Do You Daydream About Cows?

South dakota ranches for sale

Do you daydream about buying land to become a rancher? It could become a reality if you feel it deep in your bones. The important thing to do before making any sure decisions, though, is to do your homework.

Firstly, it’s important to know the difference between a farm and a ranch. The two words are considered by most dictionaries to be synonyms, though they actually imply different things. Where a farm is an area of land and buildings used for growing both crops and sometimes raising animals, a ranch is used for the express purpose of breeding a type of animal, such as for a horse ranch or a cattle ranch.

Secondly, there are a few key considerations when looking into land plots. The grazing needs of a heifer are different than that of a horse.

When looking into a cattle ranch for sale, for example, it would be extremely beneficial to know the true “carrying capacity.” This means knowing how well the soil on the cattle ranch for sale in question does each year, and how much precipitation the region gets annually. The seller is not the absolute best provider of this information; it would be wise to consult the National Resources Conservation Office to get solid numbers to compare.

Cattle ranches seem to be a popular choice, as there were 89.9 million cattle documented in the U.S. on January 1 of this year. To put that number into perspective, one study showed there are only 2.2 million crop farms documented in the U.S. (but approximately 96.4% are owned by families).

Another important consideration when thinking about entering the ranching business is to not underestimate the amount of time the job will require. Animals need quite a bit of care each and every day, not to mention the business end of ranching. More land and more animals equate with bringing about more work.

If being a rancher and raising animals is a real life dream for you, do yourself the favor of looking into all the variables. What do you know of ranching? Let us know in the comments below.

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