Planning Considerations Grazing forage and/or hay needs


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Planning Considerations

  • Grazing forage and/or hay needs.

  • Use within your operation.

  • Site selection - livestock fence and water development.

  • Forage type and establishment.

  • Economics.



Management Considerations

  • Seeding and establishment.

  • Livestock fence & water development.

  • Irrigation.

  • Fertilization.

  • Grazing management.



Forages for Irrigated Pasture







Species and Variety Evaluation – North Platte



Species and Variety Evaluation – North Platte



Irrigated pasture mixture: Example 1



Establishing Irrigated Pasture



Irrigation Management



Average monthly precipitation North Platte and Torrington.



Irrigation Management

  • Irrigation: 16 - 20“ /growing season (North Platte). Irrigation + rainfall: 32 – 36“.

  • Crop water use: 0.20 to 0.35 inches/day.

  • Applications at higher frequency (5 - 12 days); lesser amounts (0.50” – 1.00”).

  • Generally applied after a paddock has been grazed.





Fertilization

  • Seasonal-split applications: 50% early spring, 25% in summer, and 25% in fall.

  • Spoon-feeding split applications.

  • Applications timed with forage-need.





At least 5 to 6 pastures (paddocks).

  • At least 5 to 6 pastures (paddocks).

  • 28 to 35 day rest periods.

  • Flexibility in pasture movements, haying, stocking.





Using stubble height as a guide for paddock moves.



Effect of clipping stubble height on fall tiller density of 3 irrigated, cool-season perennial grasses, North Platte, 2002.





Grazing Strategies



Grazing Strategies



Grazing Strategies



Economic Considerations

  • Pasture establishment and development costs

  • Annual operating costs for grazing and maintaining pasture

  • Valuing the production and comparison to other alternative uses

  • Impact on farm program payments

  • Evaluating irrigated pasture in a system



First-year seeding and pasture establishment costs for a 130-acre pivot.1



First-year fencing and livestock water development costs for a 130-acre pivot



Annual fertilizer and irrigation costs for a 130-acre pivot pasture



Total operating and amortized costs for 130-acre pivot pasture—No land, overhead or management costs (long recovery)



Total operating and amortized costs for 130-acre pivot pasture—No land, overhead or management costs (short recovery)



Value of AUM

  • Rental value

    • @ $20/Cow-calf pair. CC pair = 1.4 AUMs so that translates to $14.29/AUM
    • @$30/CC pair = $21.43/AUM
  • Feed value based on drylot feeding of Alfalfa diet

    • Hay only @ $90/ton = $1.14/hd/day for a dry cow or $0.95/aud or $28.50/AUM (dry cow = 1.2 AU)


Value of AUM

  • Pounds of gain for yearlings

    • Research at North Platte over 3 years
    • Yearlings averaged 1.75 lb/head/day for about 150 days or about 668 lb/acre
    • In some years did see 2 lb/head/day gain for the 150 days or about 800 lb/acre


Value of Gain (1.75 lb/hd/d) for E.WY & W. NE Prices 1992-2001

  • Value--May = $88.77/cwt x 6.06 cwt = $538

    • Interest cost for 5 months @ 5% = 11
      • Total Cost of steer onto grass = $549
  • Value Sept/Oct = $75.44/cwt x 8.66 cwt = $653

  • Gain in value = $653 - $549 = $104/hd

  • Value of gain/pound = $104/260 = $0.40/lb



Value of Gain (2 lb/hd/d) for Average Prices 1992-2001

  • Value--May = $88.77/cwt x 6.06 cwt = $538

    • Interest cost for 5 months @ 5% = 11
      • Total Cost of steer onto grass = $549
  • Value Sept/Oct $73.51/cwt x 9.06 cwt = $666

  • Gain in value = $666 - $549 = $117/hd

  • Value of gain/pound = $117/300 = $0.39/lb



Gross return comparisons



Other Crop Comparison



Short-term net returns



Pasture and the Farm Program

  • Two types of standard payments

    • Direct payment (DP)
    • Counter cyclical payment (CCP)
  • Both are based on the base acreage in the farm and the payment yield

  • Base is your historical base that existed prior to the new bill or your updated base which depends on actual plantings 1998-2001



Pasture and the Farm Program

  • Neither base figure will be impacted by irrigated pasture unless you had some in the 1998-2001 time period and then only if you update.

  • Payment yields are as you had prior to 2002 bill or as you update based on 1998-2001

  • Makes no difference what you plant. Still get these payments if available



Loan and Loan Deficiency Payment (LDP)

  • Must have crop to receive so in times of low corn and wheat prices, growing another crop e.g. irrigated pasture will impact your payments

  • Loan rates

    • Corn & sorghum--$1.98 will drop to $1.95 in 2004
    • Wheat--$2.80 will drop to $2.75 in 2004
  • Remember, if LDP is in effect, prices for these commodities are low!



Evaluating irrigated pasture in a cow-calf system

  • Use partial budgeting procedure

  • Estimate number of cows to be carried with and without irrigated pasture

    • Examine forage requirements and availability by time period
    • If irrigated pasture fills a shortage in your forage availability the number of animals should be affected
  • Estimate the change in costs of cow-calf enterprise due to the irrigated pasture



Evaluating Irrigated Pasture in a Cow-calf System

  • Estimate change in total returns WITH the irrigated grass

    • May increase number of cows that can be carried in total
    • May increase productivity of cows (weaning rates and/or weaning weight)
    • May reduce costs of heifer development
  • Compare the change in returns to change in costs see if irrigated pasture pays its way.



Evaluating Irrigated Pasture in a Cow-calf System

  • If change in returns exceed change in costs then adding an irrigated pasture may make sense

  • Also look at cash flow of developing pasture

    • Can I cash flow the establishment costs?
    • What about costs of expanding cow operation if that is involved?


THANK YOU! (More discussion at the Bull-Pen session this evening)




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