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Making Money in the Cattle Business.

mnmtranching

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This is just part one;
I just thought I would give some advice, and how I make money with cattle.
My haying equipment.
560 Farmall diesel. Easy on fuel and easy maintenance, parts available. What I did is buy a junker for parts.
I got $3200 in the tractor and do the mechanic work myself.
I did the same with a 488 NH haybine, put 2 junkers together and got a good working machine. $1500 total including a new sickle.
I use a old rustic rake that I've had forever, don't put much of anything into it. BOY! would I love to upgrade.
My 846 NH baler has been around forever to. It's baled something around 15,000 bales. On the way to the auction I noticed a 846 parked as a junker in a farmers lot. Stopped by and asked what he needed for it?
Careful thought, the old guy sez, "tires are flat, give me $200" Turned out the chains were very good, the reason he had parked it, hit a rock and bent the pick up.
We are having a good crop year, with a little luck with my old junk I will have extra hay for my 80 cow herd and maybe save back 25 heifers and backgrounds the steers.
Nice equipment would be great and I got the credit to buy whatever I want. Then you have payments, You've got to watch those payments and don't spend during the good times.
 

1982vett

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If using old equipment is the key to making money farming and ranching, the Mennonites and Amish must be filthy rich. ;-) I know what your point is, doesn't make it right that the food producer has to be "asset rich" but live like paupers to support everyone else.
 

EAT BEEF

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If using old equipment is the key to making money farming and ranching, the Mennonites and Amish must be filthy rich.

On the avg. they have more money than anyone else I know.
 

1982vett

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:idea: So what does everyone else spend money on that they don't? I'd be willing to bet their is more to it than the equipment they spend money on.
 

rockridgecattle

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We too own machinery that came off Noah's boat. Easy to repair, hubby does his own repairs for the most part. However, there comes a time when some things have to be up graded. For example, we had a 7' JD three point hitch sickle mower. We spent more time fixing than cutting. This is a pain. So hubby bought a haybine, used.
He just came home from an auction, bought himself a deep tiller for $ 475.00, looks to be about 15'...just guessing. Needs about 500.00 worth of work and parts, all he can do himself, but in the end he got a tiller that will work the land we have. Most of our tractors are from the '50 and '60's.
Wish we had newer, takes us longer to do the jobs the neighbors do, with bigger and newer tractors and equipment, but it costs us less.
 

alacattleman

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EAT BEEF":dns1lxuj said:
If using old equipment is the key to making money farming and ranching, the Mennonites and Amish must be filthy rich.

On the avg. they have more money than anyone else I know.
yep,, how else can you come in buy up hundreds of acres of land with brick homes on em, tear down the brick house and erect a wood farm house over night and turn the whole place back in time hundred years.. the amish would drool over my equipment though.
 

alacattleman

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there a cattle family a few miles from me during the winter months, the work on and maintain equipment service paint and and have it setting in the sheds ready too go too work the next spring. this is old equipment too some of the tractors have trike front ends,
 

backhoeboogie

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mnmtranching":2i9wjv03 said:
Nice equipment would be great and I got the credit to buy whatever I want. Then you have payments, You've got to watch those payments and don't spend during the good times.

If you are truly making money, why not just pay for it instead of credit?

I am ready to read Part II.

Yes I agree with maintenance and I build a lot of items myself. For the most part, I find older equipment to be more robust, easier to maintain and just plain more reliable.

My brush hog is a 1954 model servis cutter that just won't die. Rhino bought out Servis several decades ago.
 

mnmtranching

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Hey backhoe, I've used the credit option a lot over the years, has worked out well for me.
Everything I get for the ranch is money made off the ranch.
I ain't going to sit here and say raising cattle is going to get you rich.
Just saying, you can do good raising cattle.
Main thing, You REALLY got to want to do it and you REALLY got to enjoy it.
Some other main things too. We might get into that later.
 

Brute 23

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My advice is to spend the least amount possible on your cattle at all times because every thing else in the cattle business (weather, market, ect) is out of your hands. Some years you will make money, some years you be lucky to stay afloat.
 

S and D Reds

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I read an article that advised that the best thing to do is to buy your hay. It said the money spent on equipment and the land that you use tied up in hay rather than having more cows is not worth it. Of course you would have to be careful and watch what you buy and what you pay for it.
 

Stocker Steve

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It is easy to buy "low cost" equipment for a couple hundred bucks. It's a bit harder to have low cost equipment that runs when you need it and does not cost more for repair parts than you originally paid for it.
I put together an entire tillage line for a thousand bucks. Ended up with a lot of disk repair but I blamed that on the rocks. Thinking about becoming a wheat rancher now that I have everything seeded down. :cboy:
I have had issues with low cost haying equipment. Bought the wrong swather and ended up with an advanced degree in power transmission.

You really can not justify even low cost equipment if you can find a good custom operator.
 

farmwriter

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S and D Reds":2r8idxrm said:
I read an article that advised that the best thing to do is to buy your hay. It said the money spent on equipment and the land that you use tied up in hay rather than having more cows is not worth it. Of course you would have to be careful and watch what you buy and what you pay for it.
I almost posted similarly earlier but couldn't find the article. According to the one I saw, you need to cut more than several hundred acres of hay to pay for the equipment and come out cheaper than buying hay. Can't say that includes all u shadetree mechanics who can build and maintain your own stuff, which is not an option for me.
 

Caustic Burno

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farmwriter":2c0gdfob said:
S and D Reds":2c0gdfob said:
I read an article that advised that the best thing to do is to buy your hay. It said the money spent on equipment and the land that you use tied up in hay rather than having more cows is not worth it. Of course you would have to be careful and watch what you buy and what you pay for it.
I almost posted similarly earlier but couldn't find the article. According to the one I saw, you need to cut more than several hundred acres of hay to pay for the equipment and come out cheaper than buying hay. Can't say that includes all u shadetree mechanics who can build and maintain your own stuff, which is not an option for me.

Sounds good until a drought hits and you can't find hay. I hate hay equipment, and baleing hay but it is the only way to insure my supply. I operate on the philosphy there is no such thing as too much hay. Ask the people of central Texas that have been a drought. I went through two years worth of hay last year holdin an entire calf crop until prices got back up, the difference was I had the hay and could hold them.
 

LimiMan

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Caustic Burno":om8lhvm8 said:
farmwriter":om8lhvm8 said:
S and D Reds":om8lhvm8 said:
I read an article that advised that the best thing to do is to buy your hay. It said the money spent on equipment and the land that you use tied up in hay rather than having more cows is not worth it. Of course you would have to be careful and watch what you buy and what you pay for it.
I almost posted similarly earlier but couldn't find the article. According to the one I saw, you need to cut more than several hundred acres of hay to pay for the equipment and come out cheaper than buying hay. Can't say that includes all u shadetree mechanics who can build and maintain your own stuff, which is not an option for me.

Sounds good until a drought hits and you can't find hay. I hate hay equipment, and baleing hay but it is the only way to insure my supply. I operate on the philosphy there is no such thing as too much hay. Ask the people of central Texas that have been a drought. I went through two years worth of hay last year holdin an entire calf crop until prices got back up, the difference was I had the hay and could hold them.

If theres a drought, why is your grass going to grow any better than anyone elses?
 

Caustic Burno

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It doesn't as anyone would know the point was there is no such thing as to much hay. You make it and store it in the good years instead of being robbed in the bad.
 

LimiMan

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I can also buy it in the good years for anywhere from $16-22 a bale and store it. :cboy:
 

EAT BEEF

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If you buy the right junk you can almost always sell it for what you gave for it.You may have to make repairs along the way,but you have to do that with new stuff also.
 

upfrombottom

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A partner and I cut and bale 8 miles of river levee. We each own a tractor and split ownership of the hay equipment. We are able to cut our own hay, and sell some to pay equipment cost. Most years I just trade my share of the overages for more heifers. Each year after the season is over, we tear down the equipment fix anything worn and repaint it. We never buy new stuff, sometimes he or I will see a deal and we will upgrade. Because we keep the equipment looking new, occasionally we sell our old stuff for more than the upgrades. Most all ranchers have one tractor on the place, if you and your neighbors can't justify owning hay equipment of your own, go together on it.
 

hillrancher

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I have several years in the repairing of old equipment and using someone else's old. I own a new tractor which is 1 year old, AC, heat and loader this is my vacations, whiskey and women money I have saved since I have gotten old enough that doesn't matter anymore. I have five tractors on my pile of rocks it is handy when haying time comes I don't have to change. Haying alone we cut, rake and bail everyday. I take my time and the old tired equipment will make it.
I am needing a cutter priced some new. The price of a new cutter could build hay barns and store two years supply of hay and buy cheaper than a new cutter. Will not do it because will be depending on some one else. As Caustic stated drought will create a problem. Agree Caustic the grass is never too tall and there is never too much hay in the barn and pens.
If you want to exist in the cattle business do not try to out do your neighbor he may be one payment from not being there.
I think it is not fair that we on the farm or ranch cannot afford what the city folk have, insurance, paid vacations and holiday pay ect. I do think the day is soon when we will again be envied and praised for putting food on the tables.
 
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