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What will you do?

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PureCountry

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I have to ask this question. It's on my mind all the time when I hear my neighbors talk about their long-term profitability, which is a topic that's been eluded to on here lately. What will you all do when oil & gas production starts its downhill slide, and prices skyrocket? Some experts say this could come as soon as 5 years, some say 50. I don't know, but I believe the prices are not going to stay where they are now. We're slowly(very slowly) moving towards getting off the grid with our house and yard, and getting as close to being independant of fossil fuels as we can. I'm not talking about going back to a horse and buggy, but I'm certainly talking about a big shift in our family's patterns.

So as an example, where would you all be, or what will you have to do, if fuel prices caused grain and/or grain by-products to be uneconomical? Imagine the club-calf micro-industry if they couldn't afford fancy rations. Entire ranches are based on those breeding programs. Imagine how the showring will change if more and more cattle are brought in as they should be, just off grass?

Can you imagine how much tighter the margins will get for people operating feedlots? Do you think we'll honestly get paid more for our products from wholesalers, retailers, order buyers, when they'll befeeling the same financial pressures?

I just want to hear thoughts on this topic. It's one that's not discussed nearly enough. We chat about the rain, the pro's and con's of Hereford vs. Angus, Simmi vs. Char, or John Deere vs. New Holland, but very little gets said about planning for the future.
 

IL Rancher

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Pure.. This is something that the wife and I talk about from time to time.. Sometimes involving our business and other times involving our lives in general.. wE are talking about building a new home and have looked at doing it as being an energy efficient house as possible and utilizing some things that we can do on the farm, be it solar power, windpower or heating the place with wood... Have discussed ways we can reduce our stored feed requirements be it strip grazing stockpiled forage or just stretching the grazing season long with some annuals (more fuel and resource intensive but maybe more producitve/profitable). We have even talked about "horse" power for certain tasks on the place.. Some ideas are nuts, some ideas are okay and some I think make more sense even if tomorrow cheap Hydrogen fuel exists magically.
 

Doug Thorson

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With a 2 year old and 20 miles to the nearest school they will just have to make enough for me!
One thing about it is that all people have to eat so producing food will still happen. Producing it without fuel would cost a lot of production and transporting it would be a nightmare because everything you buy is transported. USA has become a place of mass produced products because transportation has always been cheaper than labor. I am not sure when or if that will change but if it does everything will be different.
On a side note if you have a certain % invested in one aspect of the economy you have to file it with the Federal Trade Commision. This week Warren Buffet filed basically saying he was heavilly invested in Railroads and was going to continue to put more money in them. He hasn't made a lot of mistakes when investing. I don't think he said so but Paul Harvey said he envisioned a world where railways were as important as trucks.
 
A

Anonymous

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Doug Thorson said:
On a side note if you have a certain % invested in one aspect of the economy you have to file it with the Federal Trade Commision. This week Warren Buffet filed basically saying he was heavilly invested in Railroads and was going to continue to put more money in them. He hasn't made a lot of mistakes when investing. I don't think he said so but Paul Harvey said he envisioned a world where railways were as important as trucks.

The railroad is the hottest job going in this area now--lots of young guys and gals being hired...I heard they are hiring 20 more Conductor/Brakeman for this area in the next few weeks...Some of the best paying in the area- starting out with ability to earn $50-60K and all the benis- and many are making $100-125K...Lot of college grads quitting their stagnating jobs and jumping on board...

The just keep adding trains-- and there is a lot of talk about adding additional lines-- both on the hiline and the southern Mt route.....
 
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Anonymous

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Big Muddy rancher said:
OT did you hear where Canadian Pacific bought a US railway?

Didn't know that...I see it is the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad...

http://www8.cpr.ca/cms/English/Media/News/General/2007/CP+announces+agreement+to+acquire+DM+and+E+Railroad.htm

BNSF has been really hiring up here...But at the same time, they are sidetracking coal cars...So I don't know whats going on....Maybe they are going to start importing coal too and carrying it cross country in container cars :???:
 

Mini Rancher

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I have been lurking for awhile and had to weigh in.
I went to The RR in Nov 05 as a Carman For BNSF, I love it, You work for 8 hours of the day, for me that is 3:00 pm to 11:00 pm and get paid really Good for this area with great benefits, also you get two days in a row although they may not be the best days they are still two I happen to have Sun Mon. The best part for me is I have another 6.5 hours that I use to help My Dad Or Grandpa Hay, I give up the evenings with my wife and Kids for a couple of years but at the rate these guys are gonna start retiring I will be on days in a year or so. That will be about the time my oldest hits HS and sports.


I did Hear CP bought out DM&E
 
A

Anonymous

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Mini Rancher said:
I have been lurking for awhile and had to weigh in.
I went to The RR in Nov 05 as a Carman For BNSF, I love it, You work for 8 hours of the day, for me that is 3:00 pm to 11:00 pm and get paid really Good for this area with great benefits, also you get two days in a row although they may not be the best days they are still two I happen to have Sun Mon. The best part for me is I have another 6.5 hours that I use to help My Dad Or Grandpa Hay, I give up the evenings with my wife and Kids for a couple of years but at the rate these guys are gonna start retiring I will be on days in a year or so. That will be about the time my oldest hits HS and sports.


I did Hear CP bought out DM&E

My son works for BNSF too--been there a couple of years as a Brakeman/conductor...Running out of Glasgow now--mostly to Minot...
His college degree was in Ag-Business- but just couldn't turn down the wages and benis/retirement-(here they are guaranteed 3 days off if they want to take them, so gives him lots of time to help on the place)- as nothing in Ag business comes close to that if he wanted to stay here...Now he is buying some more of his own cows (and since he has more money than Dad is buying all registered :roll: - and pretty picky)-- just bought another 1/2 section and is looking for some more leases....
Like you say- first couple years are crappy with shipping you all over and stuff- but once you get a little seniority, definitely not a bad job....

Reason I'm on here now is that dear old Dad buried the loader tractor in a sh*tpile in the corral and I'm going to need his help getting out- he's on a run but should be back in a couple of hours...
 

andybob

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Purecountry, we were placed in just that position when sanctions were imposed on Rhodesia in 1965. All kinds of alternative fuels were tried, some were quickly eliminated, others were developed further.
The main alternative fuels were sugar based ethanol, vegitable oils and methane and other natural gasses. Added to this, minimum and zero tillage became important in reducing fuel consumption, and many arable farms were linked to main electric supplies to convert from diesel to electric pumps. We had vast coal reserves, so this was also tapped to replace petrolium dependence especially on the railways where long haul Garret steam engines were used for cross country goods haulage, and some passenger routes as well.
 

Denny

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We had a Yukon my wife drove it to work plus all the other running she filled it up every 4 day $100 each time.She hit a turkey this spring so when it came out of the body shop all buffed out and clean as a whistle she drove it 2 blocks to the Honda Dealer and traded it in on a Civic it gets 36 mpg.She works nights so I will take this winter to go up and do chores.

We have also began stacking hay along side the field's and feed it right back on them when the hay runs out we trail the cows (with Horses) to the next field.Have went to wood heat with propane as our backup.

I have always had Belarus tractors and take alot of guff over them but I can mow rake and bale 700 acres of hay ground on 500 gallons of diesel.

In the winter I can feed hay on a gallon per day I won't try feeding with horses not that handy.

I know a guy who has a bunch of windmills in his yard 1/2 dozen or so he has them set up with generators that charge some kind of big power pack basically it a bunch of car batteries he then converts that to electric.He also has a 700 gallon water tank located up on the 3rd floor of his house that the wind mills fill.The plumbing is all ran from the tank gravity fed to the foucets and toilet etc.If you were to go to his house it's no different than anyone else's the dishwasher is running and the TV's on only thing is there's no electric bill.He also charges the batteries off the pto on his power unit when sawing lumber which is his occupation.

I won't worry about fuel there will always be fuel of some sort it will be can you afford it.

It takes 5 gallons of chainsaw gas to cut wood for a winter alot cheaper than propane.
 

Northern Rancher

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I already do lol. Heading out with 4 cowboys in the minivan on Saturday morning lol. We average about 5 miles to the story most trips lol.
 

Big Muddy rancher

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Northern Rancher said:
I already do lol. Heading out with 4 cowboys in the minivan on Saturday morning lol. We average about 5 miles to the story most trips lol.

Yea Yea I meant the chore team not the Hockey team. :roll: :lol:
 

nd

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I didn't know we had a family of railroaders here. I hired out with BNSF in 2005 and work nights. The rr is a great job for me. Ranching is a great career.
 

HAY MAKER

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PureCountry said:
I have to ask this question. It's on my mind all the time when I hear my neighbors talk about their long-term profitability, which is a topic that's been eluded to on here lately. What will you all do when oil & gas production starts its downhill slide, and prices skyrocket? Some experts say this could come as soon as 5 years, some say 50. I don't know, but I believe the prices are not going to stay where they are now. We're slowly(very slowly) moving towards getting off the grid with our house and yard, and getting as close to being independant of fossil fuels as we can. I'm not talking about going back to a horse and buggy, but I'm certainly talking about a big shift in our family's patterns.

So as an example, where would you all be, or what will you have to do, if fuel prices caused grain and/or grain by-products to be uneconomical? Imagine the club-calf micro-industry if they couldn't afford fancy rations. Entire ranches are based on those breeding programs. Imagine how the showring will change if more and more cattle are brought in as they should be, just off grass?

Can you imagine how much tighter the margins will get for people operating feedlots? Do you think we'll honestly get paid more for our products from wholesalers, retailers, order buyers, when they'll befeeling the same financial pressures?

I just want to hear thoughts on this topic. It's one that's not discussed nearly enough. We chat about the rain, the pro's and con's of Hereford vs. Angus, Simmi vs. Char, or John Deere vs. New Holland, but very little gets said about planning for the future.

#1 stay debt free,very easy to convince yourself you need a new pickup,tractor,combine.
#2 utilize your natural resources,there is a great demand for outdoor recreation,capitalize on it.
#3 minimize your fossil fuel requirements,while that old tractor needs X amount of diesel to plant/plow etc........you can still use alternative methods for keeping the house warm and or cool,pumping water,use solar,wood etc............good luck
 

Juan

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A good thing about a capitalistic system,someone will always find a way. Just relax and enjoy. :D :D
 

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