• If you are having problems logging in please use the Contact Us in the lower right hand corner of the forum page for assistance.

starting out in tough times

Joined
Feb 16, 2009
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Hi youall , I´m really considering buying a ranch in Oklahoma. Fom what I read on this board it is the very worst of times, but in an exercise in designing a business plan , could you help me visualize how you all manage in the states, since I´m from south america, down here its just grass and minerals. The true question, " is there any way to make a profit raisng cattle in this day and age" ?
 

Busterz

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 11, 2008
Messages
182
Reaction score
0
Location
SW Kansas
I think you'll find that the biggest road block to being profitable will be your land cost. Most agricultural land is selling at a price that won't cash flow itself.

I think there are ways to be prfoitable but you have to find your niche.

I think land values are about to come down, you may want to wait and see what happens.
 

Howdyjabo

Well-known member
Joined
May 23, 2004
Messages
2,062
Reaction score
0
Location
NC
One thing that comes to mind- be patient and I think you will be able to pick up some big bargains(land,fencing,machinery and cattle) in a year or two when the current owners finally loose it all trying to stay in. If enough of them go under (and I think its coming) the demand will be null and they will go for a song.
if you have the cash you can get in with everything already set in place.

Even before all this to really make a go of it you had to have an off farm income with benefits or (and sometimes and) everything paid for. Or find a niche market that pays better than commercial.

Right now you had better have cows that can produce on just grass, minerals and water-- there are times when supplementing still pays. But if you have cows/calves that NEED supplementing you may not be able to make it thru the down turns(especially this one).

I got my revised property tax this week-- It DOUBLED. How can they possibly think this is a good idea when people are going under right and left.
And the state is checking taxes 7 years back looking for small mistakes so they can fine you and charge interest . And small enough that it costs more to fight them than pay them. A $50 mistake(or so they say) is costing me $450- accountant says it will end up costing a minimum $500 to fight it.
Then next year they will go back 7 years and do it again. I wouldn't have a problem with them doing all 7 years all at once(could afford to fight one big one)- but they are waiting so they can get more money in perpetuity . The words BLACKMAIL/EXTORTION keep coming to mind.
Unless something starts changing fast I may have a place for you to buy right here. If I was smart I'd sell the place and invest in cheap stocks and sit around and get fat.
 
Joined
Feb 16, 2009
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
I have been reading all your posts , and from what I get, it may be reasonable to maybe make 100$ in profit on each calf sold. Am I way off base , or is this reasonable. Not much to live off but the wait to see what is born each calving season is tops for me.
 

grubbie

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2006
Messages
712
Reaction score
0
Location
Wyoming
We raise ours like you said, pretty much grass and minerals. We have very low overhead, and make a profit. But if we had to pay for the land, there is no way we could make a profit.
 

Caustic Burno

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 26, 2004
Messages
25,794
Reaction score
57
Location
Big Thicket East Texas
There is no way I would start an operation in Ok, I would look further south with milder winters and more rainfall like Ms. Al. or La.
I wouldn't buy land it took more than an acre to an acre and half per unit. Nothing aganst Ok. the milder the winters is a big savings on hay also most of North Texas and Ok you couldn't raise an umbrella sitting on a sack of fertilizer. You are going to pull out every stop to cut cost to make it today in this economic enviroment.
You can't sink a pile in land, tractors and hay equipment and make it.
 

Jovid

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 22, 2005
Messages
1,787
Reaction score
0
Location
Oklahoma
Caustic Burno":3bwny19k said:
There is no way I would start an operation in Ok, I would look further south with milder winters and more rainfall like Ms. Al. or La.
I wouldn't buy land it took more than an acre to an acre and half per unit. Nothing aganst Ok. the milder the winters is a big savings on hay also most of North Texas and Ok you couldn't raise an umbrella sitting on a sack of fertilizer. You are going to pull out every stop to cut cost to make it today in this economic enviroment.
You can't sink a pile in land, tractors and hay equipment and make it.

If that is the case then why do they send all the cattle from MS AL & LA to Oklahoma to eat the grass that we grow in the summer? Around here most of the pastures are filled with stockers from April till Sept.

That native grass doesn't require fertilizer.
 
Joined
Feb 16, 2009
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
This is just the reason I posted , with the variety of opinions available on these posts it can help everyone to locate new opportunities and make better decisions. Caustic please check your PM
 

cross_7

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 5, 2008
Messages
3,855
Reaction score
0
Location
NE Oklahoma
russoniello vinicio
here in my neck of the woods(tx & ok) i can't pencil a breakeven much less a profit.
once you figure in the price of land.
land prices in western ok & tx are in the 800.00 to 1500.00 (some even more)an acre and takes several acres for a cow.
the further east you go you get less acres per cow but your land prices go up as well and seems like your input cost go up as well(fertlizer,lime etc)
the best cattle country i've seen (i haven't seen much :D ) is east of wichita ks to iola or ft.scott but the winters are tough :mad:
oklahoma does have some tough country down in the breaks in sw part of the state but there is some really good country as well.
i like wetherford south to apache to ada, stillwater to enid to claremore to welch, but thats just me.
say you could find a 1000 acres @1000.00 an acre in oklahoma.
thats $1000000.00
which would pay more the 100 cows on the 1000 acres or the million in the bank.
sorry to be so negative but i can't figure a way to make it pay.
 

kenny thomas

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 16, 2008
Messages
10,056
Reaction score
31
Location
SW tip of Virginia
Using cross _7's figures, which sound reasonable, you can put the $1,000,000 in the bank at 4% and get $40,000 per year or work 100 cows a year for $10,000. $30,000 cost for you to get to farm. Pay me $20,000 per year and I will let you come farm for me. More than I clear now. Off farm job still puts food on the table.
 

Caustic Burno

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 26, 2004
Messages
25,794
Reaction score
57
Location
Big Thicket East Texas
Jovid":2tdbley6 said:
Caustic Burno":2tdbley6 said:
There is no way I would start an operation in Ok, I would look further south with milder winters and more rainfall like Ms. Al. or La.
I wouldn't buy land it took more than an acre to an acre and half per unit. Nothing aganst Ok. the milder the winters is a big savings on hay also most of North Texas and Ok you couldn't raise an umbrella sitting on a sack of fertilizer. You are going to pull out every stop to cut cost to make it today in this economic enviroment.
You can't sink a pile in land, tractors and hay equipment and make it.

If that is the case then why do they send all the cattle from MS AL & LA to Oklahoma to eat the grass that we grow in the summer? Around here most of the pastures are filled with stockers from April till Sept.

That native grass doesn't require fertilizer.


I said milder winters =- less hay consumption = less cost. Also to shop for land that would support a unit per acre, which is not uncommon with our milder weather and longer growing season.
 

1982vett

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2008
Messages
9,245
Reaction score
20
Location
Central Texas
Jovid":i747m6i9 said:
If that is the case then why do they send all the cattle from MS AL & LA to Oklahoma to eat the grass that we grow in the summer? Around here most of the pastures are filled with stockers from April till Sept.
What's in them the other 6 months? :p
 

Caustic Burno

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 26, 2004
Messages
25,794
Reaction score
57
Location
Big Thicket East Texas
I really don't think there is anyway to make money starting out today.
Now if you have cash to spend and say this is worth the lifestyle I want to live you can run the operation that it has a return over operating cost.
You will never recoup startup cost, money doesn't buy happiness just go into this with open eyes. The best way to have a little money is to start out with a lot in the cow business. Remember a lot of money is changing hands in this business the secret is getting some to stay in yours.
 

Caustic Burno

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 26, 2004
Messages
25,794
Reaction score
57
Location
Big Thicket East Texas
Caustic Burno":385l184s said:
I really don't think there is anyway to make money starting out today.
Now if you have cash to spend and say this is worth the lifestyle I want to live you can run the operation that it has a return over operating cost.
You will never recoup startup cost, money doesn't buy happiness just go into this with open eyes. The best way to have a little money is to start out with a lot in the cow business. Remember a lot of money is changing hands in this business the secret is getting some to stay in yours.


Also if your set on Oklahoma it is just a good a place to loose money as anwhere else.
 

marksmu

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 9, 2009
Messages
213
Reaction score
0
Location
Deep South East Texas - Chambers County
I agree with alot of the posts - I think its not about making alot of money - its about the lifestyle. Im getting ready to start out myself, but I have a 1000ac family ranch that I can run cattle on for free - I happen to just want the lifestyle. Ive got a job off the Ranch that can cover everything - but Im not actually happy doing it. I dread each day at work more than the next. I want to wake up and look forward to the days like I do the weekends. I enjoy stringing fence, I enjoy mowing grass, burning fields, discing and planting, I enjoy every aspect of being outside on the ranch. The only thing I can see that I wont enjoy is the drop in pay - but Im going to start that off slowly by just decreasing my work at the office by 1 day/week to start off. The office is happy to oblige right now as they are cutting hours on everyone anyways.

Ive run the numbers over and over and over again though - I cant see it being a high income producer, but I can see it paying for itself, the tractors, etc. I just think of it as money I would have spent doing what I enjoy on the weekends anyways. If the cows can pay the diesel, and the equipment, its more in the bank that I didnt spend from savings. By the time I reach retirement, 30 years from now, I should have a herd capable of supporting my retirement.
 

1982vett

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2008
Messages
9,245
Reaction score
20
Location
Central Texas
marksmu":1f8e6nv8 said:
By the time I reach retirement, 30 years from now, I should have a herd capable of supporting my retirement.
Don't mean to rain on your dream or be overly pessimistic, but don't count on your herd to be able to support you. Still hear Mom saying "Boy, you keep working, can't make it on the farm". Pretty much sums it up. Best to make sure you have a good nestegg to live on (it even has a whole set of problems of its own right now), cause the farm/ranch has hard enough time paying for itself. I worked 26 years (the last 5 waking up every morning pi$$ed off) prepairing to be able to step into my Dad's shoes and pick up where he left off. I can tell you, it is not the cattle that is putting food on the table.
 

marksmu

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 9, 2009
Messages
213
Reaction score
0
Location
Deep South East Texas - Chambers County
I am not counting on the cattle industry paying FOR my retirement, I am counting on it to pay for itself and my equipment throughout my retirement. Though, hopefully I will be able to at least have a bit of spending money from it on the side by that time in my life. My wife and I both continue to work and save - I just want the ranch to be self sufficient, and at least turning a decent profit by the time I reach retirement age. Luckily I have quite a while (30+ years) to get there.
 

Latest posts

Top