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Planning for a Stocker Operation – Homework To Do If You’re Considering This Option

By   /  February 24, 2020  /  3 Comments

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Blake Allen follows up on his first article about switching to and running a stocker operation, goin
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About the author

I was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina, however my dad and his brothers still owned the family farm where they were raised about 30 minutes from our house. I spent most of my weekends and summers growing up helping various family members and friends on their farms. I became interested in buying some cattle of my own when I was about 13, so dad and I rebuilt the fences and cleared off the overgrown brush on our farm. When I was a freshman in high school, I bought my first 10 cows with money I had saved over the years. We kept about 60 brood cows between the two of us, made hay all summer, fed hay all winter, and lost money all year like most folks around us did. I graduated from North Carolina State University with a degree in Agricultural Business Management in 2017, a couple of years after losing my father to cancer. Since then I have restructured my operation into one that focuses on buying livestock that will increase in value with good forage and a little management, and have found much more satisfaction through this method than I did with our old ways.

3 Comments

  1. chad beachy says:

    Hey Blake, nice to see a fellow North Carolinian on here. Your dead right about cattle prices being low in the fall here. I run a nursery pig operation here in the eastern part of the state and run cattle on the waste application fields. I held my spring born calves till late winter this year and vaccinated with Triangle 10 and Vision 7 plus wormed them before sale. They had been weaned about 5 months. The steers brought about $.50/ lb. more than the calves Dad sold in the late summer/ fall. So I think you are right on course. Our pasture is bermuda with winter annual overseed for comparison. I grazed corn stalks with a lot of volunteer corn in them last year also.
    Your dead right on thinking things out also. If you haven’t already, I would recommend reading Management Intensive Grazing and Year Around Grazing both by Jim Gerrish as they are very insightful and a good step toward profitability.
    Nice to see another young man farming against the odds, Chad

  2. Barry Weigle says:

    Blake, I’m brand new to the cattle business. I so new in fact that I’m still working on getting some property leased.
    Reading your articles are making me think about a start up stocker operation on the 33 acres I’m trying to lease. I;m from NE Ohio so I would probably be a spring to Dec. operation.
    Here is the newbie question , Where would be the best place for me to look at to sell off these stockers in the late fall? Thanks Barry

  3. Paul Nehring says:

    Blake,
    I appreciate your effort in taking the time write the follow-articles to your first one. Your system or managing the stocker operation is what makes it profitable. You’ve clearly invested the time, and money into learning how to create a system that works.

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