On October 3, 2011 we sold our 2010 calf crop thru the Joplin Stockyards. We sold 353 head of source and age verified B2B calves (we actually sold 365 but 12 were my dad's), a handful came from Sullingers but those are offset by the handful that we didn't get to Joplin because they were left at the Goat Ranch on the neighbors. We will hopefully catch them soon and get them merchandised. Anyway, to keep things simple, let's just agree that we had 353 calves weaned off of the Goat Ranch this year. Those calves included all of the calves that we purchased on the Arkansas heifers and all of the calves that we early weaned and moved to Mickeys for several months. If you recall, those 353 calves were weaned from just over 600 head of bred cows/heifers, an absolutely horrible wean percentage. Scours killed over 200 head of calves in 2010 (you can read all about it in earlier blog posts). The 353 head we sold weighed an average of 568 lbs, brought $1.385 per pound for a total gross of $277,698. After hauling and selling expenses they netted $266,155 for an average net of $753.98 per head. I think it's pretty incredible to be able to gross $277K from around 1500 acres (several hundred acres of that is woods)....while at the same time it's pretty sad to think that the 200 head of calves that died from scours would have meant an extra $150,000 in my pocket. To think we could have earned this type of money from a measly 1500 acres is just astounding...we still did pretty damn good. Had we not tried to mob graze, we would have likely had only 350-400 head of cows and so would have weaned off a very similar number of calves. All in all, this has been a pretty good year. If you aren't lining your pockets in this market, you need to find something else to do.
Our calves likely had an average birth date of May 15th, 2010. So the calves were 16.5 months old when we sold them and weighed 568 lbs. That's just embarrassing. Yeah it was crazy hot and they didn't have the best forage thru the summer but holy crap that's bad. I'm excited to get back to mob grazing some stockers. Don't worry, there will still be plenty of stuff that I will post that will make you all feel very good about your own operations.