Aaron Berger: Early marketing of open cows can earn producers extra dollars | TSLN.com

Aaron Berger: Early marketing of open cows can earn producers extra dollars

Producers can earn some extra profit each year by pregnancy-checking their cows earlier, and marketing the open ones sooner, a University of Nebraska Extension Educator told beef producers recently. Aaron Berger spoke about using early pregnancy detection as a management tool during a ranching for profitability seminar in Kimball, NE.

“Early pregnancy detection in replacement heifers or in the cow herd is a tool producers can use to increase profit,” Berger said. “Traditionally, cows and replacement heifers are pregnancy-tested in the fall of the year, and then open and cull cows are marketed at that time. This is traditionally the time of year when cull cow prices are at their lowest,” he said.

Berger said producers should consider pregnancy-testing cows sooner and marketing open cows in June, July and August when prices for cull cattle are at their highest. “The cow also starts losing her body condition score in late August when forage quality starts to decrease,” Berger explained. “I have found that a producer could potentially earn a profit of $100 more per head by marketing his open cows in August versus late-October.”

In addition, Berger said by selling those cattle sooner, producers can save feed and other expenses that could be utilized elsewhere. In an example, Berger estimated a 1,250-pound cow at 55 cents per hundredweight on Aug. 25 to be worth $688. On Oct. 25, that same cow would weigh 1,200 pounds at 48 cents per hundredweight and only be worth $576 – a difference of $112. For the earlier selling cow, Berger also added $40 for the savings of two months pasture rent, which brought the total premium to $152 a head. Depending upon the age of the calf she was raising, producers may have to supplement it, which could cost about $45, but that still leaves a profit of $107 net potential for that open cow by selling her early, Berger explained.

“For ranches that calve cows in February, March and early April, there is an opportunity to market April and May calving cows at a premium compared to opens,” he explained. “For example, if the bulls are put with the cows May 15 through August 15 for a 90-day breeding season, the cows could be pregnancy-checked on September 15 and the opens sold in September prior to the major price decline.”

Producers can earn some extra profit each year by pregnancy-checking their cows earlier, and marketing the open ones sooner, a University of Nebraska Extension Educator told beef producers recently. Aaron Berger spoke about using early pregnancy detection as a management tool during a ranching for profitability seminar in Kimball, NE.

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“Early pregnancy detection in replacement heifers or in the cow herd is a tool producers can use to increase profit,” Berger said. “Traditionally, cows and replacement heifers are pregnancy-tested in the fall of the year, and then open and cull cows are marketed at that time. This is traditionally the time of year when cull cow prices are at their lowest,” he said.

Berger said producers should consider pregnancy-testing cows sooner and marketing open cows in June, July and August when prices for cull cattle are at their highest. “The cow also starts losing her body condition score in late August when forage quality starts to decrease,” Berger explained. “I have found that a producer could potentially earn a profit of $100 more per head by marketing his open cows in August versus late-October.”

In addition, Berger said by selling those cattle sooner, producers can save feed and other expenses that could be utilized elsewhere. In an example, Berger estimated a 1,250-pound cow at 55 cents per hundredweight on Aug. 25 to be worth $688. On Oct. 25, that same cow would weigh 1,200 pounds at 48 cents per hundredweight and only be worth $576 – a difference of $112. For the earlier selling cow, Berger also added $40 for the savings of two months pasture rent, which brought the total premium to $152 a head. Depending upon the age of the calf she was raising, producers may have to supplement it, which could cost about $45, but that still leaves a profit of $107 net potential for that open cow by selling her early, Berger explained.

“For ranches that calve cows in February, March and early April, there is an opportunity to market April and May calving cows at a premium compared to opens,” he explained. “For example, if the bulls are put with the cows May 15 through August 15 for a 90-day breeding season, the cows could be pregnancy-checked on September 15 and the opens sold in September prior to the major price decline.”

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