It seems like the perfect time to be in the cattle business. We had a great year for pasture and hay; grain prices are moderate; while cattle prices are at record highs. However, remember nothing lasts forever — including our current take-home paychecks. Plan for the worst and hope for the best. Now may not be the time to splurge on frivolous things, but rather invest in your business.
You might consider a head gate or working chute that will make working on cattle easier and safer for both you and the cattle. Consider pouring a little concrete where it is always a muddy mess around the hay feeder or water fountain. Improve your pastures. There is also the opportunity to upgrade your genetics. You might want to wait a for a couple more good years before you take that trip to Hawaii.
The big question is always should — I BE EXPANDING now? Our advice for the last five years has been yes, with moderation. Now we are saying yes, with moderation and caution. Don’t get caught up in the moment, but rather proceed with caution. Buy quality and expand at a rate your operation can handle. Don’t over stock and set yourself up for failure if we have a very dry growing season. Even if the price for cattle stays high, you still need to feed them.
Culls now contribute to the bottom line like never before. We just took an old herd bull to market and he brought almost $3,000.00. Several old open cows yielded almost $2,000.00 each. Good business planning tells you those cows will pay for their replacements. Remember the old cows will tell you in advance when its time for them to go:
- They go from the first to calve to being the last to calve.
- Next, they don’t breed with the herd, and you think you’ll hold them over till the next breeding season.
- Have you noticed when all the other cows run to the gate for the new pasture, those old gals walk out last with a little struggle? It’s time to go! You don’t get anything to bury them on the farm!
Our New website design has finally been completed. We have even added an interactive posting Blog. Yes, you can leave comments and suggestions about anything……….well almost anything.
We have continued to expand our fall calving herd to the point that spring and fall sales are about equal. The increase in inventory has given us the opportunity to offer additional bulls and heifers in each bloodline. Everything sold has a complete DNA 50K profile and has parent verification. We believe we are currently one of the few cattle operations in the United States to offer this service.