If you’ve been reading our blogs for a while, you’re likely a fan, or at least curious, about grass-fed ranching. There are some different options this entails, like entirely grass-fed beef or grass-fed with a grain finish. Both of these are a huge step away from conventional farming, changing not only feeding practices but how we raise and pasture our cattle. If you’re interested in learning more about making the transition from conventional ranching to grass-fed ranching, this is the place for you.
- Learning is the first step. While this change can seem like an insurmountable task, it is doable and commendable. Perhaps you want to change due to health reasons, or because it would better utilize the acreage on your farm. Maybe it’s for financial reasons, trying to tap into the grass-fed beef market, or it could be because you care about environmental issues.
- Get a plan. Little changes to your strategy can have huge, domino-like effects on your production. It’s important to have your entire plan in place, and contingencies for when certain aspects could go wrong. Having a well-developed plan, not just a few steps, will save you stress in the long run.
- Develop a calendar. Analyze the growing scheduling of your grasses and decide when to harvest. Will you need to feed off harvested hay? Will you supplement with additional food at this time, like grain? What about calves and slaughter time? You may need to completely flip your cattle schedule to match your crop growth.
- Calculate the costs. Plan for extras, but have a budget. Know how much crops will cost you, and plan for any additional money you may have to put out upfront due to changing your cattle production schedule. How will you finance these changes? How long do you expect it to be before making back your investment?
Changing from conventional ranching to grass-fed is no small feat. We want to welcome you to the club though and hope you can see the benefits for yourself, your family, your business, and your community. For more resources on running a ranch, visit our website.