Beef Buzz News
Ranch Management Consultant Stan Bevers Breaks Down the Economics of Maintaining That Mama CowWed, 30 Oct 2019 15:12:40 CDT
Stan Bevers is a ranch management consultant who works with ranches in Texas and Oklahoma. It is printed on his business card, “Let’s measure it, and manage it.” In a recent conversation with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays, Bevers explained how important the action behind that slogan really is to cattle producers’ bottom lines here on the Southern Plains.
“When I started in this business over 30 years ago, I could pretty much say it was going to be a dollar a day to keep a cow. Now, with the consulting I have and the ranches I work with across the country – that average is right at $1,100,” Bevers remarked. “That sounds like that’s impossible; that it could increase that much. But really, if you do the math that’s about $700 over a 30-year period. You do the math and that’s about a two percent inflation. And that’s the way it is.”
The key to this equation though, Bevers explains, is understanding not just the costs of running a cattle operation but understanding what the second and third components of it are. These factors often go overlooked when attentions are too tightly focused on expenses. These of course, Bevers says, are productivity – defined as the number of calves your mama cows can produce and how much weight they can move through the weaning process – and what he calls the “vulgarities of the market.” Bevers says that while costs are somewhat manageable and able to be brought under control to a degree, productivity and the tides of the market are quite unpredictable.
Bevers says productivity is maximized when the weather allows us each year, while the market behaves in a very similar way. Understanding what is and what isn’t controllable, Bevers says, gives producers a better perspective on the true economic condition in which they find themselves today.
Listen to Bevers’ full conversation with Hays about the economics of maintaining a mama cow herd on today’s Beef Buzz.
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