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Question on the average cattle ranch

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mister dillon

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Cost.

the biggest factor if not one of em,
i wanna run a ranch someday (a dream of mine probobly from watching Bonanza as a kid) but how much would it cost to start up? adding in the costs such as acres of land and building the fencing ect...

and how many acres should i buy? i heard 30 at least but im not sure.

thanks for any help.
 

Larrry

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Justin said:
Larrry said:
30 in Mo would probably run quite a few head. location, location, location

define "quite a few head", please. :wink:

I guess it all relative. I guess I was comparing to myself where I could probably run one pair on that 30.
 

John SD

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Justin said:
Larrry said:
Justin said:
define "quite a few head", please. :wink:

I guess it all relative. I guess I was comparing to myself where I could probably run one pair on that 30.

that's about what we'd be at too.

That makes 3 of us. Since there likely won't be enough pasture or feed on this place for enough cows to make it feasable to own a bull, perhaps AI would be the solution?
 

little bow rancher

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I've heard many things over the years in regards to being classified as a ranch such as land base, cow size, but I still believe it's a frame of mind.
anyways back to there question I'd have to say feed , weather you buy it or grow it that would be the biggest cost and yes I would include grass as feed
 

Roundup

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I think you have to define the area you want to ranch in and what the definition of a ranch is. In central Montana it may take 10,000 acres to run 400 head of cattle, depends on the soil, water, hay base, irrigation etc. A 10,000 acre deeded ranch here at minimum will cost 3 million dollars and more likely 5-10 million depending on water, elk, trees etc etc.

I would urge a new person to begin by getting educated and experienced as a ranch manager and hope to build a herd and some equity from there. Lots of absentee and retiring landowners need ranch managers and allow you to own some livestock as part of the deal.

Can also buy less deeded acres if BLM or State Leases are available. I cannot speak for the midwest but much less acreage is required. It also costs a lot more per acre than in the west, especially if it is suited for crops. I would hook up with an extension agent and financial person and try and do some cash flow projections specific to your area and situation.
 

LazyWP

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From what I can tell, it takes X number of dollars to run a pair. It doesn't make a whole lot of difference if you are in an area where you can run 2 pair/acre or 30 acres/ pair, the land/feed cost is pretty close to the same. I guess what I am saying is, a 300 cow operation in Montana, or a 300 head operation in Georgia is going to cost you pretty close to the same total dollars.
I have never really figured the cost of say a feedlot situation, but just guessing, you are going to be in the same ball park.
 

Roundup

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My guess is that Lazywp's comments are pretty accurate. You see a lot of dairy farms in Michigan and Wisconsin switching to beef breeds and crops. Running yearlings is also different than a cow/calf operation. Lots of different ways to "ranch". I wish you well.
 

jodywy

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Cow size makes a difference too just because grandpa and dad ran 200 head, doesn’t mean you can too. See a lot of cow place listed at 400 cows, the new buyer gets mad when his 400 head of 1500-1600 lb cows run out of grass.
 

PATB

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mister dillon said:
Cost.

the biggest factor if not one of em,
i wanna run a ranch someday (a dream of mine probobly from watching Bonanza as a kid) but how much would it cost to start up? adding in the costs such as acres of land and building the fencing ect...

and how many acres should i buy? i heard 30 at least but im not sure.

thanks for any help.

The best solution would check ranch listing in the area and size you want. Remember all ranches have different carry capacity based on soil, water, climate and past management. If you are serious about ranching I would read Alan Savory's, Stan Parson's, Bud Williams', Jim Gerrish's books and attend seminars and workshop on ranching. Walt Davis's "How to NOT go Broke Ranching" helps re-inforce Savory's, Parson's, Williams', Divens, Provenza and Mitchell-Innes teachings and theories. Research your market for your product and make sure to have a realistic business plan.
 

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