New Fencing and Water and CRP Grazing – Ideas For Profitable Ranching From the Sand Ranch

How do you go from $20,000 in carry over debt after selling all your calves, to no debt, making a profit and having fun in just 5 years?  If you're Cody and Deanna Sands, you give up doing things like you've always done them, and a we're sharing in this series of articles, you start making changes. (If you've missed them, here's a link to the first article, and to the second in the series.) One of the first changes they made was to their summer grazing routine. Instead of 3 to 4 groups, they put all the cattle into one herd. Their goal was to be able to use their land base more effectively, and to do this they knew they'd need more infrastructure so they could better manage their grasses. But the time and money in fencing and water developments that could make this possible was a big investment. In fact, Cody says that without the assistance they received, it would have taken them a lifetime to get it done. So where did they get the help? EQIP! (And Other Alphabet Soup) EQIP stands for "Environmental Quality Incentives Program." Run by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)  it provides financial assistance to farmers and ranchers for practices that improve soil, water, plant, animal, air and related natural resources. You can read more about the program here. As with any government program, there's some paperwork involved, but your local NRCS office has people to help. Check with them to see how it might work for you. In the Sands' case, they were abl

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