That is exactly my point. And if that trend continues, there will eventually be nothing left but tenant farmers, and wealthy investor landowners. All the tenant farmers will be competing heavily for land they will never have an opportunity to buy. And they will be relegated to "peasant class", growing their commodities for less than they cost to produce, because they will have no ability to leverage their production in any meaningful way. This is a trend that started a long time ago, but one that has become much accelerated in the last 20-30 years, where the balance of physical work based lifestyles (manufacturing, farming, transportation) has been exchanged for a computer traded investment based lifestyle. A much higher percentage of our GDP is now based in "trade" and "high tech"... we've shipped most of the manufacturing, and much of the VALUE of farming even, overseas.
My cows winter and calve on stalks. But they also get good hay, corn silage, and supplemental protein, and mineral. It's just a good place to keep them when it thaws in the spring. They aren't tearing up my pastures that way, and they are closer to the barn & calving pen if someone has a problem.Corn stubble is good feed in late fall and early winter. By January/February, most of the good stuff is either eaten or rotting away, and all that's left is the stalk. Add in the increasing energy requirements of late gestation cows and a prolonged cold snap - boom - they'll start dropping.
True, but, these long term or one time expenses occur every year if you are maintaining a somewhat traditional operation:Everything should count but...some expenses aren't single year expenses. If you buy something you'll have for 20 years it shouldn't really go all against one year's calf crop.
The equipment I addressed. The hourly rate you "charge yourself" needs to recoup all expenses for the year including repairs. If you're not in the $75-$125/hr range you're not being honest with yourself and you probably can't buy anything ever.True, but, these long term or one time expenses occur every year if you are maintaining a somewhat traditional operation:
- most sets of buildings require maintenance annually. Perhaps 4 to 5 K... I know - - you should not have any sheds.
- used equipment line requires a major expense annually. Perhaps 3 to 6 K... I know - - you should not have any equipment.
So the point is that most people should not have cow calf as their centerpiece enterprise because commodity cows can not cover overhead very well.
2) Other premium markets like seed stock.I'm not sure what the small scale guys can switch to that'll keep them in land and tractors beyond Wagyu to restaurants and csas to well to do city dwellers though.
It never hurts though. It's my understanding that low cost producers do better in all market conditions and on average as well.2) Other premium markets like seed stock.
3) Seasonal spring summer herd to minimize OH and hay usage.
4) Custom grazing contracts to increase ROI.
5) Cattle jockey to increase turnover.
The point here is most paths to profit success involve more than focusing on direct costs.
There's definitely synergy to be capitalized on in certain cases. I'm just getting to the point where I'd be willing to share land or help out for a percentage than do it myself. I can only afford so many long term investments at one time regardless if they're profitable. Steve Kenyon says and maybe he stole it - there's a difference between finances and economics. There is.Did pastured broilers for a while but butchering got old. Tried to buy pasture pigs and/or sheep for my wife, but she was too smart to that. Surprised her recently with a new nurse cow. We will see how Daisy works out after she calves. So far she follows us around like a big dog.
Yes, they could be separate accounting enterprises, but they don't have to be operated separately. For example - - you could graze multiple enterprises in one herd. Unfortunately Daisy does not like this because the big black bitches are mean to her.