Hay & Forage Forum banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
we have been selling corn finished beef the last couple years, and demand has been going up thankfully.

With corn going thru the roof, im wondering how I can lower the feed bill but still produce good beef.

I have thought about drilling sorghum/Sudan and a warm season legume, and rotating thr beef animals across it. Still giving them some corn twice a day. Also thought about crabgrass and a legume. This would be drilled into existing pasture and grazed intensively.

I remember reading about 4 and 5 lbs ADG on some annual forage combinations.

Anyone have any thoughts to add to this?

Animals are around 1000 pounds, have 4 months to get them finished.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,352 Posts
I am in exactly the same situation. The steers are the same weight, and on the same timeline with a Sept date.
Here's the difference. You are feeding with profit in mind and I'm feeding for flavor. Toward that end in not sure I'll be of any help.
I have mine on all you can eat grass, supplemental alfalfa, and several pounds of sweet feed morning and night. That's corn, oats, barley, and molasses for those not familiar.
I bought the 1700# tote bag of wet Cobb for $350. Again, price is of little concern to me. Marbling and flavor make all the difference.
 

·
Junior Member
Joined
·
235 Posts
I have frass finished on sudan before . But would suggest putting some dryer , if that makes since , grass in with it . I had cow peas and clover in with it but learned to keep a roll of hay with them to keep everything from just running thru the back end . Maybe some teff or something might help .

Just to ask , If people like your beef , why not just charge more to pay for the corn ? Thats what the grocery store is going to do .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
418 Posts
There are grass finishers in Texas finishing on nothing but crabgrass. It has a milder flavor than other forages. 2-2.5 lbs a day are not uncommon. If you decide to use crabgrass use a combination of them, for example Quik n Big comes on early grows fast but fizzles out around the first of Aug. Red River starts slow but last until late fall. This is a one time planting if you manage it right and let them go to seed once, and the cattle will consume it even with seed heads on. There is also other varieties like Mojo and Impact fairly recent releases.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited by Moderator)
I am thinking of profits for sure. But have to make some good beef too.

Have been feeding 20 lbs corn for 100 to 150 days to finish them the last few years. Meat has been beautiful.

Was 185 per ton last year. Its 300 right now. Feed guy said expect it to keep increasing. Im keeping a sharp pencil and telling customers that we aren't sure what the price is going to be. Everything is going up.

On the crabgrass, I have a broadcast seeder, heavy drag, disc harrow, and a cultipacker. If it were broadcast onto overgrazed pasture and scratched in. Would it come in?

Have only ever seeded ryegrass into existing pasture. Did the way I described. Results were good though.

Crabgrass seems easier than Sudan or sorghum. I'd prefer Johnson grass to either of those I think. But don't know where you get seed.
 

·
Member
Joined
·
3,916 Posts
Johnson grass will not hold up to grazing much. Cows love it and they do well on JG.

We have slaughter slots for 4 this September. They are for family and friends. The price is cost plus. These people know they are getting a custom product. We buy the steers and they pay up front for theirs. We order a creep feed and use a self feeder. They eat a lot at first then taper off.
We haul to the processor and the buyer selects the cuts and pays that bill when they pick it up. What we are doing now cut out the headaches we encountered when we prices it lock and key a few years ago. No more dealing with a person upset with the difference between hanging weight and packaged.
We may expand on this niche market in the future. Guaranteed profit and we are not doing well in the cow/calf business these days.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
There are two routes: finishing cattle with corn might increase your profit but exposes you to a new risk: corn prices. So, your first option would be planting corn and making corn silage. Second option is choosing lower framed genetics that can thrive and finish in a grass only diet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,925 Posts
I just had a Angus/Longhorn steer processed that only had grass that tastes a lot better/more tender & definitely ""cheaper"" than some meat purchased a local grocery stores.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
I just had a Angus/Longhorn steer processed that only had grass that tastes a lot better/more tender & definitely ""cheaper"" than some meat purchased a local grocery stores.
Frankly, I don’t see how a cow calf operation can be profitable with 0,55 cents a pound on one end and rising corn prices on the other. Glad I’m not raising cattle in the US…
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,925 Posts
A beef cattle producer can't survive selling calves at $0.55 per #. Inputs are too high. Thankfully I've sold some other calves recently for as high as $1.48 per #. The real kick in the livestock producers teeth is the amount of PROFIT PER HEAD that large meat processing plants are making. BTW our """good $$$$$ sucking politicians"" are attempting to correct this major problem.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top