With the fall calf run underway, cow-calf producers are rejoicing over the dramatic improvement in prices. However, there is still very little profit. The Western Beef Development Centre has been doing an extensive cost of production analysis with producers and they’ve just published the 2008 results. A total of 18 Saskatchewan herds were used for the analysis. The average herd size was 241 cows. The average weaning weight was 545 pounds and the average weaning percentage was 89 per cent. The average price back in 2008 was only 97 cents a pound. The breakeven point if you include the value of unpaid labour was $1.21 a pound. Thus there was an average loss of $110 per cow. Taking unpaid labour out of the mix, the loss per cow was still over $70. Prices this fall are a lot better than they were in ’08, but assuming the costs are similar, producers are on average going to be making a profit of only a few cents per pound. Higher cost producers will still be losing money. Producers need even better values for their calves to be making much money. Check out the cost of production analysis on the website of the Western Beef Development Centre (www.wbdc.sk.ca).
I’m Kevin Hursh.
DynAgra, an independent Western Canada-based Company, is dedicated to providing growers with the tools to manage the risk and maximize the profitability of their farm business through the continued innovation of agricultural products and services. We are committed to developing and providing growers with the latest in precision agronomics, variable rate technology, soil fertility, crop protection, fertilizers, custom application and financial solutions.