Is economics really our primary motivator?

Perhaps most of our decisions are really made out of habit or because “everyone knows you have to do that."

The other day I got in a lively discussion with one of my co-workers about farm and ranch decision making.

He made the statement that almost all decisions are made on economics or what made the most money for the operation. I argued that practically none are made on economics but more likely to be made more on social pressures or advertisements or what was hot at the time.

This got me to thinking on how I make decisions on my operation and what I see with other operations.

My home state of Missouri is second only to Texas in beef cow numbers. The average herd size is 34 cows. How many of these producers have a shed-full of hay equipment to harvest hay for these cows? Most in our area have a cutter, rake, tedder, baler and at least two tractors. They also need a hay trailer, and of course a nice truck with hay unroller to make all this feeding comfortable during the cold weather. Even if we buy used equipment, I am thinking it's about $100,000 worth of equipment. I have not added in fuel or upkeep. How much profit would that take from 34 cows, or 100 for that matter?

To read the complete article, click here.

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