Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, April 01, 2000, Image 157

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    Acting Bigger Could Benefit
Ohio Beef Producers
COLUMBUS, Ohio beef pro
ducers who want to remain prof
itable without increasing the
size of their herds could try act
ing bigger, said Jeff
McCutcheon, agriculture and
natural resources agent at the
Perry County office of Ohio
State University Extension.
By working together and
agreeing to follow similar man
agement practices, beef produc
ers located near each other could
cut production costs by buying
supplies in bulk and increase
prices received by selling larger
combined loads of uniform
calves, McCutcheon said.
Several groups of Ohio farm
ers are trying to do just that,
including the Ohio Pro-Beef
Alliance formed in February.
McCutcheon points to a group in
Virginia - the Buckingham
County Cattlemen’s Association
- as an example of what Ohio’s
groups might achieve.
“The group’s average cowherd
size is about 30 head, and many
members are only part-time
operators,” McCutcheon said.
“By the early 1990’5, several
members were faced with the
The 6100 Series Rigid And
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Precision farming starts with
precision seed placement. And
that’s exactly what you’ll get with
the White 6100 Series planters.
Our pull-type planters feature an
exclusive air-metering system that’s
designed to singulate every seed.
Its low air pressure, edge-drop seed
discs and short, 18” seed drop
ensure precise seed placement for
maximum germination.
Adaptable To Any
Tillage Situation.
Our 4,6,8 and 12 row planters have
the flexibility to meet most tillage
decision of getting bigger or get
ting out of cattle. The group
decided its biggest asset was vol
ume buying power.”
They began to co-purchase
mineral supplements, vaccina
tions, ultrasound pregnancy
checks and a breeding package
in bulk, which dropped their
individual costs, he said.
“For example, the group
began to buy 74 tons of mineral
supplements at $l2 a bag when
they started several years ago,
and today they’re up to 180 tons
at $6 a bag,” McCutcheon said.
Four years age, the Virginia
group began marketing its
calves in combined trailer loads
of 50,000 pounds, a weight that
optimizes transportation costs
and is preferred by most mar
kets, he said. Each load of calves
fits within a 150 pound weight
range, is quality assured and
graded by a Virginia
Department of Agriculture live
stock grader, and has similar
health and genetics.
“Like most feeder calf produc
ers, they used to haul their cat
tle to the local livestock market,
have them sorted by weight,
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grade and color, and sell them
for whatever price they could
get,” McCutcheon said. “The
group now commingles loads of
feed calves and sells by tele-auc
tion. If they had stayed indepen
dent with a 30-cow herd aver
age, none of them could have
filled a 50,000-pound trailer
load with feeder calves.”
The group has reaped about
$5O per head premium on 500-
pound to 599-pound steers by
using this marketing method, he
“If Ohio producers can agree
on similar management prac
tices, breeding packages and
suppliers while avoiding person
ality conflicts, they could experi
ence similar success by acting
bigger,” McCutcheon said.
Many of Ohio’s beef produc
ers are in a similar situation as
the Virginia producers. About 95
percent of Ohio’s 17,000 beef
operations have fewer than 50
cows and, working alone, cannot
buy in bulk or fill a uniform,
50,000-pound trailer load, he
Twenty producers from
Pickaway, Ross, Hocking, Scioto,
Lftg co ) PLANTERS
Pike and Highland counties are
members of the Ohio Pro-Beef
Alliance, and other similar
groups are forming in Wood and
Carroll counties.
We’re in a membership mode
right now, trying to get more
producers to participate,” said
Mike Estadt, agriculture and
natural resources agent at the
Pickaway County office of Ohio
State University Extension who
helped create the Ohio Pro-Beef
Alliance. “We’ve got about, 1000
cows, but we’d like to see 3,000
in the alliance.”
The group already orga
nized a mineral purchase and
plans to but seed, medications
and other inputs in bulk to take
advantage of economies of scale,
Estadt said.
“The input savings are there,
but the real benefit should be in
the marketing of 50,000-pound
lots of calves with similar,
known genetics, a small weight
range, and the same vaccina
tions and weaning procedures,”
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Lincoln Supply
Lancaster Farming, Saturday, April 1, 2000-D5
he said. “We expect that calves
marketed through the alliance
will be worth more than calves
going through the weekly sales.”
It is hard to say what the
financial benefits of group mar
keting could be, but a similar
program in lowa has earned
about $l5 to $25 more per head,
Estadt said.
By combining their resources,
the members of the Ohio Pro-
Beef Alliance also hope to
improve herd genetics through
artificial insemination and the
use of top performing bulls, and
use the latest technologies for
record keeping and performance
and carcass data collection.
For more information about
the Ohio beef groups forming to
explore the advantages of acting
bigger, contact Estadt at (740)
474-7534, Ray Wells at the Ross
County Extension office at (740)
702-3200, Dan Frobose at the
Wood County Extension office at
(419) 354-9050, or Mike Hogan
at the Carroll County Extension
office at (330) 627- 4310.
Mon., Tues.,
Wed., Fri.
8 AM to 5 PM
7 AM to 5 PM