Heavy Feeder Beef cattle gross margin budget

Farm enterprise Budget Series: June 2010

Enterprise: Young cattle (0-2 teeth)  Heavy feeder steers

Enterprise Unit: 100 cows

Pasture: Native pasture


Young cattle (0-2 teeth). Enterprise unit is 100 cows weighing on average 450 kg Weaning rate: 86%, conception rate 92%.

Selling costs include: Commission 3.5%, yard dues $3.00/hd, MLA levy $5/hd, average freight cost to sale yards $8.00/hd, NLIS tags @ $2.90 for all sale cattle. Cows: age at first calf : 24 months Mortality rate of adult stock: 2%

The average feed requirement of a cow + followers is rated at 16.94 dse’s*. This is an average figure and will vary during the year.

Marketing Information:

Steers suit feedlots , 150 days + on grain for mid range Japan 400kg-480kg entry weight. Most feedlots can take up to 4 tooth steers.A percentage may also suit the EU market if there is too much condition for the feedlot. Traditionally British breed types sourced for this market.

Cull heifer portion turned off as weaners into either store or fat markets.

Production Information:

Relevant to more inland areas without pasture improvement or use of fertilizer. The earlier calving needed for the restaurant trade enterprise is not required for the feeder trade. Note that herd structure table assumes a high culling rate in early years due to the culling of cows that are tested as empty (100% culling assumed on pregnancy test results), poor performers and off types.