSTS $712 INCOME $627 NET -$85 TOTAL COSTS $515 INCOME $627 NET $112
105 Corn silage Costs/ acre seed $80 land $40 fert $40 prepare and seed $20 spray $10 silage $60 TOTAL $250.00
106 CORN PRODUCTION - 13 tonnes /acre =5 tonnes dry matter/acre $ =2.25 cents/lb -Back grounding calves this year on corn silage, pea straw, SO-1 1 oats.
107 PROGRAMS We have taken advantage of various programs over the past years. -bought 25 portable wind fences,2 chaff/straw bunchers EFP,PCAB -dug 11 dugouts, bought 2 solar pumps FRWIP -under squeeze scale VBP -tag reader and data collector TRACEABILITY PROGRAM
108 Partners WE LEASE LAND OR COWS OR CUSTOM FEED FOR 18 DIFFERENT PEOPLE WE ONLY OWN 1600 ACRES BUT WE LEASE,RENT,MANAGE AND CONTROL AN ADDITIONAL 8,000 ACRES UNDER LONG TERM AGREEMENTS. WE ARE VERY FORTUNATE TO WORK WITH SOME VERY GOOD PEOPLE THAT UNDERSTAND THAT AGREEMENTS HAVE TO BE BENEFICIAL TO ALL PARTIES TO BE LONG LASTING
109 HAVE WE PROGRESSED? We ve covered a bit of ground from 100 cows 20 years ago. The last decade has been an experience in the cattle business ( bse,, drought, flood, rcalf, rising $,etc.) not all fun but has made us more economical and more adaptable cattle people. I m m not sure that many of us would have made these many changes on our own.
110 The last 5 years have been especially exciting for us with the many new opportunities and changes that seem to keep coming along. The old saying- (if your not going forward then your probably going backwards) has never been more true than in the cattle business right now. So yes, I think we ve all progressed or we wouldn t t be here
111 FUTURE?? In the long term we may not graze as many yearlings but still back ground our calves until April We will increase our cow numbers and put them where our yearlings grazed Graze cows on our hayland and use pellets to supplement our cows on chaff piles Increase our cow numbers by leasing cows
112 Opportunities for the cow/calf sector With the dramatic decrease in the number of cow places and the growing trend that sees everyone want to grass yearlings instead of look after cows, I think the cow man is going to be in big demand in the future. The one thing we can t t forget is-- we need cows because calves don t t grow in the garden!
115 REMEMBER-CO-OPERATION IS THE KEY
116 Thank you and have a good winter and a healthy calving season