Now that corn is $4 and rising

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by FarmboyBill, Dec 4, 2006.

  1. FarmboyBill

    FarmboyBill Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I am wonder ing what effect that rise will be to raising livestock as we know it. I look for corn to be grown further North, South and West than its ever been grown thereby supplimenting and shortening the yield of those crops normally grown. I mean, corn CAN be grown here in NE Okla, but all ranchers that grow anything here grow wheat and turn the cows out on it, and if the field is in any condition for thrashing, then theyll sometimes do that, sometimes bale it. OK, so more corn is going to be grown, but its going to be put into the gas tank, which will make any that is available for feeding to cost as much as the refineries are going to pay for it. It seems that that will make hog raising as a part of farming not viable even to those who raise their own corn, as theyll make as much and probably more by just selling the corn direct. I think that grassland fed cows will be the major way of feeding cows with little grain fed. BUT, some grasses also can be made into gas, and so the same thing takes place with the cost of hay, which is $50 and more a big bale here already. And people cant even find enough of it at that price. Will that drive livestock raising down to just what a farmer needs for his immeadiate needs? If so, then livestock prices will go up to whatever amount a city person feels like paying, but most will curtail their meat purchases id thinkcausing again a slump on that market. Limited animals for slaughter, Limited people wanting to pay high prices for the meat. Seems like every acre ttat can be put into corn, pasture, marginal, ect, will be, and livestock raising will suffer because of it. What do you see?
     
  2. KoehlerHills

    KoehlerHills Western Wisconsin

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    hhmmm. I see what your saying.
    In the short term (which could be many many years) I would suspect that the refineries may (or do already) only purchase a minimum amount at a time.
    This will mean that you have to be a big time farmer or a co-op to even sell to them.
    This will still leave many folks with corn for sale who are either too far away, too small , can't or won't join with others or....who knows.
    I also would imagine that there will be some sort of corn that is preferred for fuel ( if there isn't already) vs feeding.
    BUt back to your question of how this will effect the cost of raising animals.....I think it'll be ok....but then again I'm the ever optimist..;-)
    Grasses that can be made into fuel I think are of little concern....look how long it took for corn to catch on, and how slowly its comming.
    *shrug*
    Lots to ponder, thanks for the food for thought!
     

  3. 65284

    65284 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The corn isn't totally used up in the ethanol making process, simply put the starch is extracted. There is a lot of residue left "distillers grain" it's excellent feed.
     
  4. Explorer

    Explorer Well-Known Member Supporter

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    In the ethanol production process, after a grain's starch is converted to ethanol through fermentation, the remaining nutrients, including proteins, fats, fiber, minerals and vitamins, are concentrated into what is called wet distillers grain (WDG). WDG is an outstanding, high-protein feed for dairy and beef cattle, poultry, and swine. Its high digestibility, energy, content and higher fat content yield greater milk production than other feeds such as soybean meal or canola meal. Beef cattle have shown faster and more efficient weight gains due to its digestibility, energy content, and palatability.
     
  5. rabbitgal

    rabbitgal Ex-homesteader

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    Interesting...

    Look on the bright side: if grain prices skyrocket, maybe more people will turn to grassfed meats. (It's supposed to be more healthful for you.) :shrug:
     
  6. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    I really think that there may already be more ethanol production than people are aware of.

    As an example, Kansas currently has 7 ethanol plants churning out production with capacity of 172.6 million gallons annually.

    There are another 5 plants currently under construction that have a projected output of 276 million gallons annually.

    In addition to the current production and plants being built, there are another 16 proposed plants many of which will be funded and built. Quite a number of them each have a proposed production of 100 million gallons annually while several don't list capacity potential. The ones that do list potential show another 832 million gallons of production.

    I'm not worrying about grain production nearly as much as I am worrying about water usage. My thoughts---give us a big handful of money and a semi load of good water and well give you a semi load of ethanol.

    Spent mash disposal----Kansas is full of feed yards and will no doubt be easily able to take care of it.

    We'll sell your restaurants beef and you the fuel to go purchase it by the platter.
     
  7. AnnaS

    AnnaS Well-Known Member

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    The real problem is not refineries. It's the 4 month drought most of the corn belt/midwest had this year. In my area, if you did not irrigate, you did not get any corn.

    Corn prices will be like any year. Last fall, they were so low it was more expensive to harvest and sell than to plow down/graze down. After this year with prices going high, everyone will be planting corn, resulting in a surplus, driving prices down.

    I've reformulated my grain for barley and distilled brewers grains, which are still reasonable.
     
  8. MoBarger

    MoBarger Goat's Milk soap for sale

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    I read this weekend that the price of Black Oil sunflower seeds has risen this year as well (I feed it to my poultry and goats in the winter).
    Why you may wonder? Because companies like Frito Lay have switched to frying their snacks in sunflower oil! No lie!

    I have also read that because of the higher prices of grains, the price of beef is falling. Feed lots don't want to keep more stock and spend more on feed.
     
  9. TheBlueOne

    TheBlueOne Well-Known Member

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    The last issue of "Successful Farmer" magazine mentioned that things are getting in line for $7 corn. In 2005 ethanol absorbed 15% of the corn harvest, 2006 it is estimated it will take 20%.
     
  10. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ah, that issue of Successful Farming would be of intrest to most around here - had stories on NAIS, ethanol, bio-diesel, wind, & a number of other things discussed on these forums.

    Anyhow, I remember back in the early 90s, when corn hit $5.00 in fall, they proclaimed we were at a new plateau, corn would never be under $3 a bu again.

    The next year, I was seling corn for $1.40 a bu.

    Corn dropped about a dime Monday. I'm sure it will bump around a bit for the next month, and early spring will be some spikes up for weather scares. but, we will be awash in corn next fall unless there is a _major_ drought.

    --->Paul
     
  11. GeorgiaberryM

    GeorgiaberryM Well-Known Member

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    We've been paying $5 for 50lbs for a while. It was $4 last year. We buy a blend of ground corn and extruded soy to 15% protein for 200/ton. I think they are ripping us off, but it is as cheap as we can get it. The drought has been bad for 2 years and last year they even shut of the irrigation for rice, 2 years of almost nothing for the big guys and a nasty hit for the little ones without irrigation. We grow a lot if not most of what our animals eat so the rising prices don't really have too much effect on us. I'd bet that the rising prices will affect livestock prices though, which could be good for us on the sale end.

    'Usband O'G
     
  12. tiogacounty

    tiogacounty Well-Known Member

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    Ah, the voice of reason. There is a really intelligent and experienced farmer (here on the forum) that wrote a detailed explaination of where corn prices have been for the last thirty years, why they are not going to stay high for long, and who is going to take a beating when they drop. This is not oil. It is not a finite resource. It spikes, the next year everybody that can, will plant as much corn as they can , and the market will crash. All the vultures, I mean speculative investors, will get a royal spanking and leave the market. We return to the status quo, farmers starve, multinational agribusiness makes all the profit, and the cycle continues. Anybody who wants to spin a different story needs to study history.
     
  13. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    Perhaps I should mention that a lot of the ethanol production in Kansas will be from the grain sorghum milo instead of corn. It grows with less water needs and dryland farms can easily grow it. I read a month or so ago that there was actually a benefit to using milo instead of corn, but don't remember what the edge was now.

    The majority of the big feedlots are simply a business. They feed other peoples cattle for a price. They may or may not have any of their own cattle in the pens to be fed. While grain can be contracted for in advance and the futures market can basically pre sell the finished product, it is the weather that plays a pivotal role in profit or loss.
     
  14. hillsidedigger

    hillsidedigger Well-Known Member

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    The high grain yields from the Midwest and Great Plains of the last 40 years are temporary, such yields will not be the norm in the coming decades, so the contribution to the overall energy stocks from ethanol will be minor.
     
  15. ceresone

    ceresone Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Checked the price of horse and chicken feed lately? already wondering how i'm going to do it---
     
  16. Jennifer L.

    Jennifer L. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have a chance to pre-pay some of my dairy cattle feed with Blue Seal. They do it every year but I've never bothered with it, and never had that much leftover money around, anyway, but this might be the year to do it if the price is skyrocketing. Plus they give you %5 interest and I don't think the banks hardly do that right now.

    Jennifer
     
  17. dcross

    dcross Well-Known Member Supporter

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    <<The last issue of "Successful Farmer" magazine mentioned that things are getting in line for $7 corn>>

    Reminds me of the "Beans in the teens" cries in the 80's or early 90's. Production came up, prices went down.

    <<The high grain yields from the Midwest and Great Plains of the last 40 years are temporary, such yields will not be the norm in the coming decades, so the contribution to the overall energy stocks from ethanol will be minor.>>

    Yep, just to much fossil fuel use in corn production. Oil isn't going down in the long term.
     
  18. GeorgiaberryM

    GeorgiaberryM Well-Known Member

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    Jennifer L.

    Just make sure you buy when the price is low. Not right now.

    'Usband o'G
     
  19. arabian knight

    arabian knight Miniature Horse lover Supporter

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    I think it is great. Farmers do deserve to make a profit every 10 to 12 years :rolleyes:
    Even though my feed costs for my critters just went up 5 dollars a month big deal. At least farmers now are making more. Good For Them, And Go Ethanol good for the country also.