One Down and One to Go

Our Nebraska Bull Sale is behind us.   The pre-sale meeting with Jim Gerrish had nearly 47 cow-calf producers from at least eight different states in attendance.  

We had 45 registered bidders at the sale – from 8 different states.   There were 52 people using our Stay-At-Home options – from 19 different states and Mexico.

We sold 94 bulls in one hour for an average price of $4215 – with a range of $2000 to $9750.   These bulls were sold into 15 states and Mexico.  

Buyer’s Market

Our fall bull sales almost always create a better buyer’s market for our bull customers than do our spring bull sales.   For the most part, this is because most cow-calf producers will not need to turn their bulls out until next summer.   This may be true, but…

Not only do our fall-sale bulls cost less, they are 18 months of age.   They will be two years old next summer.   These older bulls will breed more cows with much fewer problems than yearling bulls.   Since they have been developed naturally on grass,

25 Things I Want My Ranch Kids to Know

Copyright © 2012 by Rachel J. Lohof Larsen

1. You have chores, because we love you.  They seem tedious, but they are the building blocks for your future.  Responsibility, accountability, and basic life skills begin with sweeping the floor, scrubbing the toilet, and feeding pets and livestock.  We love you, we want you to find success in life.  Success comes from preparation, so we give you chores.

2. Boredom is a choice.  Don’t let me hear you say you are bored. 

Drought Discount

We will be offering a Drought Discount at both of our fall bull sales.   You can receive up to a 10% Discount on all the bulls you purchase – based on the severity of the drought in your area.   This is our way of helping you make the best of a bad situation.

Our Drought Discount will be based on the U.S. Drought Monitor Map.   It shows five levels of drought from “Abnormally Dry” to “Exceptional Drought.”   Each level of drought is worth a 2% Discount.  

Forage-Developed Bulls

More and more seedstock producers are promoting “forage-developed” bulls.   We have checked into all of these so-called “forage” programs and have concluded that no one has a program that is as tough as PCC’s program.   Several of these forage programs feed large amounts of hay, haylage and/or silage.   Some feed a grain-based ration during the winter months.   Some use self-feeders that are regularly filled by the local Co-op truck.   Most of these so-called “forage” programs have high-maintenance cattle that would quickly fall apart in our program.

Pharo Cattle Company has been developing bulls on grass for 20 years.  

Pre-Sale Meetings

We will have pre-sale meetings in Nebraska on October 27th and in Colorado on November 5th.   These meetings will take place at 6:30 pm the night before the bull sale.   Our featured guest speaker will be Jim Gerrish.   Jim is one of the most sought after speakers around the world.   He is one of the original Herd Quitters.   Jim knows what is required to maximize enjoyment and profit in the cattle business – and he has a unique way of sharing that information.   As always, our pre-sale meetings are free and open to the public.  

Dead Calves Have Distressingly Low Weaning Weights

Pharo Cattle Company is serious about calving ease – because our customers are serious about calving ease.   It doesn’t matter how much growth potential a calf has if it is born dead.   Dead calves have distressingly low weaning weights.   No one has even come close to selling as many genuine calving ease bulls as Pharo Cattle Company sells.

Contrary to what your neighbors think… calving first-calf heifers can be very easy and enjoyable.   Most of our repeat customers are calving their heifers out on open range (green grass) with their mature cows.  

Excited About The Future

PCC Bull Developer


Michael LeBoeuf once said, “A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.”   Here at Pharo Cattle Company, we are constantly reminded of this quote as we move through the process of making business decisions and producing the best bulls possible.   We are proud to have influenced and helped so many customers achieve their goals.   We are also thankful for the influence our customers have had on us.

Genetic Fly Resistance

No one else in the beef industry has even thought about selecting cattle for genetic fly resistance.   Pharo Cattle Company has been doing it for well over 10 years.   While other seedstock producers continue to treat the symptoms with toxic chemical insecticides, we are helping you solve the problem.

All of the bulls selling in our two fall bull sales will be evaluated and scored for genetic fly resistance.   Since the heritability of fly resistance is very high, this is something you can improve dramatically in a short period of time,

Micro vs. Macro Evolution

I have a favorite Charles Darwin quote.   Whenever I share that quote in a PCC Update, one or two well-meaning Christians will confront me.   They will be somewhat upset that I shared a Darwin quote, and say something like, “Darwin goes against everything you and I believe in as Christians.   You should not endorse him in any way.”   Last week I shared my favorite Charles Darwin quote and received a typical response.

This is how I answered that response:

This quote is 100% correct and does not disagree with anything you and I believe.

Why Don’t All Seedstock Producers…

  • Treat their cows tougher than you treat your cows?
  • Develop bulls on forage – with nothing but starch-free supplements?
  • Evaluate and score bulls for disposition?
  • Evaluate and score bulls for feet and leg conformation?
  • Evaluate and score bulls for preputial prolapse problems?
  • Provide an udder score for the bulls they sell?
  • Provide a One-Year Guarantee on the bulls they sell?
  • Guarantee bulls for calving ease?
  • Guarantee bulls to be free from genetic defects?

Getting Your Money’s Worth

When you purchase bulls, cost is always a factor – but it should not be the only factor.   First and foremost, you should consider the program behind the bulls.   Bulls that are produced in a program that aligns with your long-term goals are worth a whole lot more than bulls coming out of programs that do not align with your long-term goals.

The next biggest factor… in getting your money’s worth is the number of calves a bull will sire before he must be replaced.   It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that a bull that sires twice as many calves as the average bull is worth twice as much as the average bull.  


When you consider the future, how secure are you with the direction your cow-calf program is headed?   Based on what I have been reading and hearing, many (perhaps most) cow-calf producers lack security.   They have reason to believe their program is not where it should be – and that it will not fare well in the future.   I discussed this in last week’s PCC Update.

Unfortunately, most of these producers act and talk as though they would rather fail than change anything.   Why is that?   I can understand how one can be afraid to try something that has never been tried before – but that is seldom the case.  

Retired Husband

After I retired, my wife insisted that I accompany her on her trips to Wal-Mart.   Like most men, I found shopping boring and preferred to get in and get out.   My wife, however, is like most women.   She loves to browse and leaves me with endless time to fill. 

Yesterday my wife received the following letter, from our local Wal-Mart:    

Dear Mrs. Harris,

Over the past four months, your husband has caused quite a commotion in our store.  

The First Step

It has recently come to my attention that many cow-calf producers are upset and frustrated with the direction their operation is headed.   They have been brought to the realization that other cow-calf producers are two to four times more profitable than they are.   Not only are they substantially more profitable, they appear to be working less to accomplish more.

A few of these producers are upset enough they are ready to quit.   Others want to change their situation – but they want to change it NOW!  

Opportunities To Advance

Nearly all the people, in any business, belong to the status quo herd. That is why it is called status quo. They do things pretty much the same way everyone else in that business is doing them. They are content with being average. They will never have a competitive advantage. They are too lazy and/or too afraid to think for themselves. Opportunities to advance and to better oneself almost never come to members of the status quo herd. If they do, it will be totally by accident.

Opportunities to advance come to those who create them.

Top 10 Reasons for Buying a Bad Bull

By Mark Parker

10. Your neighbor took one look at him and immediately began fixing the border fence.

9. Do the math: He only settles 3/4 as many cows but at half the price!

8. Him being a six-way cross — maybe eight or nine — just think of the hybrid vigor impact.

7. No reason to get confused by all those EPD numbers — they’re not even sure how old he is.

6. Spreading out the breeding season means year-round cash flow.

Cow Size and Profitability

By Kit Pharo

For most of the last three decades, Pharo Cattle Company pretty much stood alone in promoting the benefits of smaller cows.   Among the high-input, big-cow, status quo seedstock producers, we were the butt of many jokes.   That did not bother us, though, because we knew we were right.   Over the years, more and more commercial producers came to understand what we were talking about.   They discovered cow size has a tremendous effect on stocking rate – and that stocking rate affects profitability more than anything else.  

Supply and Demand

For the most part, cattle prices go up and down as a result of supply and demand.   When demand exceeds supply, prices go up – as they did in 2015.   Cow-calf producers were selling 500-pound calves for an unbelievable $1500 per head.   I don’t know of anyone who thought they would ever see calf prices so high.  

We were living the dream – until supply exceeded demand – causing prices to start falling.   Prices have been falling since early 2016.   All of the projections I have seen,