“The majority of cattlemen are part timers. They own a small set of cows. Most of them, there’s no way they stand as an economic unit.”
BILL TURNER IS A RETIRED BEEF CATTLE SCIENCE PROFESSOR AND NOW A FULL TIME RANCHER.
“Cow/calf agriculture is what I call an appreciation industry. People get in, they buy some land, they run some cows, they appreciate in value, they grow heifers, they grow a herd, and they accumulate a little wealth over time. Year end and year out, they may not make a lot of money.”
RECORD HIGH INPUT COSTS ARE CAUSING BEEF PRODUCERS TO LOOK HARD AT THEIR OPERATIONS.
“If you’ve got a job, and you make your living somewhere else, and it’s not taking everything out of those cows to pay your weekly bills, then maybe you can ranch different than somebody else, but if you’re a true rancher, and you have to live off of the income of those cows, then it may be harder for you to do, and it may be that there’s no extra income for you to live on. You may break even, but you may not have any living expenses.”
“ They’re going to have to become cost conscious. They’re going to have to pay attention, because there’s no longer cheap feed, cheap hay, cheap transportation, that’s not there. A lot of the emphasis is going to have to be placed on maintaining production on relatively lower input costs.”
PETE SCARMARDO SAYS COW/CALF PRODUCERS ARE SAILING IN UNCHARTED WATERS.
“We can look at past history and what we’ve done in the past in some of these kind of situations, but I think you throw that all out the window today, because everything is different, you’ve got a new set of playing rules.”
“Maybe cull a little harder, keep your marginal cows out, the marginal producers, keep them out of your herds, and try to make sure that you get the maximum production out of the cows that you have.”