2012 Price of Hog Feed

February 6, 2012

I did some figurin’ on hog feed prices.  I like to do this every year.  The current prices I’m using include: corn $.10/lb, soybean meal $.17/lb, pig premix $.40/lb, sow premix $.49/lb.  This is using $5.60 per bushel corn and $340/ton soybean meal.

I put 150 lbs. of sow premix in every ton of sow feed and 100 lbs. of pig premix in every ton of pig feed.

The sow gestation ration uses 250 lbs of soybean meal per ton.  The sow lactation ration uses 540 lbs of soybean meal per ton.  So if you do all the math, gestation ration is $.14/lb and lactation ration is $.15/lb.

The pig rations use anywhere from 250 lbs of soybean meal per ton for the largest pigs to 600 lbs of soybean meal per ton for the smallest pigs.  I adjust the amount of soybean meal based on my feed budget and the size of the pigs.

After all the math, the cheapest ration for the largest pigs is $.12/lb and the most expensive ration for the smallest pigs is $.15/lb, with the in between rations falling in between.

There are more expensive rations for smaller pigs, but with my new farrowing system I plan to let the piglets nurse longer, thereby eliminating the need for the more expensive starter pig diets.

These rations are near the historical highs, but not quite as high as last year.  I think these prices are the new normal and we will learn to live with them.

I plan on experimenting with more grazing and feeding forages and alternative feedstuffs this year.  I’ll have feed and production records to analyze next year at this time.

November 2011, Cull Cow Prices

November 25, 2011

We had a vet pregnancy check our cows.  We do this every year so we can sell the cows that aren’t bred, (open).  Winter hay costs are the most expensive part of keeping cattle, so it makes sense to sell before winter.

We sorted out five old cows to sell at the local sale barn.  In addition to selling open cows, we also sell old cows when it looks like they’ll have a difficult winter.  We want them to live a quality life, free from undue hardship.

These cows were going to be eleven next spring.  It was bittersweet selling them, because they were some of the first offspring after we started using Red Angus bulls in the year 2000.  They have been fine cows, raising a calf every year for the past nine years.  Before I become too pensive, here is their market information:

Weight Price per pound Total dollars
1385 .67 928
1365 .62 846
1355 .63 854
1325 .62 822
1215 .665 808

These are historically high prices for cull cows.  I can remember years when we received $400 for a cull cow.