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Price of calves need to double!

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Dec 17, 2021 | 16:16 1 Sold this years calves. Prices were terrible.
Cost to produce per cow $1600
Sale price of calf $950
Income per cow -$650
For each 50 cow block you lose $32500
Futures prices show no improvement.
Some of the papers thought the prices were not too bad? They must not own any cows.
I can't afford to be in the cattle business at these prices!
American imports were up 70% over last year. The Government (s) don't seem to care if there is food security as in having a viable cattle herd. When the Americans decide to hang on to their cattle there won't be any Canadian cattle left.
I've heard all about the "wall of calves" and the other excuses they have come up with to not pay a fair price for cattle. The countryside is looking pretty empty now. When the cows that got sold to pay the bills this year clear the system the real crunch will hit. I think the big impact will be fall 2023. I will be out of the business by then. I don't want to throw more money away.
What do you think the Canadian Beef Industry plan is going forward? Reply With Quote
Dec 17, 2021 | 19:23 2 Yes, every program out there is all about helping you defer taxes until next year as you sell down your breeding stock, or, make a payment for feed after most of it has already been shipped south because the US drought programs kicked in sooner. Manitoba's plan on breeding herd retention is the right way to go. At least that way there is an industry to grow our economy into the years to come. However, once the cows are gone from Sask and Alberta, there won't be much of a need for packing plants in western Canada. Maybe less margin needs to be taken at the packer and retail levels so producers can stay afloat. Reply With Quote
Dec 17, 2021 | 20:36 3 I agree that prices are too low relative to cost of production but $950 per calf? Good steer calves weighing 600 to 700 lb. brought $1,300 +. Heifer calves $300 less. I would be interested in knowing what weight and sex you sold that only brought $950. Reply With Quote
Dec 18, 2021 | 14:14 4 Can you explain the Manitoba plan? Reply With Quote
Dec 18, 2021 | 14:24 5 Calves were a mix in weight averaged around 500 pounds. Prices were all over the place.
The cattle are Red and black angus with Simmental in the line.
I wasn't going to buy expensive feed to background the calves. I did that last year, fed them expensive feed through the winter and sold them for about the same money that I could have in the fall.
I know it takes good feed to get a calf that will bring the money. Poor quality feed will give gutty calves that nobody wants to pay for. I didn't want to do put more money out this year. I'm trying to keep some cows. Reply With Quote
Dec 19, 2021 | 12:13 6 The Don…………
How did you arrive at the $1600 to raise a calf?

Quick math here……..
$200 for cow “depreciation”
$50 for breeding
$25 for vet
$300 for pasture (150 days @$2/day)
$645 for feed (215 days @$3/day)

$1220. And that’s high because of feed “inflation” this year

I agree that prices stink and to keep finding ways to grind costs lower isn’t much fun or sexy but necessary. Too bad feed grains are in the stratosphere as it would be half the cost to winter a cow otherwise.

There’s always a better way🍀 Reply With Quote
Dec 19, 2021 | 17:23 7 To give a benchmark I used the 2021 Manitoba Department of Agriculture number for 150 cows $1615.75 and rounded down.
Everyone will have a different number for cost of production.
Just a glance at your numbers. You have not included any equipment or facility costs, fuel, transportation... I didn't want to go through a discussion of what the number is or could be so I used a published one. Reply With Quote
Dec 19, 2021 | 17:56 8 Details announced for livestock breeding herd restoration funding

The Herd Management Drought Assistance program will be Manitoba’s third program launched under AgriRecovery

Alexis Stockford By Alexis Stockford
Reporter
Reading Time: 4 minutes
Published: December 13, 2021
Livestock, News
Cattle search for grazing on one of the Interlake’s sparse pastures in July.
Cattle search for grazing on one of the Interlake’s sparse pastures in July. Photo: Kristen Stocki
Application packages will soon be on offer for a third livestock AgriRecovery program — this one targeted towards replacing breeding stock farmers were forced to cull this year.

On Nov. 30, the province unveiled details of promised funding to rebuild those herds sucker-punched by drought. The new Herd Management Drought Assistance program will help fund the replacement of lost breeding females and will apply to beef cattle, sheep, goats, bison and elk, according to the province.

Those animals can either be purchased or be replacement heifers kept back from the producer’s own herd.


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Why it matters: Cattle representing decades of careful genetic cultivation were lost this year as producers were hit with a historic drought.

“I feel that we got it right because we kept the politics out of it,” Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Ralph Eichler said of the program.

Organizations like the Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP), Keystone Agricultural Producers, Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association and the Association of Manitoba Municipalities were all involved in developing the program, he noted.

“We listened and we adapted and developed this program in consultation with them,” he said. “So, I feel so good about that.”

The great drought
The new program fulfills an ask from livestock groups such as MBP, that say drought caused a serious bleed of local beef genetics, particularly in the Interlake, one of the hardest-hit regions of the Prairies.

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The result could be seen in the sales ring. Auctions like the Ashern Auction Mart, which typically close through the prime grazing season, instead saw thousands of head pass through their doors, including prime breeding stock, as producers were forced to cull.


In early August, farmers learned that AgriRecovery would be triggered this year, with the province and federal government eventually announcing a joint $155 million for Manitoba livestock producers.

On Aug. 31, the province launched two initial AgriRecovery programs, meant to address immediate need for feed. Those programs laid out reimbursement for drought-stricken farmers to either purchase and transport feed to their farm, or transport cattle to better feed.

Producers were told to expect a third herd rebuilding program at that time.

Carson Callum, general manager of the Manitoba Beef Producers, generally welcomed the Nov. 30 announcement.

Callum said the new offering was “an important program for producers” as the industry looks beyond the drought and towards restoration.

“The drought itself had such a detrimental impact on our many operations in the province,” he said. “Hopefully this particular program and the details in it will be a step forward.”

He highlighted the chance for producers to get support for keeping their own animals, and therefore their own genetics, as well as new stock purchases.

“It generally will do its purpose,” Callum said.

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Program details
The program limits application to farmers with at least 10 animals, and animals culled under the herd rebuilding program will not be eligible for the two earlier AgriRecovery streams.

There will be two steps to the program, the province has said. Producers must first submit their herd inventories, as impacted by the drought.

The program will measure the overall hit to a producer’s herd by comparing the number of breeding females as of March 16, 2022, versus breeding female counts a year earlier, prior to the 2021 drought.

A breeding female is considered a mature female who has already given birth or been exposed to breeding.

Payments will be determined by how many of those breeding females a producer replaces next year, whether through purchasing animals or retaining heifers to be bred for the first time in 2022.

Starting Dec. 1 of next year, producers can report their post-drought inventory — the second step of the program.

The program will count the number of females bred by Jan. 31, 2023 (the recovered inventory), minus the number of breeding females on March 16 of 2022 (the drought-impacted inventory).

That number will then be multiplied by a per-head payment rate. Producers can expect $250 per head for replaced beef cattle, elk or bison, or $50 a head for sheep or goats. Payments will max out once a producer matches their pre-drought breeding stock numbers.

“This is to replenish the herd, not to grow the herd,” Eichler said.

Forms for the Herd Management Drought Assistance program will be available Jan. 10, 2022, the province said.

That timeline still leaves room for producers to sell off any remaining culls or open cows by the end of the year, Eichler noted.

“I know some of them maybe want to wait and see how much snowfall we get before they start replenishing, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing,” he said, noting that a surge in cattle purchases would drive up price.

Wide-enough window
Eichler also argued that the program’s window leaves enough time for producers to be financially able to source replacement animals and get them bred by next January.

“That’s a whole year, so I don’t see any problem there,” he said.

Payments for other AgriRecovery programs have been turned around in four to five days of submission, he noted.

If cash flow is a barrier, there is also the possibility of loans through the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation, he said.

“I don’t want any producer to have to feel that they’re financially strapped,” Eichler said. “If it’s a money thing that’s just in and out, that’s not going to be a major problem. That’s really the intent, to be able to help them get those numbers back to meet their plan.”

The program offers a “good window,” Callum said, although he acknowledged that finances might be an issue in places with cumulative years of drought impact.

Beef producers in Manitoba also reported culls back in 2019, in many of the same areas that struggled this year.

“There will be those concerns across the landscape and it’ll all depend on the individual operation and what their current status is,” Callum said. Reply With Quote
Dec 19, 2021 | 19:59 9 Thanks for the information NOBS.
Not a great program in my opinion.
You get $250 to hold onto a cow that will lose you +/- $650 a year. So you only lose $400 a year .
Looking at the amount of snow in the fields I'm thinking that we will b e dry again next year. I hope I'm wrong. Even if we get reasonable moisture during the year grain prices are going to stay high.
Cattle haven't made money... well forever.
Dairy guys got an increase I'm thinking too small an increase but still something. Cow-calf they dropped the prices.
If they can afford to pay $22 a bushel for canola and over $7.00 a bushel for oats why can't they pay the true cost of production for the cow-calf producers? I'm not thinking the creative accounting that most of the Governments and cattle organizations use. Establish a benchmark price based on real business protocols. Reply With Quote
DaneG's Avatar Dec 19, 2021 | 21:56 10 Benchmark prices and cost of production guarantees sounds a lot like supply management, not saying it’s a good or bad direction but our existing dairy herd would go a long way to fulfill our domestic beef consumption. Most of the beef herd would not be required in a supply management model, guess we can’t loose money if we don’t have them! Reply With Quote
Dec 20, 2021 | 12:22 11 A benchmark price may not be the best plan. The Americans would go crazy if there was a supply managed beef industry in Canada.
However what there is now is not sustainable. Looking at the futures prices this will continue. When I look at the reports from Canadian Cattleman's or Manitoba Beef producers they keep saying things aren't so bad. Prices were better than we anticipated so it's all ok. The methods they use for accounting are similar to Donald Trumps creative accounting systems.
Selling cows now @.65/pound (+/-$800) and producing a heifer or buying a bred animal for $2000+ in 2023 a $1200 loss so you can get $250 is not make good business plan. That and carrying on so you can lose $650 a year has very little appeal.
What realistic plan does the Government or Beef Industry Groups have? Reply With Quote
Dec 20, 2021 | 18:55 12 Most areas of North America have been priced out of cattle production. Guys lied to themselves as to the viability of their operations by using off-farm income to subsidize the on-farm loss. That practice caught up to a lot of guys this year.

It will be worse next year for guys that have a big bank note and only 1/2 the cows to pay for it. Is wifey going to be as understanding when hubby says they have to tighten their belt to pay the farm loan?

There is a big exodus coming. Hoping it's just the older guys and not all the young ones, but the old guys are dropping dead and the young ones are flirting with bankruptcy. Reply With Quote
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  • Dec 21, 2021 | 15:26 13 Couple those bills with the inflation and the increasing interest rates. This is not looking good.
    Manitoba Government got a pile of cash for the livestock sector from the Federal Government. The programs they are establishing are short term hang on to those cows. These programs do nothing to fix the fact that the cattle market has no correlation with the cost of production for the cow-calf operator. Why hang on to the cows simply to continue losing money. The production insurance programs are a joke. When you are losing $500 a cow a year a possible $40 insurance pay out just doesn't matter.
    This is not a problem that has just occurred . The cow-calf operators have bankrolled the industry for a long time.
    So... what will change? Reply With Quote
    DaneG's Avatar Dec 21, 2021 | 17:43 14 https://www.cattlerange.com/articles/2021/12/betting-the-ranch-and-losing/

    This article is about a specific fraud case but it also points out some underlying problems with the cattle/beef industry. Reply With Quote
    Dec 22, 2021 | 11:37 15
    Quote Originally Posted by DaneG View Post
    https://www.cattlerange.com/articles/2021/12/betting-the-ranch-and-losing/

    This article is about a specific fraud case but it also points out some underlying problems with the cattle/beef industry.
    Interesting to read. Thanks Reply With Quote
    GDR
    Dec 30, 2021 | 14:34 16
    Quote Originally Posted by The Don View Post
    To give a benchmark I used the 2021 Manitoba Department of Agriculture number for 150 cows $1615.75 and rounded down.
    Everyone will have a different number for cost of production.
    Just a glance at your numbers. You have not included any equipment or facility costs, fuel, transportation... I didn't want to go through a discussion of what the number is or could be so I used a published one.
    The other cost I always see that no one ever thinks about is the dead cow, dead calf, or open cow. You still fed that animal for however long with zero return. Whatever that amounts to in lost feed and cow value has to be spread over the remainder of the herd.

    And don't any of you tell me it doesn't happen on your farm🤔 Reply With Quote
  • 1 Like


  • Dec 31, 2021 | 14:38 17
    Quote Originally Posted by GDR View Post
    The other cost I always see that no one ever thinks about is the dead cow, dead calf, or open cow. You still fed that animal for however long with zero return. Whatever that amounts to in lost feed and cow value has to be spread over the remainder of the herd.

    And don't any of you tell me it doesn't happen on your farm🤔
    One day I was talking to a old cowboy who calves cows for the neighbour and asked him how calving was going. He said between him, the coyotes, and the ravens they would get said neighbour’s cows calved out…………….

    Livestock eventually leads to deadstock 😉 Reply With Quote
  • 1 Like


  • Jan 3, 2022 | 03:23 18 I don’t know how a guy or gal does it on just cows. The industry hasn’t been stable or really all that profitable for decades. For someone in the chain to make a windfall someone needs to lose. It seems like the scales aren’t tipped in the cow calf direction. We used to background everything to 900# give or take. When barley and oats were near worthless you could value add the grain but that was about it most years. Odd year you’d make a profit over and above if lucky. My dad claims he made lots in the 70’s and 80’s but I sure as hell know he and I never made much after that. You would think if you grow the grain and can get good gains you should have an edge over a feedlot bringing in calves and grain but you get beat on the slide at auction and those wet noses aren’t a lot less than warmed up calves. The industry as it is is a game and a scam. More herds will shrink or disappear and the whole thing will be reduced to magpie meat and a few ornery assholes left hanging on. Reply With Quote
    Jan 3, 2022 | 08:17 19
    Quote Originally Posted by WiltonRanch View Post
    I don’t know how a guy or gal does it on just cows. The industry hasn’t been stable or really all that profitable for decades. For someone in the chain to make a windfall someone needs to lose. It seems like the scales aren’t tipped in the cow calf direction. We used to background everything to 900# give or take. When barley and oats were near worthless you could value add the grain but that was about it most years. Odd year you’d make a profit over and above if lucky. My dad claims he made lots in the 70’s and 80’s but I sure as hell know he and I never made much after that. You would think if you grow the grain and can get good gains you should have an edge over a feedlot bringing in calves and grain but you get beat on the slide at auction and those wet noses aren’t a lot less than warmed up calves. The industry as it is is a game and a scam. More herds will shrink or disappear and the whole thing will be reduced to magpie meat and a few ornery assholes left hanging on.
    I agree with you.
    However if you go to the Can Fax website you can see that they say that the cow-calf producer has been making money all along. 2021 was another profitable year for producers.
    I look at their cost of production numbers and shake my head. These are the people in charge of the industry! Clowns with calculators!
    A long time ago I was told "Figures don't lie but liars can figure". I do not trust the numbers that Canadian Cattlemen's or the Government uses. I don't know who they talk to to come up with the numbers they use. It is not anyone that I know.
    Canadian Cattlemen's and Provincial producer groups talk to Government with this skewed version of the industry and the Government loves it. No Government wants to be seen as increasing the price of food. If they have to starve every cow-calf producer out of business to keep Packer profits up and not appear to be increasing the price of food. Then that's what they will do!
    If you are struggling to hang on to the cows expecting a change in pricing due to short supply. Look carefully at the futures pricing. There is no increase priced into the futures that I see.
    What event will make a meaningful and real change for cow-calf producers? Reply With Quote
    Jan 3, 2022 | 12:58 20 Joe Biden says he os going to spend $1Billion
    To try encourage some new competion;

    As part of the plan, the US Department of Agriculture will provide up to $375 million in grants for independent processing plant projects, $275 million in partnership with lenders to provide loans and other support to businesses to increase access to capital, $100 million for workforce training, $50 million for technical assistance and research and development and $100 million to reduce overtime inspection costs to help smaller processing plants

    Large part of the sell is to reduce prices to the consumer as retail beef is up 20% y/y.

    Credit to them for admitting the problem and hope it does provide some indication of more competitive bidding for live cattle.

    Goverment involvement traditionally makes things worse. Regulation got us to where we are today.

    Wonder how much of that money the existing packers will take?
    Last edited by shtferbrains; Jan 3, 2022 at 13:00.
    Reply With Quote
    Jan 4, 2022 | 09:47 21 And compete the big packers will. Watch for crippling regulation that only the big packers can absorb. Here comes vertical integration for the beef industry.

    https://www.canadiancattlemen.ca/daily/biden-unveils-plan-to-boost-competition-in-u-s-meat-industry/?utm_source=GFM+Publications&utm_campaign=eda49c31 46-Canadian+Cattlemen+daily+enews+Jan+04%2C+2022&utm_ medium=email&utm_term=0_2da8244677-eda49c3146-88078981

    I don't know how to do the hot link anymore.
    Last edited by littledoggie; Jan 4, 2022 at 10:09.
    Reply With Quote
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  • Jan 4, 2022 | 11:08 22
    Quote Originally Posted by littledoggie View Post
    And compete the big packers will. Watch for crippling regulation that only the big packers can absorb. Here comes vertical integration for the beef industry.

    https://www.canadiancattlemen.ca/daily/biden-unveils-plan-to-boost-competition-in-u-s-meat-industry/?utm_source=GFM+Publications&utm_campaign=eda49c31 46-Canadian+Cattlemen+daily+enews+Jan+04%2C+2022&utm_ medium=email&utm_term=0_2da8244677-eda49c3146-88078981

    I don't know how to do the hot link anymore.
    I look at that as the opportunity they have been looking for to bring back COOL.
    The US Government already provides lots of support to the American Producer.Name:  NetFarmIncomewithandwithoutgovtpayments(full).jpg
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    Jan 4, 2022 | 14:25 23 I could see the Americans bringing back COOL again but it wouldn’t be as insidious as the government funding producer packing plants or feedlots with stipulation no Canadian origin cattle can go there. Much like the ev credit only applies USA made cars. That’s probably how they’ll do it to us this time. Reply With Quote
    Jan 4, 2022 | 15:16 24 And luckily for us, the same government is here to support us as the one during BSE. (sarc) Reply With Quote
    Jan 5, 2022 | 12:18 25
    Quote Originally Posted by The Don View Post
    I look at that as the opportunity they have been looking for to bring back COOL.
    The US Government already provides lots of support to the American Producer.Name:  NetFarmIncomewithandwithoutgovtpayments(full).jpg
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    Yes, some of the same characters involved as with RCALF. The US has a longer way to go to get to complete vertical integration. I don't think they even have mandatory RFIDs (or whatever technology). Canada is much, much closer. I was told by a top bureaucrat in Ottawa back in early BSE that vertical integration was the goal. Reply With Quote
    Jan 9, 2022 | 14:03 26 Came in from feeding this morning. -30 C with the wind felt like -40C.
    Just thinking that for every 50 cows the money you lose daily would pay for your stay in a place like this...Name:  grand-palladium.jpg
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Size:  20.4 KB The hardship is you would have to pay for drinks... Reply With Quote
  • 1 Like


  • Feb 12, 2022 | 08:05 27
    Quote Originally Posted by 15444 View Post
    Most areas of North America have been priced out of cattle production. Guys lied to themselves as to the viability of their operations by using off-farm income to subsidize the on-farm loss. That practice caught up to a lot of guys this year.

    It will be worse next year for guys that have a big bank note and only 1/2 the cows to pay for it. Is wifey going to be as understanding when hubby says they have to tighten their belt to pay the farm loan?

    There is a big exodus coming. Hoping it's just the older guys and not all the young ones, but the old guys are dropping dead and the young ones are flirting with bankruptcy.
    If there’s another big exodus who will be left? In our part of our RM it was probably 90 percent cattle farms, not big operations 50-150 head maybe. Off the top of my head there were 15 separate producers before BSE, then gradually they began to sell off and find something else to do. Right now there’s 2 producers left. Every acre that can grow grain or canola has been converted over. Cattle industry has been toast for quite a few years here. Reply With Quote

  • Feb 15, 2022 | 10:57 28 Carson Callum GM of Manitoba Beef Producers is optimistic for the beef sector according to the last Cattle Country paper I got. I don't see any factual evidence to support this optimism. Feeder cattle October 22 futures price 188.125 I think the 2021 price was around $156.00 That $30 is going for feed increases to the backgrounder. There will be no cash "trickle down" for the cow calf producers. If you fought the good fight and hung on to your cows and some calves the future price doesn't reflect the added costs you are carrying.
    The big dollars of cattle support dollars coming from the Federal and Provincial Governments is slow in coming. They have expanded the list of things they will pay for now. Why they didn't just pay it out based on the number of cattle you own is beyond me. I think the cost to administer the program is exceeding the pay out at this time so they had to sweeten the pot.
    There has been a steady drop in the number of producers in my neighborhood also. Looking back to 2014-15 the price jumped up (briefly) but if you bought in and expanded in 2016 you got caught. Paying then current prices for breeding stock cost you dearly and there was no money to pay for those animals going forward. The "cattle cycle" is not working. In the US government money has supported the cattle sector. In Canada there has been no such support that's one reason why the Canadian Beef sector has shrunk so much. Selling cattle in 2021 for the same price as in 1990 is not encouraging growth in the industry and it shouldn't. If you can produce a half a cereal crop and sell it you will make way more than feeding that to those cattle.
    They are already starting to beat the drum to get fresh blood into the business. When they publish the Cost of Production information they are way out to lunch. When you compare a producer that started in 1960 to that person you want to buy your operation in 2022 it's not going to work. They like to throw a bunch of numbers around using the B to the power of three principle. Bullshit Baffles Brains. I have never been able to make Manitoba Agriculture numbers make sense. They have shown a negative margin for the last number of years but they have understated the actual losses.
    Manitoba Beef Producers management keeps saying there are 6300 producers. If you look at the 2016 census data and do some basic math the current number is around 2400 or so (my opinion). That's why the countryside is staring to look real empty of cattle. I can't see the benefit of inflating the producer number.
    I keep waiting for reality to rear its ugly head and someone in a position of authority see the light.
    I'm not holding my breath.
    My cattle numbers have dropped in half this year and they will all be gone next year. I'm not interested in reliving 2016. Reply With Quote
    Feb 15, 2022 | 18:00 29 I thought I should back up the cattle producer number. This is a screen shot from Stats Canada.

    Name:  Cattle producer numbers 2016.jpg
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    Following this trend / pattern the 2400 number should be revised downward substantially. Reply With Quote
    Feb 17, 2022 | 19:37 30 Fuel, fertilizer, drought, equipment prices and rising interest rates for overleveraged producers are going to be the perfect storm in 2022.

    Be a lot of ag producers of all kinds exiting in the next year, not just cattle guys. Unless of course grain prices maintain and cattle increase 50% by fall. Even 50% might not be enough for some guys. Reply With Quote