I could write volumes on this one, as this is just what I've been doing for the past year or so.
Profits are at least another year away. Break even this year is making the loan payments on time. Even the banker didn't expect any more than that.
My situation is probably very different than yours, as is everyone's on this message board. I bought a farm to expand an existing farming operation. I went more heavily into cattle, but the basics were already there. I had the resources, backing, net-worth and an experienced husband that made bowrrowing money feasible and not a totally stupid move.
A lot depends on what you have, what you'd need and what you can live without. Email me if you like at <A HREF="mailto:[email protected]
o.com</A> and I'd be happy to share my experiences. I love talking about cows anyways...
At any rate, bet on hamburger. I did. I figured out my income by figuring the least possible price I could expect to get by hauling my calves into the sale barn. If I get more through direct marketing, or selling on a grid, or selling purebred breeding stock, it's gravy. The bottom line is the bottom line and that's hamburger. Don't count on the fortunes many claim can be made by niche markets, etc. If it happens for you...good, if not, you won't go broke waiting for it to happen.
Make a friend. If you can't find one locally, make friends with a cow person on-line. I did and she has saved my butt more than once. She knows so much and has always been willing to answer my questions and share her ideas with me. She claims her only failure was talking me out of doing this in the first place, but after that initial failure, she has been a total godsend.
You'll find that as you get something down, you'll find something else to ask questions about. Once you get answers, there are just more questions. Get a dependable source of GOOD information, preferably several. Some of it you can figure out beforehand, some you won't even think of until you're in the middle of it. Make sure you can find out what you need to know when you need to know it! As has been pointed out, this probaly isn't a good place to count on for good information! Some of it is really good, but sometimes....I wonder and I'm still new!
Everyone has had good points. Good luck. I still might go broke at some point, but I wouldn't trade this for the world. Most satisfying thing I have ever done.