In the cattle business, most of our annual profits are actually made during the winter. These profits are the result of planning and decisions and performance far prior to frost. Our best money comes from what we don’t spend. If the average cow-calf producer averages spending $400 per cow wintering his mamma herd and bulls, and we cut this to $150 per cow, we will pocket our biggest and best income stream.
Being able to repeat and sustain such a wintering program with an above-average stocking rate will keep all of us in the black no matter what the market is paying. Few people ever get this done on a regular basis and yet it has been repeatedly proven to be more than possible, actually routine for a goodly number of ranchers.
Ranchers by my definition do not own significant equipment. They hire independent contractors after having exhausted all other means of getting the landscape in shape with the cattle. They own an old light pick-up truck or two and maybe an old horse and/or a mule, some portable post, poly wire and reels, a few buckets, a hammer, fencing tool, pliers, a small chainsaw, just about nothing else.
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