Making the Business of Backgrounding Work For You

Readers have asked for more information about running stocker operations. So here's Blake Allen with another in his series. Blake says that stockers aren't for everyone, and that cow calf operations are very important. If that includes you, read on with an eye towards how you might implement some of what Blake explains here. Then check out the link to John Marble's article and some thoughts to improve margins for cow calf operators too. “Backgrounding” generally refers to buying feeder cattle, grouping them together and adding value through weaning, weight gain, improving health status, quality, or any other type of improvement. One of the things I like about this segment of the beef industry is that most of the people who are in it are in it to make money. In contrast, if you’re running strictly cow calf, you have a lot of competitors who don’t care so much about making money. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had someone with 30 or 40 cows tell me that there isn’t any money to be made with cattle, so they don’t even try. They just do it because they like having cows, or they need them to keep agricultural use tax status on their land. Those people keep the price of land rent, feed, hay, equipment, and replacement cows and bulls inflated with other sources of income. If you’re buying calves, straightening them out, and caring for them until time to sell, chances are you’re in it to make a profit. So are the people you’re competing with to

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One thought on “Making the Business of Backgrounding Work For You

  1. Thank you for the informative article Blake.
    We are currently a small cow calf operation with minimal facilities…no working corral system yet.

    We have considered stockers however, we are concerned about death loss and we have no processing facilities, such as corrals, scales, squeeze chute, feed bunks etc. Seems like it might require a significant capital investment?

    Could offer some guidance in that regard.

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