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Workinonit Farm

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Santas and Duhram Reds":2vd830se said:
If the number of cattle is decreasing, what is becoming of the land that these cattle used to graze on. Is it becoming row crop land? Not all of it can be turning into hunting resorts and suburbs.

Where I am, the cow numbers have decreased and it appears that the size of suburbia is increasing. Seriously though, 2 rather large farms have been split and one has become commercial property where there is now a bank, medical office and a condo complex. Another has been turned into a Lowe's (like Home Depot) and a high-end housing development. A third place is rented out for hay. Several smaller places that have gone 'out of the business' have also been turned into housing developments. These properties were in what is called a "Designated Growth Area".

The majority of the dairy farms in the county adjoining ours to the south and east have become 'farmettes' where folks have a few horses, and housing developments and apartment complexes. There are only 2 fully operational dairy farms now remaining in that county. Fortunately there are still quite a few in the county adjoining ours to the north and some in our county.

What I find fairly amusing is that the cattle population (beef and dairy) in this country has decreased over the years, however greenies point their fingers at the cattle population for all the 'bad air' contributing to climate change (new term for global warming). :roll:

Katherine
 

ga. prime

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Due to climate change, it now takes twice the acres for the same number of cows, or put another way, half the cows on the same acres.
 

lavacarancher

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ga. prime":3bfimwl9 said:
Due to climate change, it now takes twice the acres for the same number of cows, or put another way, half the cows on the same acres.

Yes sir, you are correct. That's what the EPA is purposing. The fart tax ($87.50/hd) is based on that assumption. It takes twice as much grass/green stuff to sequester the same amount of carbon dioxide as emitted by cattle. Or said another way half as many cattle on the same amount of land. I know that's not exactly what you meant but it is a pretty good parallel.
 

Brandonm22

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I can't talk about anyplace else; but here in Alabama thousands upon thousands of acres went out of crops into cattle range into timber. And that is outside the land that went out of all three into development. I read somewhere that we had lost 2 million crop acres here since the 50s. We have probably lost that many grazing acres since the 1970s. A guy has a solid ranch. He gets old. He bushogs less and less. Pine trees and sweet gums slowly start encroaching on the fields. He dies. Nobody does anything. Five years later you got pine trees, oaks, sweet gums, and privet hedges shading out the pastures. A lot of nice ~300 acre little ranches around here have also been broke up into ~6 50s. The folks build a house and decided to "farm". You go by some of those places now and there are 4 to 10 quasi-neglected horses of variable quantity and sometimes 2 to 4 cows in a pasture where last year's weeds are taller than the cows.
 

Limomike

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HerefordSire":3i2x7aci said:
More money in growing grass for hay than there is in commercial ranching.
More money in growing grass ...period. Whether its for hay, sod....etc..
 

HerefordSire

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Limomike":4bspb73e said:
HerefordSire":4bspb73e said:
More money in growing grass for hay than there is in commercial ranching.
More money in growing grass ...period. Whether its for hay, sod....etc..

I have to agree with you. Never thought it through like you did. Cows or steers can eat the same identical hay and grass, and the value of the grass depreciates though beef generation relative to selling it because the grass production is not the only cost of raising cattle. Sounds like beef is undervalued to me but I don't see how to capitalize on it.
 

TheBullLady

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Around central Texas it's pretty much the same. The big towns just keep growing out farther and farther.. Ft. Worth seems like it's growing out miles at a time. Subdivisions growing up everywhere, and bigger ranches being split by family members when the older generation dies off and none of the kids want to be farmers or ranchers anymore. Sad, but true. It will never end.. land is not something you can "renew". Once it's gone, it's gone.
 

SRBeef

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What's happening and why it is happening depend on where in the country you are located and what the other possibilities for the land are in that area.

Obviously if you are near a major city, sprawl, houses, warehouse, etc will bring in more money than cattle or dairy.

However if you are not in a sprawl/development area but can grow corn then corn is much more profitable than cattle with current cattle prices.

On rangeland that is too dry for corn, too far from population centers for development, etc cattle will continue to be raised there.

Overall land will be used for the purpose which makes the most money. Economics rules. Until the economics of cattle change, land with other possibilities in more profitable uses will be converted to those uses, sooner or later, unless economics (or legislation) changes that.

However legislation can't really overrule economics, legislation just slows the economic change down. No sense worrying about it, that is what will happen sooner or later, in a free society.

Even in Europe in places like France where there are complex rules to try to stop the conversion of farmland to other uses or to making larger farms, it doesn't really work it just slows the economic process.

The only way to change the conversion is to change the economics.

Jim
 

Alberta farmer

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A good portion of land that had cattle on it is going back into crop production. Doesn't seem to be any shortage of people lining up to rent crop land. With rent for crop land running around $65-$90/acre(my area) it becomes pretty hard for cows to compete? There is money growing hay for the hobby horse bunch, but it is iffy in my area due to the weather....rained on once and they don't want it.
Some of the land I own is not good for anything else but grazing, too hilly, wet, etc. I do intend to break up everything I possibly can for crop production. Seven years of very narrow margins in the cow/calf business plus a desire to spend winters in a warmer climate have pretty well made up my mind. Looking down the road to full retirement in a few years from farming and my other business interests.
 

Cowdirt

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Alberta farmer":34pf7q3t said:
A good portion of land that had cattle on it is going back into crop production. Doesn't seem to be any shortage of people lining up to rent crop land. With rent for crop land running around $65-$90/acre(my area) it becomes pretty hard for cows to compete? There is money growing hay for the hobby horse bunch, but it is iffy in my area due to the weather....rained on once and they don't want it.
Some of the land I own is not good for anything else but grazing, too hilly, wet, etc. I do intend to break up everything I possibly can for crop production. Seven years of very narrow margins in the cow/calf business plus a desire to spend winters in a warmer climate have pretty well made up my mind. Looking down the road to full retirement in a few years from farming and my other business interests.

Same here Farmer, Prices for corn and soybeans year before last had a lot of folks putting pasture land back in rowcrops. Sad thing about that is that much of the land is hel, highly erodible land, and should not be rowcropped. With notill practices the soil is not as vulnerable as it was in the old cotton days in our area but it will still suffer; so will we.
 

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