Operating a cattle ranch can be hard, and many find achieving steady profitability difficult to come by. However, there are some best practices for increasing the profitability of any cattle ranch, no matter the size. The following tips are from Burke Teichart, a retired rancher, ranch consultant, speaker and contributor to BEEF magazine. His years in the industry have taught him the following options for boosting a ranch’s bottom line.
- Increase your cow-per-acre ratio without buying more acres. Focus on improving grazing management, developing water stock and improving fencing rather than buying more land, and you’ll be able to increase the size of your herd without also adding costs.
- Good grazing saves on feed. Through good grazing management, your feed costs will decrease without affecting the health or growth of your herd. Keep in mind that nutritional planning for the herd is part of grazing management.
- Employees have the highest overhead. Teichart maintains that one employee can manage 800 to 1,200 cows. Reduce expenses by reducing the cost of labor, housing, equipment, employee horses, etc.
- Keep a low debt-to-equity ratio. This allows your ranch to borrow easily in times of need or necessity.
- Get rid of unnecessary equipment that, as Teichart puts it, “rusts, rots and depreciates.”
- Good herd management will increase your cattle ranch’s total dollar returns, thus improving the ranch’s gross margin. Herd management includes everything from sound culling practices and crossbreeding to using good animal handling techniques and being careful in selecting bulls and seedstock provider.
- Use inputs wisely; this also increases the ranch’s gross margin. Teichart’s rule of thumb for inputs like supplements, feeds and healthcare products is that they must pay for themselves and then some more.
Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.