Making the decision to become a beef producer is a big one, especially for those who are moving from hobby farmer to a full-time business venture. Luckily, the growing awareness of the health benefits of consuming beef and the desire for healthy production methods are helping pastured beef producers establish and grow their business. If you are ready to begin producing beef and preparing to shop for the land you need to do so, here are some tips to help you find the right piece.
Determine the number of cattle you will be pasturing
The first tip for buying the right property is to determine how many market weight animals you will need to sell each year to grow your business. Once you have that information, you will be able to determine an approximate acreage size to purchase by multiplying the number of animals by the average number of acres required to pasture a cow in your area. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers this formula to determine a customized, average acreage per cow.
Screen properties by readiness
Once you have determined the approximate acreage requirement you will have, you will be ready to start screening the available ranches that meet your size needs. In order to be able to put your plan into action as quickly as possible, consider looking for land that has already been cleared, planted with high quality forage, and fenced. While this type of property will be initially more expensive than raw land that must be cleared, planted, and fenced, it will enable you to begin stocking the land with cattle immediately, instead of requiring months of work before doing so.
Make the final selection based on soil quality and water availability
Once you have narrowed the list of available properties to the ones that will best suit your needs and help your business prosper, you will need to make a final selection. Two excellent factors to help you do this include the availability of plentiful water and the quality of the soil.
Pasture land that has both a water well and a source of natural water, such as a lake, spring, creek, or pond, will help you maintain adequate water supplies in the event of a drought. To determine the soil quality, ask to see any soil test results the seller may be able to furnish, or consider having your own testing done.
For additional tips on selecting and purchasing the right ranch property for use in a pastured beef production business, take time to discuss your plans with an experienced real estate professional before you begin your search.Share