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Anonymous

OK I'll try to be more specific. I am looking at a 146 acre tract in West Texas, in Loving County. The land is described as prairie land with a terrain that varies from flat to rolling with several sandy hills & ridges. I would like to know what breeds (of beef not dairy) cattle you would suggest. Also what types of grains would grow well here? Also there is no water on the land, and the seller says one will need to be dug to 250 feet to hit water. Is that going to be mega-expensive? Thanks for any input you guys can provide.
 

la4angus

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Without water I don't see how the land would be worth anything to raise cattle, nor to grow crops that may need to be irrigated.
Check with a "water well drilling company" and get an estimate of what the cost would to drill a well at that location, and go from there.
 

Bez

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Whew! Still not much info, but here goes - I will answer you but in fact the answer will have more questions than comments:

It sounds like it might be a nice piece of property. But:

1. What about access"
2. What about the house?
3. What about fences?
4. What about services - power water and sewer. Wells are expensive to drill - each area is different and if the drilling is tough do not be surprized if it runs better than 5-6 thousand. A couple of simple phone calls to a local driller will give you an average answer. Once the well is in you have to pump the water. Where will it go? What are costs to run in power to your home site? to the well? Will you have to install septics?
5. What about the climate - can you grow any grass? Will you have to buy hay? How much rain? How good is the soil?
6. Will you start with bred cows? Cows with calves at side? Heifers?
7. What equipment will you have to buy?
8. What machinery will you have to buy?

And the beat goes on and on ......

I think you need to forget about the cow aspect until you have the land, housing, fences, shelter and services issues settled. On a start up you will need a surprizing amount of cash - from you / family or bank. No matter what you think you can do it for, count on an additional 50% - 100% because there are always big surprizes. For example - what if the well comes up dry - or if the water is bad and needs a treatment station installation? What if there is additional costs to bring power in from wherever. And so on. What if there are problems with growing a feed supply / buying a feed supply? Forget growing grain for profit on 148 acres unless you have all the equipment including harvest capability. Custom operators will eat up the profit on such a small area - if you can even find a custom operator to come in. Talk to your potential neighbours - see what they can do - what they will charge ......

In fact the last thing I would be worried about at this stage is the breed of cattle. There are so many good ones out there you might be surprized.

So, set the priorities.

1. You need a place - buy it - but only after consulting with the local ag rep about viability - the real estate guy / gal may have an idea - but they have a vested interest in the sale.

2. Get set up. Have a house or some type of shelter for you and family if any - get everything up and working. Unless you are an all round tradesman you will need to hire some contractor work out. Another expense.

3. Unless you are independently wealthy do not count on your military pension - if any - to make the payments. I am ex-mil and I need a job. 148 acre operations are not usually self sufficient unless all mortgages and payments are completed and the place - including equipment is free and clear.

4. Get a good banker. Get a good accountant. Look into start up grants and loans from the various government offices - from local to federal. Get a lawyer - use him. SIGN NOTHING - EVER - WITHOUT HIS OR HER APPROVAL. I do not care how smart you are or how honest you think the people you are dealing with are - even lawyers use lawyers.

And so on and so on. This could go on forever. Bottom line is plan on spending a lot of money - more than you expected and plan on making none for a long time.

That being said it's a great life - I love it as does my family.

Best of luck in this endeavour.

Bez
 
OP
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Anonymous

I would strongly suggest you start looking for land some place else, Loving county it’ll be alright if you’re planning to grow rocks or sand. According to the handbook of Texas Online: “Rainfall averages just over ten inches The County has an immature drainage system made up of hundreds of playas and dry draws that feed into the Pecos only after heavy rainfall. In 1936 Red Bluff Dam was built across the Pecos on the Texas-New Mexico boundary for irrigation and recreation. Water from the Pecos, however, is too saline for drinking, so the 100 residents of the county haul water from a community tank.” I’m seven years away from retirement and I’ve been looking for some 200-300 acres to raise cattle and although I love W. Texas this is not going to be the place. Here is a site you may want to visit: http://www.westtexasrealestate.com/
 

Running Arrow Bill

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Supernewtocattle":329iy70x said:
OK I'll try to be more specific. I am looking at a 146 acre tract in West Texas, in Loving County. The land is described as prairie land with a terrain that varies from flat to rolling with several sandy hills & ridges. I would like to know what breeds (of beef not dairy) cattle you would suggest. Also what types of grains would grow well here? Also there is no water on the land, and the seller says one will need to be dug to 250 feet to hit water. Is that going to be mega-expensive? Thanks for any input you guys can provide.

We're in Texas Panhandle region. I have lived in Texas most of my life and have traveled here extensively. That aside:

Don not consider any Texas land sight unseen. The area South of a line from Lubbock to Vernon ( US 287 ) and West of a line between Childress, TX and the Mexican border is VERY arid, with anywhere between 8 and 15" inches rainfall a year (average only). Essentially no ability to grow any type of crop (even hay) unless heavily irrigated. Even with water, the "natural" landscape might require anywhere between 35 and 100+ acres to support one 1000# animal, year around. The Pecos, Valentine, Ft. Stockton, Alpine, San Angelo area might require even up to 250 acres per head.

Due to the location of most of those farm/ranch type properties, electricity to well pumps is often not practical. Windmills and gas/diesel engines are often used to pump water. Some of that land in the lower S-W Texas region is so unproductive it's selling as low as $35 to 50. an acre. Recently saw an adv for 11,000 acres in that region for $35. an acre.

The list goes on and on... However, a nice area to "get away from it all!"-
 

Running Arrow Bill

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Supernewtocattle":teexk7pe said:
OK I'll try to be more specific. I am looking at a 146 acre tract in West Texas, in Loving County. The land is described as prairie land with a terrain that varies from flat to rolling with several sandy hills & ridges. I would like to know what breeds (of beef not dairy) cattle you would suggest. Also what types of grains would grow well here? Also there is no water on the land, and the seller says one will need to be dug to 250 feet to hit water. Is that going to be mega-expensive? Thanks for any input you guys can provide.

Another thought...

Just because a seller "says" you can find water in West Texas at "X" feet deep doesn't mean you WILL. We lucked out on our new well by using a "Water Witch" and hit a major pool of water at 70 feet...using a 5 HP pump and getting about 80 GPM. The well that came with our house was 200 feet away and only produced 2 to 5 GPM and we abandoned use of it. Think the average for bringing in a well in Western part of Texas is about $18 to $20 a foot + pressure tank + insulated well house + source of power to run pump...this assumes the driller doesn't have to travel more than 25 to 50 miles from his home base of operation. Most wells can be drilled and cased within one day, usually not more than 3-5 days for driller's equipment on site.

Also the issues of water quality...

A 1000# bovine will drink 15 to 30 gal per day in summer.

Windmill set-ups are running $2500 to $5000 plus the cost of the well itself. Work well in West Texas (usually plenty of wind).

Cattle may drink water faster than those solar-powered pumps (which have a limit on operation depth -- feet of head --) may pump, even with a storage tank.
 

dun

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What kinbd of evil does one have to commit to be sentenced to this "gardenspot" known as texas, or Baja Oklahoma?

dun
 

Arnold Ziffle

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I think that the comments made a few posts ago by Guest are pretty much on target. And that wasn't a misprint when he or she referred to the 100 residents of the county. Loving Co. is the least populated county in the entire state, as I recall. Also, if memory serves correctly, virtually all residents of the county have to truck in water for human consumption, since even those lucky enough to have water underlying their property find it not fit for human consumption.

Precious few cattle can be grazed on 150 or so acres in that country. So unless you really like exteme solitude, rocks, sand, snakes, heat, etc., I'd say find another place!
 
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Anonymous

OK I figured by the price of the land there had to be something wrong with it. The land I wanted in South Dakota, I researched also and it has too much selenium (sp?) in the soil. I guess it has toxic levels that are dangerous to animals and humans. So I am swearing myself not to buy any land off ebay. I am just wondering for a small investment of like 40-50K how much decent land I can get. Thank you very much all for the input.

:)
 

ollie

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Dun can you still get grazing around you for 1000.00 if so It is the cheapest land in the nation for grazing cows.
 

dun

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In larger tracts (100 acres or so) that's about what it will run. If you bump the price another couple of hundred an acre you can get some excellent pasture.

dun

ollie":mlkh14o6 said:
Dun can you still get grazing around you for 1000.00 if so It is the cheapest land in the nation for grazing cows.
 

TheBullLady

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At the risk of having rocks thrown at me, I'm a Realtor, and I specialize in farm and ranch properties in Texas, of all places.

Every one was pretty much on the mark on what things you need to look into when you're considering buying land in a totally unfamiliar area. But I do have to take exception to the comment about "the Realtor has a vested interest in the sale". Of course we do.. that's how we make our living ( and afford to keep cows) but a Realtor is not going to talk you into buying something totally inappropriate just to walk away with a big commission check. We LIVE here too, so will probably have to face you in the grocery store / feed store, court house eventually.

Find a reputable, honest Realtor in the area you're considering.. and find one that specializes in farm and ranch property, and you'll find you can gain a lot of knowledge about an area, as well as important information regarding utilities, etc. Make sure your Realtor understands what your goal is.. what you want to grow or produce, etc. If we don't know the answer to a question, we'll find someone that does know.

http://www.farm-and-ranch.com
 
OP
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Anonymous

Hi to TheBullLady!

Not a chance that anyone will throw rocks. If they do I will be the first to jump in. In fact I am the author of the statement that may have offended. Upon re-reading I see where it can be taken the wrong way - for that I apologize.

I too am in sales - it's the only way we can make the farm keep running.
Heaven knows that the Horned Herefords and Black Angus have not managed to pay all the bills at this time.

It gives me freedom to work when I want! In fact I have my realtors license - received some 8 years ago in Alberta, and am studying to receive my insurance brokers license - to be awarded in July if all goes well. So, you can see that I also called myself to the forefront - along with those who might not appreciate the comment.

Yes there are those who are very, very reputable - in fact the vast majority fit into this category - but upon ocaission ....

It is always important for the buyer to be aware - until a relationship - and mutual trust are formed.

I know all types in sales - and I would bet you do as well - perhaps that is the way I should have approached it. When I look in the mirror I know which type of person I see looking back. Bet you do too!

So, no offense intended - but I think I will stand by the statement in this specific instance.

Hope this doesn't drag us too far off track!

Have a great day,

Bez
 

cherokeeruby

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Just remember that there is a real nice place for sale a few miles from here. Located on Hwy 80 east of Terrell in Kaufman county, right next to Dallas county, pretty much cattle country around here. Already has house, barn, fences, ponds, etc. Think it is a little over 200 acres Century 21 has the listing.

Good Luck

TXFlagAnim.gif
 

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