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Matching Cows to the Operation Makes You More Money

By   /  June 13, 2016  /  3 Comments

The changes that took the Sand Ranch out of debt and into profit have affected every aspect of the operation. In this fourth article in the series, the Sands talk about changes they made to their cattle management and marketing that helped them turn a profit.

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When Deanna Sand talks about what she and her family have done over the past few years on their ranc
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About the author

Publisher, Editor and Author

Kathy worked with the Bureau of Land Management for 12 years before founding Livestock for Landscapes in 2004. Her twelve years at the agency allowed her to pursue her goal of helping communities find ways to live profitably AND sustainably in their environment. She has been researching and working with livestock as a land management tool for over a decade. When she's not helping farmers, ranchers and land managers on-site, she writes articles, and books, and edits videos to help others turn their livestock into landscape managers.


  1. Burke says:

    I like everything here except waiting until three years old to calve. That is an expensive wasted year. If heifers won’t breed as yearlings and then breed back as two year olds, your cows are not well adapted to your environment. It might cost a little–and just a little–supplement in early years to get them to rebreed as two year olds. That’s lots cheaper than a wasted year.
    Just expose lots of heifers–nearly all of them–as yearlings for only 21-24 days. It won’t be long before you have adapted cows–right size, right milk, right efficiency. See Kit Pharo article in this issue.

    • Rock Grogan says:

      I Calve at 2 yrs old but my question to you is this if you were to calve at 3 yrs and get 4 more calves out of a mature cow would that not offset the loss of one calf in the beginning of her life. Also would the calves out of a more mature cow be larger at weaning than out of a heifer, and if you are developing them on grass alone with no supplement what is the cost of an extra year.

  2. John says:

    Great article. This series on the Sand Ranch has been helpful for a lot of people. I love the part about how much this type of thinking is still trial and error and not a lot of research. I’m in the same boat. This is cutting edge stuff and still against the grain. Of course there are good books out there, and I owe them a lot, but we all have unique situations. So it’s trial and error and not feeling guilty if we make a mistake.

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