There's been a lot goin on lately... I haven't really been keepin' up with the bloggin' or really any of my hobbies... Most of my down time over the last month or two has been spent sneakin' away to read up and plan.
Now... I've been talkin' about this farmin' thing for a long time... but the fact is, I don't know nearly enough about this stuff to jump in to it... well... I didn't. I certainly have a good base of knowledge now... particularly when it comes to runnin' cattle... which is what I've figured I was headin' for anyway.
So... while the little lady has been readin' book after book on homeschooling... I've been sneakin' off by myself to read up on farming technique. Here's what I've concluded...
It ain't easy to make money farmin' boys.
That don't mean it can't be done... but it means you do more than fencing off 100 acres and sendin' them out to graze.
These days the best way to do is somethin' called M.I.G. Management Intensive Grazing. Basicly it means you graze your cattle on only the best food... and you do that, by dividing your farm up into about 10 padocks... and rotating them around from padock to padock, to where the feed is at its opitmal stage. I don't have the space to get into all that here... but it pretty much means you rotate your cattle every couple days or so.
All of this really just means you take your time layin' out your farm... you make sure you've got water runnin' to all your padocks... and in the end... what you get in return for the work, is more product per acre. Way more. I know of a farm in Athens County where they're running 1215 head of stocker calves, and 100 ewe sheep... on 45 acres of land! The Sheep are producing at around 218%, and he gets around 85 bucks per lamb.
Registered livestock.. and a complimentary herd of sheep may be the way to go... I'm certainly leanin' that way now. More money per critter... more critter per acre... dig?
Now... can I really make enough money doin' this to make a livin' at it? yeah... I think I can... But hell.. the tax benefits alone make it worth my time.
Ok... so don't get to excited here... The plan obviously isn't to jump in with both feet. I mean... I don't even know what state i'm gonna be livin' in... Much less what kind of property is available. Even in optimal circumstances, I'm still the type to start small to limit my risk. I'm more likely to raise up a beef cow for my own family's consumption.. then go from there.
Plus... this is just one possible plan... If we move to the coast... this one is out the proverbial window.
Don't frett though... I'm workin' on another plan for the coast...