Cow-calf producers who want to have a prosperous future will need to make some major changes in their business. The sooner they take the first step, the sooner they will reach their destination. I will review the Ten Steps required to get on the right road. These steps are not difficult, but they will require a paradigm shift – which can be difficult.
- Step 1… Focus on pounds and profit per acre – instead of per animal. There is a BIG difference. Trying to increase pounds per animal (bragging rights) will always have a negative effect on your profits. The status quo beef industry has been focused on the wrong thing for 50 years.
- Step 2… Purchase ultra-low-maintenance bulls that will produce cows that fit your environment. It is much easier and more profitable to produce cows that fit your environment than to artificially change the environment with expensive inputs to fit your cows.
- Step 3… Increase stocking rates by over 30% with the right size and type of cows. Smaller, more efficient cows will always produce more total pounds – and those pounds will always be worth more per pound. Stocking rate affects profitability more than anything else.
- Step 4… Utilize rotational grazing to increase forage production and stocking rates by another 50 to over 200 percent. Once again, stocking rate affects profitability more than anything else.
- Step 5… Do more grazing and less feeding. The easiest money you will ever make is the money you don’t spend – and that money is tax-free. Let your cows harvest their own feed. That’s why God created them with four legs and a mouth.
- Step 6… Remember you are in a solar energy-based business – not a fossil fuel-based business. You don’t need much in the way of vehicles, tractors and equipment. Let your cows do the work for you.
- Step 7… Work with nature – instead of against nature. This can easily increase profits by $50 to $100 per cow.
- Step 8… Use calving ease bulls to reduce death loss, decrease labor, increase enjoyment, improve fertility and shorten your calving season.
- Step 9… Use genetics to fix problems – instead of spending money on chemical, technical and mechanical solutions that won’t last. Parasite problems are a perfect example of this.
- Step 10… Stop associating with whiners, complainers and blamers. In addition to associating with positive people, you need to be careful about what you read. Most of the information being circulated is focused on increasing production per animal (bragging rights) – instead of per acre (profit). That is what put you on the wrong road in the first place.
Cow-calf producers who have taken these steps are two to five times more profitable than all of their neighbors. They have also substantially improved their lifestyle. Consequently, they have an operation the next generation is excited to become involved in. Agriculture must be both Profita-Bull and Enjoya-BULL to be Sustaina-BULL!
You can do it! These very successful producers have done nothing that cannot be done by others. Believe it or not, some of these producers did not inherit anything. They created their phenomenal success from scratch – simply by following the Ten Steps listed above. You can do the same thing – but you won’t go anywhere until you take the first step.
Quote Worth Re-Quoting –
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” ~ Lao Tzu