Tightening The Pursestrings In The Cattle Business

Tightening The Pursestrings In The Cattle Business

Ask my tax man -- the beef business is expensive! For those of you in the midst of calving season, preparing for planting and locking in summer pastures, the expenses of raising cattle seem to go up each year. The costs of feed and hay for the cattle, fertilizer and seed for the fields, and hurried trips to town for parts and supplies certainly add up.

I recently read a great article in The Leaf Chronicle that offered advice on how to cut major costs in the beef business.

“James B. Neel, professor of animal science and beef cattle specialist for University of Tennessee Extension, explains what beef cow-calf producers need to do to stay out of the red. When costs negatively affect the producer’s profitability, it is best to determine what will bring the largest return of profit." Here are some ways to cut costs, according to Neel:

  1. Cull open beef females.
  2. Evaluate winter feed needs.
  3. Control weeds.
  4. Lengthen the grazing season.
  5. Wean calves early.
  6. Manage hay to reduce spoilage and loss.

To read more about each of these six tips, click here.

How do you manage your input costs and stay out of the red? What is the most expensive input in your operation? Do you predict beef prices will continue to climb to match the rise in inputs?

TAGS: Ranching
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