SD Ranchers Loss Nearly $100 per Cow in 2016


Agweek reports: 

After losing nearly $100 per cow, one Brule County, S.D. rancher has become disheartened with the industry. 

“You can't control the weather and you can't control the markets, so you just deal with it as it comes,” said Gary Hoing, who farms about eight miles northeast of Kimball.

According to the South Dakota Center for Farm/Ranch Management (SDCFRM) at Mitchell Technical Institute, the average producer in the program lost $97.32 per cow in 2016. Hoing said his losses were in that range, too, and it may take 10 years to make up the difference.

The average operation earned a profit of $152.23 per cow the year before, and SDCFRM instructor Lori Tonak said the cattle market is still shaken by recent price drops.

“The market price just fell. It took a terrible nosedive in '15 and it still hasn't stabilized yet,” said SDCFRM instructor Lori Tonak.

Tonak said there are 100 farms in the SDCFRM program. Of the 45 producers she works with in central South Dakota, she said the most profitable cattle operation earned $12 per cow.

“Every cow-calf producer out there may not have lost money, but they didn't make much, if they made any,” Tonak said.


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