Category: Production

A Strong Gross Margin

cow with horns

If you’re ranching for profit, there is one way to define “a good cow”. She has a strong gross margin. In much of my writing and speaking it might seem that I’m not a fan of cows. But I enjoy cows like most people. My family runs cows each summer for a long-time custom grazing […]

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Can Small Scale Operations be Profitable?

chickens

I often hear from people operating on a smaller scale that their limitations of size make it impossible for them to be profitable. “I only run 12 cows and operate on 30 acres. I can’t possibly be profitable!” The limitations to profitability are usually self-induced. When we look inside this operation what we will likely […]

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Biggest Mistakes in Grazing Management

cows on short grass

Too short a recovery period – When turning into a pasture ask, “Has this pasture recovered from the previous stress (grazing, fire, grasshoppers etc.)?” If not, then you need to lengthen recovery. It is possible for recovery periods to be too long, but too short is more common to see. Too long of a graze […]

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Gross Margin Inside the Cow Herd

black cattle

We just wrapped up a full school in Oklahoma City. It was an amazing week where 54 people spent a week exploring the leadership of their businesses and making new friends along the way. Wally Olson of Olson Ranch and founder of Ranching FYI stopped by and discussed cow depreciation and how to make decisions […]

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Winter Calving

icicles

Calving season has begun across cow-country and so have the stories of sleepless nights, calves being brought inside the house to warm up and heroic tales of battling the recent polar vortex across the country. Granted this weather was extremely unusual for some parts of the country, but for places where this is part of […]

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Allocation of Overheads is a Bad Idea

cow tractor

The team here at RMC has been busy holding Ranching for Profit Schools in several locations. At these schools, a good part of classroom time is spent teaching and applying the Ranching for Profit Economic Model. This is our trademark way of doing an economic analysis of the ranching business, but the fundamentals apply to […]

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Cow-Calf Profitability

calf

If you could only show me one number on your ranch that directly correlated to the profitability of your cow-calf operation, what would that number be? If you follow traditional thinking you might assume weaning weight, or price received for your calves. Not it. In fact, those numbers have little correlation to profit.   So, what […]

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Cow Depreciation – Don’t Follow a Recipe

cow calf

There has been quite a bit written about managing cow deprecation over the past few years. In simple terms cow depreciation is the reduction of value of a cow from its height of value until it is sold for salvage. I’m glad this often hidden cost is getting attention and that ranchers now see this […]

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Ranching from Scratch

baking

Can’t be done. At least that is what conventional wisdom says. I’d agree that it can’t be done, if you follow the rules of traditional ranching – running cows the way everyone else does and owning everything. If you are willing to break some rules and challenge conventional wisdom maybe you can join the amazing […]

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Beauty in Simplicity

cow flowers

We tend to overcomplicate things. A simple business that does a few things well and at scale, is a thing of beauty! It is easy to get caught in the trap of doing lots of small things. After all, if someone is making money on the calves I sell, maybe I should background them myself? […]

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