Store-to-beef autumn-to-autumn finishers will require up to €5.18/kg as a break-even selling price, according to Teagasc’s recently published beef budgets for 2023/2024.
The state agency has reviewed this finishing system, involving a 350kg Friesian, 350kg Hereford-cross and 430kg continental-cross animal, with a 165-day winter and a 180-day summer.
It has based its costings on animal health – dosing and other costs at €11/head, transport, and marketing at €40/head, half the interest cost on feed and animals borrowed at 7%, €0 for meal and silage at €45/t (well preserved, 20% DM, 72% DMD).
The state agency notes that finishers “must maximise performance at grass and minimise indoor feeding period on silage to control costs, as this is a low risk and low margin system”.
“No meals are fed in the budget outlined. It could be an option to feed up to 3kgs of meals at grass for the last 45 days to sell earlier in a more favourable market”.
It looks at the effect of prices – lower store prices this autumn, assumed store prices this autumn and higher store prices this autumn, on the breakeven price required.
About the beef finishing budgets
Every autumn, the state agency produces and releases a set of financial budgets, which it outlines are “a guide to beef farmers who are buying cattle for finishing over the following 18 months”.
It added that purchase prices are based on the prevailing market value at the time for both weanlings and store cattle, while inputs required for finishing are also set at “current market values”.
Each budget calculates a breakeven selling price (cents/kg carcase weight) for that particular system and takes account of the purchase price and all the associated variable and fixed costs incurred.
It calculates the selling price required including a margin on finishing as:
Margin required / Carcass weight + breakeven price required = selling price required.
Any proposed margin per head will be additional to the breakeven price, it added. It is important to remember that these budgets only serve as a guide to beef farmers.
- Heifer winter finishers will require €5.67/kg as breakeven selling price
- Table: What beef price will steer winter finishers require to breakeven?
- Bull beef finishers will require over €6.00/kg to break-even in 2024 – Teagasc
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