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Group Title: Economic information report
Title: The economics of growing field corn in the Everglades agricultural area and of transporting and feeding to beef cattle
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00026502/00001
 Material Information
Title: The economics of growing field corn in the Everglades agricultural area and of transporting and feeding to beef cattle
Series Title: Economic information report
Physical Description: iv, 38 p. : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Alvarez, Jose, 1940-
Pate, F. M ( Findlay Moye ), 1941- ( joint author )
Publisher: Food & Resource Economics Dept., Agricultural Experiment Stations, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Food and Resource Economics Dept., Agricultural Experiment Stations, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville
Publication Date: 1978
Copyright Date: 1978
 Subjects
Subject: Corn -- Economic aspects -- Florida -- Everglades   ( lcsh )
Corn as feed   ( lcsh )
Corn -- Transportation -- Costs -- Florida -- Everglades   ( lcsh )
Beef cattle -- Feeding and feeds -- Economic aspects -- Florida -- Everglades   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Bibliography: p. 38.
Statement of Responsibility: Jose Alvarez, F. M. Pate.
General Note: Cover title.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00026502
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: notis - ABT2893
alephbibnum - 000306279
oclc - 05650496
lccn - 79621710

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Abstract
        Abstract
    Acknowledgement
        Page i
    Table of Contents
        Page ii
    List of Tables
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Main
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Full Text

Jose Alvarez Economic Information
F. M. Pate Report 102

The Economics of Growing
Field Corn in the
Everglades Agricultural Area
and

of Transporting and Feeding
to Beef Cattle













Food and Resource Economics Department
Agricultural Experiment Stations November 1978
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
University of Florida, Gainesville 32611















ABSTRACT


An enterprise budget shows that it costs about $170 to grow one
acre of field corn in the Everglades agricultural area (EAA). Total
costs per acre depend on yield and on whether the corn is harvested
for grain, earlage, or silage. For a yield equivalent to 125 bushels,
total costs are about $192, $193, and $244 for grain (excluding drying),
earlage, and silage, respectively. Net returns vary according to yields
and prices.

Maximum affordable transportation distances depend on market
price, moisture content, and energy value of the three products. In
general, corn grain and corn earlage can be transported farther away
than corn silage.

Total cost figures for growing or finishing cattle show silage
as the most expensive method of feeding field corn products with earlage
being the least expensive. The latter becomes more expensive with in-
creasing distances from the field to the drylot and increased crop
yields. Break-even prices show a favorable picture for feeding field
corn products produced in the EAA.

Key words: Field corn, High moisture corn grain, Corn earlage,
Corn silage, Beef cattle, Everglades agricultural area, Enterprise
budgets.


The use of trade names in this publication is solely for the pur-
pose of providing specific information. It is not a guarantee or a
warranty of the products named and does not signify that they are ap-
proved to the exclusion of others of suitable composition.














ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


The authors are grateful for the information and assistance provided

by Frank Brady, James Chamblee, Ed Fielding, Ronny Gamble, John Hundley,

Willie Lee, John Mowen, Ed Tuten, and Eddy Whitlock. Without their

cooperation, this report would have never been possible.

Special thanks to Kenneth D. Shuler, County Agricultural Agent,

for his help in this project.

Mrs. Jeannie Larson deserves credit for her excellent typing and

editing of this manuscript in all its stages.





























i














TABLE OF CONTENTS


Page

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. . . . . . . . . ... ....... i

LIST OF TABLES . . . . . . . . ... ..... iii

INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . ... ...... 1.

GROWING FIELD CORN IN THE EVERGLADES AGRICULTURAL AREA . . . 3

COSTS AND RETURNS FROM FIELD CORN IN THE EVERGLADES. . . . 5

Pre-harvest Costs . . . . . . . . ... . . 5
Total Costs and Returns .. . . . . ....... 5
High Moisture Corn Grain . . . . . . . . 5
Corn Earlage . . . . . . . .. .14
Corn Silage. . . . . . . . .. .. . 14

BREAK-EVEN TRANSPORTATION COSTS. . . . . . . . ... 14

FEEDING HIGH MOISTURE CORN GRAIN, CORN EARLAGE, AND CORN SILAGE TO
BEEF CATTLE . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

From 500 to 750 Pounds Liveweight . . . . . .... 26
From 750 to 1,000 Pounds Liveweight . . . . .... 26

ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF FEEDING SYSTEMS USING HIGH MOISTURE CORN
GRAIN, CORN EARLAGE, AND CORN SILAGE. . . . . . ... 26

Growing Calves from 500 to 750 Pounds Liveweight. . . ... 32
Finishing Calves from 750 to 1,000 Pounds Liveweight. . . 33
Break-even Selling Prices . . . . . . . .... 34

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS. . . . . . . . . ... . 34

REFERENCES . . . . . . . . . .. . ... 38










ii














LIST OF TABLES


Table Page

1 Field corn acreage and production statistics, Florida
and south Florida, 1961-76. . . . . . . . . 2

2 Estimated pre-harvest costs per acre for field corn
grown in 1,000 acres in the Everglades agricultural area,
1978 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

3 Estimated pre-harvest costs per acre of different activ-
ities performed by labor in growing 1,000 acres of field
corn in the Everglades agricultural area, 1978. . . . 8

4 Estimated pre-harvest costs per acre of different activ-
ities performed by machinery and equipment in growing
1,000 acres of field corn in the Everglades agricultural
area, 1978. . . . . . . . . . ... . 9

5 Estimated initial investment and annual fixed and hourly
operating costs of machinery and equipment used in grow-
ing 1,000 acres of field corn in the Everglades agri-
cultural area, 1978 . . . . . . . .... . 10

6 Estimated total costs per acre, assuming different
yields, for high moisture corn grain grown in 1,000
acres in the Everglades agricultural area, 1978 . . .. 11

7 Estimated net returns per acre, assuming different
shelled corn prices and yields of 100, 125, and 150
bushels of high moisture corn grain dried and not dried 13

8 Estimated total costs per acre, assuming different
yields, for corn earlage grown in 1,000 acres in the
Everglades Agricultural area, 1978. .. . . . ..... 15

9 Estimated net returns per acre, assuming different
prices and yields of 5.0, 6.2, and 7.4 tons per acre of
corn earlage. . . . . . . . . .. ... . 16

10 Estimated total costs per acre, assuming different
yields, for corn silage grown in 1,000 acres in the
Everglades agricultural area, 1978. . . . . . ... 17




iii








Table Page

11 Estimated net returns per acre, assuming different
prices and yields of 17, 21.25, and 25.5 tons per acre
of corn silage. . . . . . . . .. . 18

12 Dollar value per ton of dry matter for high moisture
corn grain, corn earlage, and corn silage based on
prices of No. 2 shelled corn ranging from $2.00 to $3.00
per bushel. . . . . . . . . .. .. . . 20

13 Dollar value of a 22 ton truck load in terms of net
energy value for gain per unit of dry matter and the
price of No. 2 shelled corn . . . . . . .. .21

14 Net revenue left for transportation costs or number of
miles each product can be hauled before an economic loss
is present with yields equivalent to 100, 125, and 150
bushels per acre. . . . . . . . . ... .. 23

15 Dry and wet weights, and new energy for gain contained per
acre of 100 bushel field corn, assuming different moisture
contents for high moisture corn grain, corn earlage, and
corn silage . . . . . . . . . 25

16 Estimated production averages for beef calves fed high
moisture corn grain, corn earlage, and corn silage
rations in drylot from 500 to 750 pounds liveweight . . 27

17 Estimated production averages for yearling cattle fed
high moisture corn grain, corn earlage, and corn silage
rations in drylot from 750 to 1,000 pounds liveweight . 28

18 Estimated total costs for growing beef calves with high
moisture corn grain, corn earlage, and corn silage
rations in drylot from 500 to 750 pounds liveweight,
assuming different crop yields, cattle prices, and
distances from the field to the feedlot . . . ... 29

19 Estimated total costs for finishing cattle from 750 to
1,000 pounds liveweight in drylot with high moisture
corn grain, corn earlage, and corn silage rations,
assuming different crop yields, cattle prices, and
distances from the field to the feedlot . . . ... 31

20 Break-even prices for beef calves fed high moisture corn
grain, corn earlage, and corn silage rations in drylot
from 500 to 750 pounds liveweight under the assumptions
of this study . . . . . . . . . . . 35

21 Break-even prices for cattle finished with high moisture
corn grain, corn earlage, and silage rations from 750 to
1,000 pounds under the assumptions of this study . ... 36



iv














THE ECONOMICS OF GROWING FIELD CORN

IN THE EVERGLADES AGRICULTURAL AREA

AND OF TRANSPORTING AND FEEDING TO BEEF CATTLE


Jose Alvarez and F. M. Pate

INTRODUCTION


Field corn is an important crop in Florida. The total value of

production has been increasing during the last years as the result of

a moderate increase in acreage and a substantial increase in price.

Perhaps due to recent higher prices, the harvested acreage in south

Florida has jumped tremendously in the past three years (Table 1).

Other reasons also account for the recent increasing interest in

field corn production in the Everglades agricultural area (EAA). First,

low feeder calf prices in recent years have forced producers to look

for means of feeding their calves with feed produced in the area; large

beef producers can benefit from the differences between the price re-

ceived for feeder calves and finished beef. Second, besides the high

yields obtainable on muck soils, field corn fits nicely into sugarcane

and vegetable rotation cycles. In most cases, land is lying fallow

and has to be disked anyway. Since most producers have the equipment


JOSE ALVAREZ is Area Economist, Food and Resource Economics Depart-
ment; F. M. PATE is Associate Professor, Animal Science Department,
University of Florida, Agricultural Research and Education Center, Belle
Glade.


1










Table 1.--Field corn acreage and production statistics, Florida and south Florida, 1961-76

Florida South Florida

Year Planteda Harvest Yeld Production Season Value Harvestd Yield Production
acreage acreage av. price acreage

-------1,000------- -Bu.- 1,000 bu. --$/bu.-- $1,000 --1,000-- -Bu.- 1,000 bu.
1961 481 332 35 11,620 1.07 12,433 1.10 59 64.7
1962 433 319 37 11,803 1.19 14,046 1.05 53 55.7
1963 446 335 40 13,400 1.16 15,544 1.65 57 94.3
1964 442 332 29 9,628 1.23 11,842 2.20 57 125.1

1965 455 352 44 15,488 1.20 18,586 2.30 53 122.2
1966 450 359 43 15,437 1.36 20,994 2.30 52 119.8
1967 531 461 50 23,050 1.10 25,355 2.50 57 142.0
1968 457 396 42 16,632 1.19 19,792 2.30 56 130.0

1969 380 327 39 12,753 1.28 16,324 1.50 50 74.5
1970 388 291 25 7,275 1.55 11,276 1.50 25 37.5
1971 376 314 49 15,386 1.07 16,463 1.90 60 113.6
1972 365 307 46 14,122 1.39 19,630 1.00 40 40.0

1973 400 340 43 14,620 2.55 37,281 1.00 45 45.0
1974 452 398 48 19,104 3.30 63,043 20.00 54 1,079.0
1975 464 394 45 17,730 2.70 47,871 14.00 53 744.0
1976 542 480 60 28,800 2.60 74,880 14.00 57 804.0

alncludes acreage foraged by animals, cut for silage and abandoned from natural causes.

For grain only.

Source: [3].





3


and the labor available, resources are thus utilized more efficiently.

Third, in addition to the local demand for feedstuffs by cattlemen in

the area, there exists a demand by dairy producers in nearby Okeechobee

County. Fourth, it provides a fair return per acre which can be known

with some degree of certainty when sales are contracted in advance.

Field corn producers may choose to harvest their crop for grain,

earlage, or silage. In 1978, a few corn-silage and corn-earlage pro-

ducers switched to corn-grain. They argue that, unless feedlots are

located very close to the corn fields, the high moisture content of

silage and earlage renders the crop uneconomical due to high transpor-

tation costs.

The purpose of this report is threefold: To study the economics of

growing field corn for grain, earlage, or silage in the Everglades

agricultural area; to determine break-even transportation costs; and

to apply an economic analysis to feeding systems using the three types

of feed.


GROWING FIELD CORN IN THE EVERGLADES AGRICULTURAL AREA


Field corn can be successfully grown, for whatever purposes, in

the EAA. Research has been conducted in the area for many decades and

cultural practices have been outlined in several reports [2, 4, 5].

In south Florida field corn can be grown during the spring and

fall seasons. However, cultural practices are somewhat different for

the two seasons. In general, plantings for the fall crop start at the

beginning of August and end by mid-September. The spring crop is

planted from mid-January to the end of March.

Interviews with growers revealed variations in seeding rates but






4


all fall within existing recommendations [2]. Seeds are planted at

six, seven, or eight inches (29,040; 24,890; or 21,780 plant population

per acre) on rows three feet apart to attain a survival stand of 19,360

plants per acre.

Harvesting dates depend on the desired product. High moisture corn

grain is harvested by mid-June and mid-November for the spring and fall

crops, respectively. Corn earlage and corn silage are harvested approxi-

mately 12 weeks after planting.

High moisture corn grain is harvested with about 25 percent moisture

content. Corn earlage is the result of harvesting and chopping the ear

(husk, grain, and cob) and contains about 40 percent moisture. Corn

silage 'is the aerial plant cut about one inch above ground and contains

60-70 percent moisture and 30-40 percent dry matter.

It should be pointed out that high moisture grain has been chosen

over dried grain as the harvested product for two reasons. First, in

semi-tropical south Florida field corn is very susceptible to insect

and mold damage during late maturity and the humid condition is not ideal

for field curing. Second, it is accepted as the most efficient method

of feeding corn grain to cattle. Research data show that high moisture

corn (25 percent moisture) has equal feeding value to dry shelled corn

(12-15 percent moisture) on an as fed basis [1].

Each grower can determine what particular product he needs according

to his situation. The season chosen for planting may be dictated by the

availability of land, labor, or equipment. However, he should note that

yields have been generally lower in the fall crop than in the spring

crop, around 100 bushels per acre in the former as opposed to 125-150

bushels in the latter.






5


COSTS AND RETURNS FROM FIELD CORN IN THE EVERGLADES


Pre-harvest Costs


Pre-harvest production activities and costs for high moisture corn

grain, corn earlage, or corn silage are the same. Estimated pre-harvest

costs per acre for field corn grown in 1,000 acres of muck soil in the

EAA are presented in Table 2 (Table 3, 4, and 5 present support data).

Data were collected from interviews with 1977 and 1978 field corn

growers and with local agricultural supply companies.

Pre-harvest costs may vary from $43 to $170 per acre. Three

factors may account for a wide variation in pre-harvest costs. First,

time of planting determines the frequency of spraying for insect con-

trol. Second, the previous crop may demand different fertilization

programs and land preparation activities. Third, renting or owning

land is also responsible for variations in pre-harvest costs since

owners of fallow land usually assign the land rent charge to their main

operation.


Total Costs and Returns

Harvesting, hauling, and drying costs vary according to whether

the field corn is harvested for high moisture corn grain, corn earlage,

or corn silage. The analysis of this section is broken down by these

three categories.

High Moisture Corn Grain


Total costs per acre for high moisture corn grain have been

estimated (Table 6). Three different yield levels have been assumed.










Table 2.--Estimated pre-harvest costs per acre for field corn grown in 1,000 acres in the Everglades agri-
cultural area, 1978

Minimum Maximuma
Item Description ---- --- --
"Item Description Times Unit Quant. Price Amount Times Amount
over over

I-Variable costs
Seedb Golden Harvest 2775,
XL78, XL80 1 bale 0.275 44.90 12.35 1 12.35
Fertilizer 10-34-0 (spread).
Custom hired lb. 200 0.074 1 14.80
0-0-50 (spread).
Custom hired lb. 450 0.052 1 23.40
Insecticide 2% Parathion bait, plus lb. 30 0.180 1 5.40
15% Thimet, Aerial appl. lb. 18 0.600 1 10.80
Insecticide Nudrin. Aerial appl. 3 pt. 0.50 2.06 3.09 8 8.24
f Toxaphene. Aerial appl. 3 pt. 0.50 0.69 1.04 8 2.76
Herbicide Atrazine 80W. Aerial appl. 1 lb. 1.00 1.80 1.80 3 5.40
Machine hireg Airplane 3 1.00 1.25 3.75 8 10.00
Labor Table 3 hr. 3.00 4.88 6.33
Machinery and
equipment Table 4 hr. 2.54 5.03
MiscellaReous At 10 percent of var. costs -- 2.95 10.45
Interest On operating capital,
7 mos. @ 10 percent. 1.89 6.71
Total 34.29 121.67

II-Fixed costs
Machinery and
equipment' Table 5 -8.58 -8.58
Land rent acre 1.00 -- 40.00
Total 8.58 48.58
Total 42.87 170.25

See next page for footnotes.








Footnotes for Table 2
aMinimum and maximum reflect varying quantities depending on season and previous crop.
bOne bale (80,000 kernels) plants 3.64 acres at 22,000 kernels/acre.

CAfter sugarcane or corn; none behind vegetables.
Soil insecticide applied only behind cane.

"e3 to 5 applications in the spring; 6 to 8 in the fall.

From 1 to 3 Ibs. can be applied. No extra charge for aerial application is made.

gCharged according to applications on each alternative.
h$32.40 and $114.96, respectively.

1Total annual fixed costs ($8,583) divided by 1,000 acres.

3$40 is a land rent charge; if land is owned no charge is made since land would be fallow and thus
the opportunity cost is zero.









Table 3.--Estimated pre-harvest costs per acre of different activities performed by labor in growing 1,000
acres of field corn in the Everglades agricultural area, 1978

Minimum Maximuma
Activity Description Times Quant. Price Amount Times Amount
over (hrs.) over

Plowingb 40 acres/9 hrs. 0.225 3.00 1 0.675

Disking 140 acres/9 hrs. 2 0.064 3.00 0.38 5 0.960

Leveling 140 acres/9 hrs. 0.064 3.00 1 0.192

Planting 45 acres/9 hrs. 1 0.200 3.00 0.60 1 0.600

Cultivating 60 acres/9 hrs. 2 0.150 3.00 0.90 2 0.900

Irrigation Subsurface 1.000 3.00 3.00 1 3.000

Total 4.88 6.327

aMinimum and maximum reflect varying quantities depending on season and previous crop.

None behind vegetables.









Table 4.-- Estimated pre-harvest costs per acre of different activities performed by machinery and equip-
ment in growing 1,000 acres of field corn in the Everglades agricultural area, 1978

Minimum Maximuma
Activity Equipment Description Times Quant. r b Times Amount
over (hrs.) Price Amount over Amount
over (hrs. over

Plowingc Tractor, 150HP Diesel 40 acres/9 hrs. 0.225 4.18 1 0.94
6 Bottom plow 0.225 1.15 1 0.26

Disking Tractor, 150HP Diesel 140 acres/9 hrs. 2 0.064 4.18 0.54 5 1.34
21" Disk 2 0.064 0.90 0.12 5 0.29

Leveling Tractor, 150HP Diesel 140 acres/9 hrs. 0.064 4.18 1 0.27
Land leveler 0.064 0.85 1 0.05

Planting Tractor, 80HP Diesel 45 acres/9 hrs. 1 0.200 2.60 0.52 1 0.52
4 Row planter 1 0.200 1.25 0.25 1 0.25

Cultivating Tractor, 80HP Diesel 60 acres/9 hrs. 2 0.150 2.60 0.78 2 0.78
4 Row cultivator 2 0.150 1.10 0.33 2 0.33
Total 2.54 5.03

aMinimum and maximum reflect varying quantities depending on season and previous crop.

From Table 5.

CNone behind vegetables.










Table 5.--Estimated initial investment and annual fixed and hourly operating costs of machinery and equip-
ment used in growing 1,000 acres of field corn in the Everglades agricultural area, 1978

Initial New s S a e Annual Annual Va
i pYears Salvage Variable
Item list purchase a use fixed d
price price owned value (hrs.) cost cost/hr.

Tractor, 150HP, Diesel $28,100 $25,290 10 $8,300 600 $3,632 $4.18

Tractor, 80HP, Diesel 12,800 11,250 10 3,781 600e 1,654 2.60

Plow, 6-bottom 4,800 4,320 10 849 225 648 1.15

Disk, 21" 5,200 4,680 10 919 320 703 0.90

Land leveler, 8-row, 30' 4,400 3,960 10 778 150e 595 0.85

Planter, 4-row 6,800 6,120 10 1,202 200 919 1.25

Cultivator, 4-row 3,200 2,880 10 566 300 432 1.10
Total $8,583

aAt 90 percent of initial list price.

Computed with the formula given in [7].

CIncludes straight line depreciation; interest on average investment at 10 percent calculated by
adding new pruchase price to salvage value and dividing by two; and taxes and insurance at 1 percent of
new purchase price.
dIncludes repairs, fuel, and lubricant.

eNot all time is used on field corn enterprise.









Table 6.--Estimated total costs per acre, assuming different yields, for high moisture corn grain grown in
1,000 acres in the Everglades agricultural area, 1978

Yield (bushels)
Activity Description Unit Quant. Price 100 125 150

Amount

---------------- Dollars ------------
Harvesting Custom hired bu. 1.00 0.16 16.00 20.00 24.00
Hauling to dryer Custom hired bu. 1.00 0.10 10.00 12.50 15.00
Drying Custom hired bu. 1.00 0.25 25.00 31.25 37.50
Broker's fee bu. 1.00 0.01 1.00 1.25 1.50
Growing Table 2, minimum acre 1.00 42.87 42.87 42.87 42.87
Total 94.87 107.87 120.87

Total, drying excluded 59.87 64.12 68.37

Growing Table 2, maximum acre 1.00 170.25 170.25 170.25 170.25
Total 222.25 235.25 248.25

Total, drying excluded 187.25 191.50 195.75

aHauling and drying charges may be zero depending on who buys the product and how it will be stored.
Also hauling charges will vary depending upon distance from the field to the dryer (about 15-20 miles are
assumed).
bDrying charges are $.02 per bushel per point of moisture and assumes corn is harvested at 25 percent
moisture content and dried down to 12.5 percent.






12



The relatively low 100 bushel yield is included to account for lower

fall yields.

For the minimum input alternative, with yields of 100, 125, and

150 bushels per acre, and assuming that the buyer takes possession of

the product at the dryer, total costs are about $95, $108, and $121

per acre, respectively, after the grain is dried. If drying charges are

excluded, the figures become $60, $64, and $68 per acre, respectively.

For the maximum input alternative, with the same yields, total

costs per acre are $222, $235, and $248, respectively, for the dried

corn. Not including the drying charge, the figures reduce to $187,

$192, and $196 per acre, respectively.

Varying yields and prices bring about different net returns per

acre (Table 7). Prices have been varied from $2.00 to $3.00 per bushel

of No. 2 shelled corn with standard 15.5 percent moisture. Assuming

a yield of 100 bushels per acre, net returns per acre increase from

$105 to $205 in the dry option and from $140 to $240 in the undried

option of the minimum alternative. For the maximum alternative, the

figures change from minus $22 to $78 per acre, and from $13 to $113

per acre in the dry and undried options, respectively.

Yields of 125 bushels show increased net returns per acre. When

the corn is sold dried, net returns vary from $142 to $267, and from

$15 to $140 in the minimum and maximum input alternatives, respectively.

Not drying the grain brings about net returns per acre from $186 to

$311, and from $59 to $184, for the first and second alternatives,

respectively. Price increases from $2.00 to $3.00 are responsible for

the changes.

The highest net return is obtained with the 150 bushel yield. The









Table 7.--Estimated net returns per acre, assuming different shelled corn prices and yields of 100, 125,
and 150 bushels of high moisture corn grain dried and not dried

Yield (bu./A)
100 125 150
Price/bu.b
I II I II I II
Not Not Not Not Not Not
Dried dried Dried dried Dried dried Dried dried Dried dried Dried dried
-----------------------------------------Dollars---------------------------------------
2.00 105 140 -22 13 142 186 15 59 179 231 52 104
2.10 115 150 -12 23 155 198 27 71 194 246 67 119
2.20 125 160 2 33 167 211 40 84 209 261 82 134
2.30 135 170 8 43 180 223 53 96 224 276 97 149

2.40 145 180 18 53 192 236 65 109 239 291 112 164
2.50 155 190 28 63 205 248 78 121 254 306 127 179
2.60 165 200 38 73 217 261 90 134 269 321 142 194
2.70 175 210 48 83 230 273 103 146 284 336 157 209

2.80 185 220 58 93 242 286 115 159 299 351 172 224
2.90 195 230 68 103 255 298 128 171 314 366 187 239
3.00 205 240 78 113 267 311 140 184 329 381 202 254

aTotal costs come from Table 6; I and II represent the minimum and maximum input alternatives described
in Table 2. Figures have been rounded to the nearest dollar.
Price of No. 2 shelled corn based on standard 15.5 percent moisture.






14



lowest net return per acre here is $52 for the dry option of the maximum

alternative when the price is $2.00/bu. However, $381 per acre may be

obtained if the undried product is sold at $3.00/bu. under alternative

one.


Corn Earlage


Harvesting cost for earlage is shown in Table 8. For the minimum

input alternative, at the assumed yields, total costs per acre are about

$61, $65, and $70, respectively. For the maximum input alternative,

the figures change to around $188, $193, and $197, respectively. Har-

vesting costs depend on the method each producer depreciates his machinery

and equipment and on the amount of time they are used. The harvesting

cost figures come from two typical enterprises and are the lowest in

the area. Selling the product in the market produces different net re-

turns depending on prices and yields (Table 9).


Corn Silage

Total costs per acre are presented in Table 10. Costs for the

minimum input alternative are about $102, $116, and $131 for the three

yields assumed. Under the maximum alternative, total costs per acre

increase to around $229, $244, and $258, respectively. Net returns per

acre, at different prices under the three levels of yields, have been

calculated (Table 11).

BREAK-EVEN TRANSPORTATION COSTS


Before discussing the feeding value and performing the corresponding

economic analysis of the three products, the differences in transportation









Table 8.--Estimated total costs per acre, assuming different yields, for corn earlage grown in 1,000
acres in the Everglades agricultural area, 1978

Yield tonss)
Activity Description Unit Quant. Price 5.0 6.2 7.4

Amount
------------------Dollars----------------
Harvestingb SP 4-row head ton 1.00 3.40 17.00 21.08 25.16

Broker's fee ton 1.00 0.20 1.00 1.24 1.48

Growing Table 2, minimum acre 1.00 42.87 42.87 42.87 42.87

Total 60.87 65.19 69.51 L

Growing Table 2, maximum acre 1.00 170.25 170.25 170.25 170.25

Total 188.25 192.57 196.89

aAssumes a 40 percent moisture content. The 5.0, 6.2, and 7.4 tons are equivalent to the 100, 125, and
150 bushels of Table 6.
b$40.80 per hour including fixed, variable, and operator costs harvesting 12 tons per hour.






16



Table 9.--Estimated net returns per acre, assuming different prices
and yields of 5.0, 6.2, and 7.4 tons per acre of corn earlage

Yield (ton/A)
Price/ton 5.0 6.2 7.4

I II I II I II

--------------------- Dollars ------------------
25 64 -63 90 -38 116 -12
30 89 -38 121 7 153 25
35 114 -13 152 24 190 62
40 139 12 183 55 227 99
45 164 37 214 86 264 136

50 189 62 245 117 301 173
55 214 87 276 148 338 210
60 239 112 307 179 375 247
65 264 137 338 210 412 284
70 289 162 369 241 449 321

aTotal costs come from Table 8; I and II represent the minimum and
maximum imput alternatives described in Table 2. Figures are rounded
to the nearest dollar.









Table 10.--Estimated total costs per acre, assuming different yields, for corn silage grown in 1,000 acres
in the Everglades agricultural area, 1978

Yield (tonsa)
Activity Description Unit Quant. Price 17 21.25 25.50

Amount

------------------Dollars---------------
Harvestingb SP 4-row head ton 1.00 3.40 57.80 72.25 86.70

Broker's fee ton 1.00 0.06 1.02 1.27 1.53

Growing Table 2, minimum acre 1.00 42.87 42.87 42.87 42.87

Total 101.69 116.39 131.10

Growing Table 2, maximum acre 1.00 170.25 170.25 170.25 170.25

Total 229.07 243.77 258.48

aAssumes a 67 percent moisture content. The 17, 21.25, and 25.5 tons are equivalent to the 100, 125,
and 150 bushels of Table 6.
Same assumptions as in Table 8.







18



Table 11.--Estimated net returns per acre, assuming different prices
and yields of 17, 21.25, and 25.5 tons per acre of corn
silage

Yield (tons/A)

Price/ton 17 21.25 25.5
I II I II I II
--------------------- Dollars ---------------------
10 68 -59 96 -31 124 3

15 153 26 202 75 251 124

20 238 111 309 181 379 252

25 323 196 415 287 506 379

30 408 281 521 393 634 507

35 493 366 627 500 761 634

40 578 451 734 606 889 762

aTotal costs come from Table 10; I and II represent the minimum
and maximum input alternatives described in Table 2. Figures are
rounded to the nearest dollar.







19



costs should be pointed out. Transportation costs are particularly

important when evaluating the economics of producing feeds in the EAA

because of its isolation from existing and potential beef feedlots

and dairies. Since the moisture content and the energy value of high

moisture corn grain, corn earlage, and corn silage vary tremendously,

there must exist different limits on the amount of miles they can be

transported before an economic loss is present. The distance con-

straints expressed in this analysis may either be the final buyer or

the grower's feedlot.

Moisture contents of 25, 40, and 67 percent have been assigned to

high moisture corn grain, corn earlage, and corn silage, respectively.

Let us assume that a truck can haul 22 tons of corn silage. Due to

the 67 moisture content, the load would represent 7.3 tons of dry matter

[22 (22 x 0.67)]. By the same token, it would be equal to 13.2 tons

of corn earlage dry matter [22 (22 x 0.40)],and to 16.5 tons [22 (22 x

0.25)] of high moisture corn grain dry matter.

Net energy values for gain per unit of dry matter of 1.48, 1.30,

and 0.99 Mcal/kg have been assigned to high moisture corn grain, corn

earlage, and corn silage, respectively [6]. Those figures are used to

develop dollar values per ton of dry matter for the three products

based on shelled corn prices ranging from $2.00 to $3.00 per bushel

(Table 12).

The dollar value of a 22 ton load of the three products can be

easily calculated. It is only necessary to multiply the figures in

Table 12 times the quantity of dry matter contained in each product

(Table 13). The resulting figures are the gross dollar value for the

load. Break-even transportation costs per truck load can be found by







20



Table 12.--Dollar value per ton of dry matter for high moisture corn
grain, corn earlage, and corn silage based on prices of No. 2
shelled corn ranging from $2.00 to $3.00 per bushel

Price/ton of dry matter
No. 2 shelled corn
price/bu. High moisture Corn Corn
corn grain earlage silage
- ---------------------------Dollars------------ ------------------
2.00 84.53 74.25 56.54
2.10 88.76 77.96 59.37
2.20 92.98 81.67 62.20
2.30 97.21 85.39 65.03

2.40 101.44 89.10 67.86
2.50 105.66 92.81 70.68
2.60 109.89 96.53 73.51
2.70 114.12 100.24 76.34

2.80 118.34 103.95 79.16
2.90 122.57 107.66 81.99
3.00 126.80 111.38 84.82

values for the three feeds were computed as follows: The price
of No. 2 shelled corn is based on the standard moisture content of 15.5
percent. Thus, the quantity of dry matter/bu. would be 47.32 lbs./bu.
Shelled corn priced at $2.60/bu. would be equivalent to $109.89/ton of
dry matter (2,000 47.32 x 2.60). The value of high moisture corn
grain is assumed to equal that of No. 2 shelled corn. The values of
corn earlage and corn silage were determined by their net energy value
for gain, 1.30 and 0.99 Mcal/kg of dry matter, respectively, in direct
relationship to the net energy of shelled corn, 1.48 Mcal/kg. Thus,
the respective economic values for corn earlage and corn silage would
be $96.53 and $73.51/ton of dry matter based on $2.60/bu. shelled corn.







21



Table 13.--Dollar value of a 22 ton truck load in terms of net energy
value for gain per unit of dry matter and the price of No. 2
shelled corn

Shelled corn High moisture Corn Corn
price/bu. corn graina earlageb silage

-----------------------------Dollars--------------------------
2.00 1395 980 413
2.10 1465 1029 433
2.20 1534 1078 454
2.30 1604 1127 475

2.40 1675 1176 495
2.50 1743 1225 516
2.60 1813 1274 537
2.70 1883 1323 557

2.80 1953 1372 578
2.90 2022 1421 598
3.00 2092 1470 619

aThe value in Table 12 times 16.5, the amount of dry matter.
bThe value in Table 12 times 13.2, the amount of dry matter.

CThe value in Table 12 times 7.3, the amount of dry matter.






22



subtracting the total costs of producing each product from the dollar

value of the load in terms of the price of No. 2 shelled corn and the

net energy value for gain per unit of dry matter. If a transportation

charge of $1 per mile is assumed, the figures obtained represent both

the net revenue left to be spent on transportation and the number of

miles each product can be hauled before an economic loss is present.

The calculations are performed for the three levels of yields (Table 14).

With yields equivalent to 100 bushels per acre, at $2.00 per

bushel shelled corn, high moisture corn grain can be transported 108

miles, corn earlage 152, and corn silage 117 miles. But when the price

per bushel of shelled corn rises to $3.00, the figures increase to 805,

642, and 323 miles respectively. When yields increase to 125 bushels

the distance constraint becomes 342, 297, and 161 for grain, earlage,

and silage, respectively, when $2.00 per bushel is the market price of

shelled corn. At $3.00, the figures go up to 1,039, 787, and 367 miles,

respectively. More affordable distances are gained with a 150 bushel

yield. High moisture corn grain can be hauled up to 498 miles, corn

earlage 395, and corn silage 190 miles at $2.00 per bushel of shelled

corn. Mileage increases to 1,195, 885, and 396, respectively, when

the price is $3.00 per bushel. In general, at the level of yields and

prices assumed, high moisture corn grain and corn earlage are the products

that can be transported a greater distance before an economic loss is

present. Transportation distances are much more restricted for corn

silage, particularly when high corn prices exist.








Table 14.--Net revenue left for transportation costs or number of miles each product can be hauled before
an economic loss is present with yields equivalent to 100, 125, and 150 bushels per acre

Yield (bu./A)
Price/bu. 100 125 150
Corn Corn Corn Corn Corn Corn Corn Corn Corn
grain earlage silage grain earlage silage grain earlage silage
-Dollars- ------------------------------------Dollars or milesa----------------
2.00 108 152 117 342 297 161 498 395 190
2.10 178 201 137 412 346 181 568 444 210
2.20 247 250 158 481 395 202 637 493 231
2.30 317 299 179 551 444 223 707 542 252

2.40 387 348 199 621 493 243 777 591 272
2.50 456 397 220 690 542 264 846 640 293
2.60 526 446 241 760 591 285 916 689 314
2.70 596 495 261 830 640 305 986 738 334

2.80 666 544 282 900 689 326 1056 787 355
2.90 735 593 302 969 738 346 1125 836 375
3.00 805 642 323 1039 787 367 1195 885 396

aTotal value minus total costs. Total values are taken from Table 13. Total costs are taken from the
maximum alternatives of Tables 6, 8, and 10 for grain, earlage, and silage, respectively: 100 bushels of
corn produce 3.2 tons of corn grain wet weight per acre; if it costs $187.25 to produce 3.2 tons, $1,287 is
the cost of producing 22 tons; or 5.0 tons of corn earlage wet weight per acre; if it costs $188.25 to pro-
duce 5.0 tons, $828 is the cost of producing 22 tons; or 17 tons of corn silage wet weight; if it costs
$229.07 to produce 17 tons, $296 is the cost of producing 22 tons. 125 bushels can produce 4.0, 6.2, or
21.25 tons of wet weight of corn grain, corn earlage, and corn silage, respectively, per acre. If it costs
$191.50, $192.57, and $243.77 to produce them, then $1,053, $683, and $252 are the costs of producing 22
tons of each product, respectively. 150 bushels can produce 4.8, 7.4, and 25.5 tons of wet weight of corn
grain, corn earlage, and corn silage, respectively, per acre. If it costs $195.75, $196.89, and $258.48
to produce them, then $897, $585, and $223 are the costs of producing 22 tons of each product, respectively.







24



FEEDING HIGH MOISTURE CORN GRAIN, CORN

EARLAGE, AND CORN SILAGE TO BEEF CATTLE


High moisture corn grain, corn earlage, and corn silage can be pro-

duced from the same crop; yet, there are very real differences in the

value of these feeds an' how they would be utilized for feeding beef

cattle. As a rule-of-thumb, from 2.0 to 2.5 times more dry matter is

obtained when corn is harvested for silage than for grain. With 100

bushels of corn per acre, approximately 2.4, 3.0, and 5.6 tons of dry

matter can be obtained from high moisture corn grain, corn earlage, and

corn silage, respectively. Corn earlage yields about 25 percent more

dry matter, in the form of cob and husk, than high moisture corn grain.

In wet weight terms, the figures would be 3.2 tons for high moisture

corn grain (25 percent moisture), 5.0 tons for corn earlage (40 percent

moisture), and 17 tons of corn silage (67 percent moisture). On a dry

matter basis the net energy for gain (NEg) values are 1.48 Mcal/kg for

high moisture corn grain, 1.30 Mcal/kg for corn earlage, and 0.99 Mcal/kg

for corn silage. Therefore, NEg yield per acre would be approximately

3,229, 3,545, and 5,142 Mcal for high moisture corn grain, corn earlage,

and corn silage, respectively (Table 15).

Generally, high corn silage rations are fed to young growing cattle,

heavy cattle when standard and good carcass grades are anticipated, and

brood cows. Corn grain rations are fed to heavy cattle during late

finishing when high energy intake is needed to produce a choice carcass.

Corn earlage would be fed in similar situations as corn grain. Earlage

simply has a built-in roughage component. It should be recognized that

these generalities would be altered by economic factors. In fact silage

and grain are often fed in combination, with the percentage composition







25



Table 15.--Dry and wet weights, and net energy for gain contained per
acre of 100 bushel field corn, assuming different moisture
contents for high moisture corn grain, corn earlage, and
corn silage


Item High moisture Corn Corn
corn grain earlage silage

Moisture content
(percent) 25 40 67

Wet weight (tons) 3.2 5.0 17

Dry weight (tons) 2.4 3.0 5.6

Net energy for gain
(Mcal/kg) 1.48 1.30 0.99

NEg/acre (Mcal) 3,229 3,545 5,142

Source: 16].






26



of the ration being dependent upon existing economic conditions and the

type cattle being fed.


From 500 to 750 Pounds Liveweight


Average production values that would be expected with high moisture

corn grain, corn earlage, and corn silage rations fed to young weanling

calves have been computed (Table 16). With an average daily gain of 2.5,

2.25, and 1.50 Ibs., it requires 400, 444, and 667 animal days to produce

1,000 Ibs. gain of beef calves fed corn grain, earlage, and silage,

respectively.


From 750 to 1,000 Pounds Liveweight


Estimated production averages for finishing yearling cattle have

been computed (Table 17). These data are presented because oftentimes

weaned calves are backgrounded or stockered or placed on growing rations

prior to finishing in drylot at the heavier weights. In this case, with

an average daily gain of 2.75, 2.5, and 2 Ibs., it requires 364, 400,

and 500 animal days to produce 1,000 Ibs. gain with yearling cattle fed

corn grain, earlage, and silage, respectively.


ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF FEEDING SYSTEMS USING

HIGH MOISTURE CORN GRAIN, CORN EARLAGE, AND CORN SILAGE


Estimated total costs for feeding beef calves rations formulated

from high moisture corn grain, corn earlage and corn silage in drylot

are presented in Tables 18 and 19. Maximum cost previously estimated

for producing these field corn products at yields equivalent to 100, 125,

and 150 bushels per acre are used (Tables 6, 8, and 10). Other variables







27


Table 16.--Estimated production averages for beef calves fed high
moisture corn grain, corn earlage, and corn silage rations
in drylot from 500 to 750 pounds liveweight

Item High moisture Corn Corn
corn grain earlage silage

-----------------Pounds----------------
Average daily gain 2.50 2.25 1.50

Daily dry matter intake
(corn) 14.0 13.0 11.0

Daily supplement intake 1.5 1.5 1.5

Dry matter/lb. of gain 6.0 6.5 8.0

Gain/A of 100 bu. corn 900a, 1,025b 1,575c

-------------- Animal days--------------
Animal days to produce
1,000 Ibs. gain 400 444 667

aEstimated production from 2.4 tons of high moisture corn dry
matter and 0.26 tons of supplement.
Estimated production from 3.0 tons of corn earlage dry matter
and 0.35 tons of supplement.
CEstimated liveweight gain from 5.6 tons of corn silage dry matter
and 0.67 tons of supplement.







28



Table 17.--Estimated production averages for yearling cattle fed high
moisture corn grain, corn earlage, and corn silage rations
in drylot from 750 to 1,000 pounds liveweight


Item High moisture Corn Corn
corn grain earlage silage

-----------------Pounds----------------
Average daily gain 2.75 2.50 2.00

Daily dry matter intake 18 18 18

Daily supplement intake 1.5 1.5 1.5

Dry matter/lb. of gain 7.0 8.0 9.5

Gain/A 100 bu. corn 750a 800b 1,275C

--------------Animal days-------------
Animal days/1,000 lbs.
gain 364 400 500

aEstimated liveweight gain from 2.4 tons of high moisture corn
dry matter and 0.2 tons of supplement.
Estimated liveweight gain from 3.0 tons of corn earlage dry mat-
ter and 0.25 tons of supplement.
CEstimated liveweight gain from 5.6 tons of corn silage dry mat-
ter and 0.43 tons of supplement.









Table 18.--Estimated total costs for growing beef calves with high moisture corn grain, corn earlage, and
corn silage rations in drylot from 500 to 750 pounds liveweight, assuming different crop yields,
cattle prices, and distances from the field to the feedlota

Calf cost
$200 $275 $350
Yield/A ($40/cwt.) ($55/cwt.) ($70/cwt.)

Distance from field to feedlot (miles)
0 50 100 0 50 100 0 50 100
---------------------------------------- Dollars ------------------------------------
-bu. of corn grain-
100 292.72 294.86 297.00 367.72 369.86 372.00 442.72 444.86 447.00
125 282.79 284.93 287.07 357.79 359.93 362.07 432.79 434.93 437.07
150 276.18 278.32 280.46 351.18 353.32 355.46 426.18 428.32 430.46

-tons of corn earlage-
5.0 283.39 286.13 288.87 358.39 361.13 363.87 433.39 436.13 438.87
6.2 275.17 277.91 280.65 350.17 352.91 355.65 425.17 427.91 430.65
7.4 269.69 272.43 275.17 344.69 347.43 350.17 419.69 422.43 425.17

-tons of corn silage-
17.00 296.33 302.62 308.91 371.33 377.62 383.91 446.33 452.62 458.91
21.25 290.73 297.02 303.31 365.73 372.02 378.31 440.73 447.02 453.31
25.50 287.01 293.30 299.59 362.01 368.30 374.59 437.01 443.30 449.59

See next page for footnote.










Footnote for Table 18

aTotal cost per calf for 100, 111, and 167 day feeding periods with high moisture corn grain, corn
earlage, and corn silage, respectively: Calf cost as shown. Fixed feeding cost at $.10/head/day for feed-
lot facilities. Variable feeding cost at $0.078/head/day for labor, veterinary cost, etc. Corn feed cost
assuming dry matter intakes of 14, 13, and 11 pounds/head/day for high moisture grain, corn earlage, and
corn silage, respectively; and dry matter production costs ($/ton) of 78.02, 62.75, and 40.91; 63.83,
51.35, and 34.82; and 54.38, 43.75, and 30.77, respectively for high moisture corn, earlage, and silage
with yield equivalents of 100, 125, and 150 bushels/acre. Supplement feed cost at 1.5 lb./head/day assuming
supplement at $200/ton. Corn feed transportation cost at 0.061, 0.076, and 0.137 $/ton/mile of high moisture
grain, earlage, and silage dry matter, respectively. Corn feed storage at $7.59/ton for high moisture grain
dry matter (assumes 600-ton oxygen limiting silo at $5.17/ton of 75 percent moisture grain and 10 percent dry
matter storage loss), $2.37/ton for earlage dry matter (assumes 750-ton bunker silo at $1.30/ton of 40 percent
moisture earlage and 10 percent dry matter storage loss), and $4.33/ton for silage dry matter (assumes 750-ton
bunker silo at $1.30/ton of 67 percent moisture silage and 10 percent dry matter storage loss).









Table 19.--Estimated total costs for finishing cattle from 750 to 1,000 pounds liveweight in drylot with
high moisture corn grain, corn earlage and corn silage rations, assuming different crop yields,
cattle prices, and distances from the field to the feedlot

Calf cost
$225.00 $337.50 $450.00
Yield/A ($30/cwt.) ($45/cwt.) ($60/cwt.)

Distance from field to feedlot (miles)
0 50 100 0 50 100 0 50 100
---------------------------------------- Dollars ------------------------------------
-bu. of corn grain-
100 324.97 327.47 329.97 437.47 439.97 442.47 549.97 552.47 554.97
125 313.35 315.85 318.35 425.85 428.35 430.85 538.35 540.85 543.35
150 305.61 308.11 310.61 418.11 420.61 423.11 530.61 533.11 535.61

-tons of corn earlage-
5.0 316.41 319.83 323.25 428.91 432.33 435.75 541.41 544.83 548.25
6.2 306.15 309.57 312.99 418.65 422.07 425.49 531.15 534.57 537.99
7.4 299.31 302.73 306.15 411.81 415.23 418.65 524.31 527.73 531.15

-tons of corn silage-
17.00 317.00 324.71 332.42 429.50 437.21 444.92 542.00 549.71 557.42
21.25 310.15 317.86 325.57 422.65 430.36 438.07 535.15 542.86 550.57
25.50 305.60 313.31 321.02 418.10 425.81 433.52 530.60 538.31 546.02

aTotal cost per calf calculated from costs presented in footnote a, Table 18. It is assumed that cattle
will be fed for 91, 100, and 125 days for high moisture grain, earlage, and silage, respectively, and average
dry matter intake of each corn feed will be 18 pounds/head/day in addition to 1.5 pounds/head/day of supple-
ment.







32



include calf purchase price and distance from the field to the drylot.

Standard cost values for feed storage, fixed feeding cost (feedlot

facilities) and variable feeding cost (labor, veterinary cost, etc.)

are used. Animal performance data presented in Tables 16 and 17 are

used.

Growing Calves from 500 to 750 Pounds Liveweight


Total cost figures for feeding growing beef calves show that corn

silage is always the most expensive method of feeding field corn prod-

uct feeds (Table 18). Under the cost structure used in this analysis

it requires from $3.61 to $19.13 more per head to feed corn silage than

high moisture grain. The high cost of feeding corn silage results from

the longer feeding period and supplemental feed expense. Relative to

high moisture grain, silage feed becomes more expensive with increasing

distance from the field to the feedlot ($8.30/calf/100 miles of trans-

portation) and increasing crop yield ($4.33 per calf from 100 to 125 bu./

acre and $2.89 per calf from 125 to 150 bu./acre). Relative to earlage,

it requires from $12.94 to $24.42 more per head to feed corn silage than

corn earlage. Silage feed becomes more expensive with increasing distance

from the field to the feedlot ($7.10/calf/100 miles of transportation)

and increasing crop yield ($2.62/calf from 100 to 125 bu./acre and $1.76/

calf from 125 to 150 bu./acre).

Corn earlage is the least expensive corn product to feed. In com-

parison with high moisture grain, total cost per calf is from $5.29 to

$9.33 less for calves fed earlage. However, total cost for calves fed

earlage, relative to those fed high moisture grain, becomes more expen-

sive with increasing distance from the field to the drylot ($1.20/calf/







33



100 miles of transportation) and increased crop yields ($1.71/calf

from 100 to 125 bu./acre and $1.13 per calf from 125 to 150 bu./acre).


Finishing Calves from 750 to 1,000 Pounds Liveweight

Total cost figures for finishing cattle present the same general

trend as those for growing calves (Table 19). Corn silage is again

the most expensive method of utilizing field corn for animal feed. It

requires from $2.01 to $10.41 more per head to feed corn silage than

corn grain at higher yields and increasing transportation distances.

However, silage becomes less expensive than grain at zero transportation

distances ($3.20 to $7.97), and in the 50 miles case ($2.76). Transporta-

tion cost greatly increases the cost of feeding silage relative to high

moisture corn ($10.42/calf/100 miles of transportation), as does crop

yield ($4.77/calf from 100 to 125 bu./acre and $3.19/calf from 125 to

150 bu./acre). Relative to earlage, it requires from $0.59 to $14.87 more

per head to feed corn silage than corn earlage. Silage becomes expensive

with increasing distances ($8.58/calf/100 miles) and increasing crop

yield ($3.41/calf from 100 to 125 bu./acre and $2.29/calf from 125 to

150 bu./acre).

Again, corn earlage is the least expensive field corn product to

feed. In comparison to high moisture grain, total cost per calf is

$4.46 to $8.56 less for the earlage feeding method. However, total

cost for calves fed earlage, relative to high moisture grain, becomes

more expensive with increased distance from the field to the drylot

($1.84/calf/100 miles of transportation) and increased crop yield

($1.36/calf from 100 to 125 bu./acre and $0.90/calf from 125 to 150 bu./

acre).







34



Break-even Selling Prices


Selling prices needed for cattle at the end of the feeding period to

recover total cost of feeding (break-even price) are presented in Tables

20 and 21. With respect to the variables compared in the previous

analysis,these values simply reflect differences indicated by the total

cost figures presented in Tables 18 and 19. However, break-even prices

also indicate the probability of profits or losses based on existing or

predicted calf market prices.

Although corn growing costs and calf feeding costs, for individual

farmers, thus break-even selling prices, will be different from those

presented here and have to be evaluated at the time cattle are actually

fed, these data do present a favorable picture for feeding field corn

products produced in the Everglades agricultural area. Based on past

cattle price trends there were many periods where cattle feeders would

have profited under the cost structure presented in this analysis,

particularly under the finishing program presented. Also, it should be

pointed out that the maximum field corn product costs were used in this

analysis in order to present a conservative cost picture.


SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS


There has been a recent increasing interest in field corn production

in the EAA. This report has a) developed an enterprise budget for field

corn grown for grain, earlage, or silage; b) determined break-even

transportation costs for the three products; and c) applied an economic

analysis to feeding systems using the three types of feed.

The enterprise budget developed shows that it costs about $170 to

grow one acre of field corn in the EAA. Total costs per acre depend on









Table 20.--Break-even prices for beef calves fed high moisture corn grain, corn earlage, and corn s lage
rations in dry lot from 500 to 750 pounds liveweight under the assumptions of this study

Distance from field to feedlot (miles)

Yield (bu.) 0 50 100
Corn Corn Corn Corn Corn Corn Corn Corn Corn
grain earlage silage grain earlage silage grain earlage silage
---------------------------------------Dollars/cwt.------------------------------------
Situation I: Calves bought at $40/cwt.
100 40.24 38.95 40.73 40.53 39.33 41.60 40.82 39.71 42.46
125 38.87 37.82 39.96 39.17 38.20 40.83 39.46 38.58 41.69
150 37.96 37.07 39.45 38.26 37.45 40.32 38.55 37.82 41.18

Situation II: Calves bought at $55/cwt.
100 50.55 49.26 51.04 50.84 49.64 51.91 51.13 50.02 52.77
125 49.18 48.13 50.27 49.47 48.51 51.14 49.77 48.89 52.00
150 48.27 47.38 49.76 48.57 47.76 50.63 48.86 48.13 51.49

Situation III: Calves bought at $70/cwt.
100 60.85 59.57 61.35 61.15 59.95 62.22 61.44 60.33 63.08
125 59.49 58.44 60.58 59.78 58.82 61.45 60.08 59.20 62.31
150 58.58 57.69 60.07 58.88 58.07 60.93 59.17 58.44 61.80

aAssuming also a three percent death loss.










Table 21.--Break-even prices for cattle finished with high moisture corn grain, corn earlage, and corn
silage rations from 750 to 1,000 pounds under the assumptions of this study

Distance from field to feedlot (miles)

Yield (bu.) 0 50 100
Corn Corn Corn Corn Corn Corn Corn Corn Corn
grain earlage silage grain earlage silage grain earlage silage
---------------------------------------Dollars/cwt.------------------------------------
Situation I: Calves bought at $30/cwt.
100 33.50 32.62 32.68 33.76 32.97 33.48 34.02 33.32 34.27
125 32.30 31.56 31.97 32.56-. 31.91 32.77 32.82 32.27 33.56
150 31.51 30.86 31.51 31.76 31.21 32.30 32.02 31.56 33.09

Situation II: Calves bought at $45/cwt.
100 45.10 44.22 44.28 45.36 44.57 45.07 45.62 44.92 45.87
125 43.90 43.16 43.57 44.16 43.51 44.37 44.42 43.86 45.16
150 43.10 42.45 43.10 43.36 42.81 43.90 43.62 43.16 44.69

Situation III: Calves bought at $60/cwt.
100 56.70 55.82 55.88 56.96 56.17 56.67 57.21 56.52 57.47
125 55.50 54.76 55.17 55.76 55.11 55.96 56.02 55.46 56.76
150 54.70 54.05 54.70 54.96 54.41 55.50 55.22 54.76 56.29

aAssuming also a three percent death loss.






37



yields and on whether the corn is harvested for grain, earlage or silage.

For a yield equivalent to 125 bushels, total costs are about $192, $193,

and $244 for grain (excluding drying), earlage, and silage, respectively.

Net returns per acre vary according to yields and prices.

Market price, moisture content, and feed energy value of the three

products determine maximum affordable transportation distances. In

general, high moisture corn grain and corn earlage are the products that

can be transported farther away before an economic loss is present. For

example, for a yield equivalent to 125 bushels and a price of $2.50/bu.,

the distance constraint is 690, 542, and 264 miles for grain, earlage,

and silage, respectively.

Total cost figures for growing calves from 500 to 750 pounds and

for finishing calves from 750 to 1,000 pounds show that corn silage is

the most expensive method of feeding field corn product feeds while corn

earlage is the least expensive product. Earlage, however, becomes more

expensive with increasing distance from the field to the drylot and

increased crop yields. Break-even prices reflect the differences in-

dicated above. However, they present a favorable picture for feeding

field corn products produced in the EAA.






38









REFERENCES


[1] Bakes, F. S., Jr. "Feeding Value of High-moisture Corn and Sorghum
for Beef Cattle," in Effect of Processing on the Nutritive
Value of Feeds, Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Sciences,
1973.

[2] Chapman, Jr., H. L., et al. Production and Utilization of Corn
Silage on OYganic Soils, Bulletin 679. Gainesville, Florida:
Agricultural Experiment Stations, University of Florida, June
1964.

[3] Florida Crop and Livestock Reporting Service. Florida Agricultural
Statistics Field Crops Summary. Orlando: Florida Crop and
Livestock Reporting Service, Annual Issues.

[4] Green, V. E., Jr., et al. Field Corn Production in South Florida,
Bulletin 582. Gainesville, Florida: Florida Agricultural
Experiment Stations, University of Florida, 1957.

[5] Henderson, J. R. and J. E. Brogdon. "Field Corn Production Guide,"
Circular 144A. Gainesville, Florida: Agricultural Extension
Service, University of Florida, February 1961.

[6] National Research Council. "Nutrient Requirements of Domestic
Animals," No. 4, Nutrient Requirements of Beef Cattle, Washing-
ton, D.C.: National Research Council, 1970.

[7] Walker, R. L. and Donald D. Kletke. An Application and Use of the
Oklahoma State University Crop and Livestock Budget Generator,
Research Report #P-663. Stillwater: Oklahoma Agr. Exp. Stat.,
July 1972.





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