When we flew to Chihuahua, Mexico, we had a layover in Houston, Texas. The flight from Houston to the Chihuahua City was pretty much straight west. That was somewhat of a surprise to my preconceived ideas.
Chihuahua is one of 32 states in Mexico. Chihuahua City is the capital of Chihuahua – and the second largest city in the state. The city is in a large valley that is pretty much surrounded by mountains. The elevation within the city is 4600 feet. The low spots on the ranches we visited were right at 5000 feet. Frost is common. Snow is possible. The highest elevation in the state of Chihuahua is 10,800 feet.
Many responded to last week’s PCC Update with concerns about our safety and wellbeing. I know there are a few trouble spots in Mexico – but Chihuahua does not appear to be one of them. Tyson and I visited several ranches in Chihuahua in 2009 – and had no problems. I think it is safer now than then.
Luis Valles is Pharo Cattle Company’s representative in Mexico. Luis has purchased over 120 PCC Solar Bulls for himself and others in Mexico. He has also used many of our AI sires. Luis likes what he sees and is convinced PCC philosophies and genetics will work great in Mexico.
When we visited the ranch owned by Luis, we commented on the mountains (big hills). I asked Luis if he knew what formed the mountains. He jokingly said, “I don’t know. They were here when I got here.” When we got out of the pickup, however, I noticed the ground was strewn with volcanic rocks of various sizes. That answered my question.
When we visited El Indio Ranch, the first thing Marco Borunda wanted to show us was his grazing system. He has been holistically managing the ranch for the past seven years – and is extremely excited about the results. Even though this ranch has an extremely rough (rocky and steep) terrain, it has been divided into 49 permanent paddocks. They use temporary electric fence and herding to further manage their grazing.
The results of proper grass management on this ranch were astounding! Marco’s biggest problem now is the fact that he does not have enough cows to eat all the grass he is producing. Most of his neighbors have never had this problem. The first picture below was taken prior to 2011. The next two pictures were taken recently.
The results of proper grass management are very real! Nevertheless, people in both the US and Mexico will say, “We can’t do that here…” for various reasons. If it can be done on El Indio, it can be done anywhere!
Tyson Pharo and I visited several ranches in Chihuahua in the spring of 2009. One of those ranches was Las Damas Ranch, owned by Alejandro Carrillo. Alejandro has practiced holistic management for nearly 15 years. He has been using PCC genetics for the past 10 years.
I use the picture below of the Las Damas Ranch in most of my presentations when I discuss grass management. This is a fence-line comparison of Alejandro’s ranch and a neighbor’s ranch. The neighbor thinks Alejandro gets more rain.
These two ranches are nearly identical in size. Alejandro runs 600 cows with absolutely no hay and no supplements other than salt. His neighbor runs 200 cows and feeds a tremendous amount of hay from the first of January through June.
Which ranch is the most Profita-BULL? Which ranch is the most Enjoya-BULL? Which ranch is the most Sustaina-BULL?
The monsoon rains do not come until July. March through June are the driest months of the year. The deer do not have their babies until mid-July. Alejandro starts calving in August. When do you think his status quo neighbors calve?