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On 12-Month Basis By RAY OZMON, Roving Reporter A CHECK of fat cattle prices over a year's time would show a series of price peaks and drops. Sometimes the price would assure the feeder a fair return for his animals, and other times the profit would be the fertilizer value of the manure, providing it were placed at a high figure. Over an extended period of time the average fat cattle prices would proba bly show a reasonable relation between the price paid fo ' finished beef and the cost of producing it. But a closer look at the figures might reveal what appears to be a conspiracy designed to frustrate the best laid plans and the normal production cycle. In the late summer when baled hay is piled in huge stacks along the feed bunks, when silos are filled and grain storage bins are bulging with the year's harvest, the price of feeders is usually up. In 120 days after the feed has been poured through the cattle and they're ready to start the trip that will eventu ally end on the consumers' dinner table, the price is down. Expensive Experience Leslie Foster of Musselshell county has had some expensive experience with the rise and fall of cattle prices. Last year he had 55 head that were ready to move. Feed was running short and he couldn't afford to hold them. They topped the market at $14.40, and he lost $35 a head. That same day Foster says he could have loaded up his truck with feeders at $11 a hundred—if he had the money, feed and space. It was rather pleasant to speculate on the price they'd bring in three or four months after they had gained 200 or 250 pounds, but there was no sense in dreaming about something that just couldn't happen—not this time, at least. So it was back to the farm to get to work on his plans for improving and expanding his feeding operation so he could more easily adjust to market conditions. 12-Month Feeding Operation Foster has no intention of trying to outguess the cattle market. He plans to put his feeding operation on a 12-month basis so he will always have finished stock to ship. This way he can spread his risks. There will be times when he will lose money, but there are bound to be times when he'll get $18 to $20 for cattle he paid $12 to $14 for as feeders. ' i mf B ' Leslie Foster is shown figuring the feed costs on pen of fat cattle that are ready to go to market. His scale and record book play vital part in his feeding operations. (MF-S photo) He's been working all winter on a new grain storage building and new feedlots, which he hopes to have ready for this season. His plans are to run 600 to 700 head through the lots each year, buying cattle three or four times a year and shipping out the top end every couple of weeks. Foster has gone to corn and alfalfa production on his 290-acre irrigated farm, which, he says, will give him plenty of roughage for the size feeding program he is planning. Corn and first crop alfalfa go into the silage pits. Sec ond and third-crop alfalfa is baled. He raises a little grain on his 100 acres of dryland, but he buys most of the barley for his feeding operation. Foster says cattle offer the best means for marketing the products of his farm and of maintaining soil fertility. Maximum Tonnage If a grower is to realize a profit from raising feed, he must get maximum tonnage per acre, and the cattle must utilize that feed with the greatest possi ble efficiency. With liberal applications of manure and commercial fertilizer, Foster averages better than 20 tons of corn silage per acre. One field ran 26 tons last vear, Foster's new grain storage building has large double doors on either end and a scale in the middle of the floor. Cattle will be weighed in and out of the feedlots. He'll drive in from the silo pits with a load, weigh it, set the scales for the number of pounds of barley to be added, and elevate the grain into the self-mixing wagon until the scales bal ance. Last year Foster says he operated blind. Accurate records of his feeding operation will go a long way toward increasing its efficiency, he feels. Cull Slow Gainers The new feedlot will have five pens where the cattle will be worked through from a starting ration up to a full feed of 18 pounds of barley and 22 pounds of silage in six to eight weeks. Slow gain ers will be sent to slaughter before they reach the final pen. "The dead beats have to be moved out before they hit the high-cost ration," he says. Foster ranges about 100 head of cows up on the bench and, naturally, the calves are finished in his fattening pens. He says he's found that it costs more to loaf the calves through the winter than to put a pound of gain a day on them. r and l By ED SAXTON i | I 1 1 I \ | | Charles J. Johnson Herefords * f -• : I 1 Ilf H ; < "I' I" » m *;• 'ur 8 F mm THERE'S PLENTY of evidence that Charles J. Johnson is a successful breeder of quality Herefords. It's evi dent first in his beautiful ranch home located on Highway 16, one-half mile south of Savage in the Lower Yellow stone Valley. The ranch house is sur rounded by a spacious lawn and the buildings are all in gleaming white. It's evident in the large collection of trophies and ribbons (see picture) won by Johnson Herefords at Sidney, Glen dive and Miles City shows. Most of all, it is evident in the cattle themselves. Johnson has paid as high as $10,000 for bulls to assure the qual ity of his Herefords and he has always received high average prices for the Harrer & Sons Buy Eileenmere 1447th W. J. HARRER & SONS, Helena, drove back to Pleasant Plains, Ill. to attend the annual sale of J. Garrett Tolan Farms on May 20, 1957. The pur pose of the trip was to buy a young herd sire. After the autcioneer cried, "Sold," Wib and Bill Harrer had purchased Eileenmere 1447th calved May 2, 1955. He has 45 stars in his pedigree, which indicates international grand cham pions in either the sires or dams of four generations. His sire Eileenmere 1100th in the past three years sired eight first prize winners, three grand champion bulls and including the grand champion fe male at the international in 1955. He also sired three first prize get of sire groups at the international. HERD SIRE FOR SALE Our THANKS and BEST WISHES D PUBLICAN DOMINO 25th—8132527 CW Prince Domino 21st Publican Domino 198th Dinah Domino 44th to Herbert and Lodema Spurgeon, Ifedora, North Dakota, who have purchased our registered cow herd and two yearling bulls. We trust these cattle will perform successfully lor them as they have for us. Chief Domino 24th Marie Pour-years-old, sound, active, well marked, heavy boned, gentle disposition. He weighs a ton in pas ture condition and did a terrific breeding job for ■s. See him now. Nancy PACOVSKY HEREFORDS PHONE JTJ 6-2753 BOZEMAN. MONTANA July 1, 1957—33 bulls he has to sell, often to repeat customers, Johnson first came to Montana from Minnesota in 1913. He homesteaded near Lambert. Later he sold the home stead and purchased a ranch south of Lambert, where he now runs his cow herd. Johnson believes in the cattle busi ness and thinks even the last few years haven't been too bad for one who watches his operations carefully. It is his practice to raise his calves on the cows and he has arranged his sheds and corrals for handy one-man operation. In addition to raising Herefords, Johnson farms extensively, raising wheat, oats, barley and corn. The dam is Elbemera 8th. She is also the dam of Eileenmere 1050th the 1950 international grand champion bull. Eileenmere 1447th is truly a herd sire. "He has, for his two years of age, the heaviest bone, deepest body and is as smooth as they come," said Wib Harrer. "His sire is just like him and so are his brothers." After a rest from his trip he will be put in service. Cowbelles Organize WITH 33 CHARTER members, the Meagher County Cowbelles have or ganized. The organization meeting was held at the home of Mrs. Marie Han son. Officers are Mrs. George Voldseth, president; Mrs. Dean Thorson, vice president; Mrs. Francis Joyce, secre tary-treasurer.