7 Techniques For Grazing Efficiency During Drought

When you have cross-fencing pastures and use a rotational grazing system, you experience your biggest benefit when managing drought conditions, according to Dr. Rick Rasby, professor of animal science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Grazing systems don’t have to be extensive (check out these four basic types of grazing systems from South Dakota State University), […]

Understanding Feed Costs 

Feed costs represent the largest annual operating cost for most commercial cow-calf enterprises.   In order to maintain an optimum balance between feed costs and production, you must analyze feeds and use these analyses to formulate rations and/or supplements, according to Rick Rasby and Jeremy Martin with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  Feedstuffs vary widely in nutrient […]

Important Financial Benchmarks Every Ranch Owner Should Know 

On a ranch, measuring financial benchmarks is important to give you a true picture of the financial health of your operation.   Regardless of your type of operation, you can use three standardized measures to judge your efficiency, according to the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef. They include:   Ratios: This includes measures such as the debt-to-equity […]

Are You Running a Marginal Farm Business? 

There are plenty of worthy ideas floating around about ways to improve the economics of the cattle business, and it’s hard to choose which one is most important. According to the National Grazing Lands Coalition, the business of understanding the concept of margin is critically important to improving our economic outcome. The formula really is […]

What is Estate Planning and Why Should a Rancher Embrace It? 

Estate planning is the process of accumulating, preserving and distributing assets to achieve your financial goals during your lifetime, as well as to provide for your heirs according to your wishes at death.   As such, estate planning is not a one-time event. Instead, it is an ongoing process designed to accomplish accumulation, preservation and distribution […]

Understanding Farm Business Transfer Strategies 

Transferring the farm business from one generation to the next can take several years. This is due, in part, to the large amount of capital involved, explain Gary Hachfeld, former extension educator; David Bau, extension educator, and C. Robert Holcomb, extension educator, University of Minnesota Extension.   This time of transfer can also be used to share knowledge, […]

Tips To Better Communication During Farm Succession Planning 

Farming together requires good communication, mutual respect and trust. It is necessary for everyone to be willing to give and take. This is probably the most stressful part of farming, explain Gary Hachfeld, former extension educator;  David Bau, extension educator, and C. Robert Holcomb, extension educator, University of Minnesota Extension.   While this is not impossible, farmers should […]

Transitioning The Ranch: How to Figure Out What This Might Look Like

When you begin discussions on what transitioning your ranch might look like, the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef recommends you and your children answer each of these questions to help better shape your planning decisions and the future of your operation.  Questions to Ask Parents:   Questions to Ask Children:   In this video, Elaine Froese, farm […]

10 Ways Family Members Sabotage the Implementation of a Ranch Transition Plan 

Estate planning is a process that is often avoided because it deals with issues regarding people, property, laws and taxes – issues that family members may not be ready to think about.   But planning an estate can benefit every agricultural family. The process of creating a plan reduces the stress and uncertainty of not talking […]

Understanding Livestock Watering Habits 

Animal behavior can influence the layout of a rancher’s watering system. These tips from the British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture and Lands can help with system design:   To learn more about the basics of livestock watering systems, check out this webinar. Presenters Bill Reck, environmental engineer, and Kevin Ogles, grazing lands specialist with the USDA […]