Is Where to Cut Costs the Right Question?

Enhance Your Grazing Knowledge: This was the title of a grazing conference that I had the opportunity to be a part of on Mar. 16 and 17. This conference was sponsored by the Arkansas Grazing Lands Coalition and due to the demand was held in two locations. Thursday the 16th we were at Arkansas Tech University’s Ozark Campus and on Friday the 17th we were at the U of A Community College Campus in Hope. A lot of driving in a short time but the attendance on both days made it all worthwhile. There were seven presentations in total each day, two on grazing practices, one on Marketing, one on a grant proposal and three on the business side of our livestock operations. The most interesting for me was given by Wes Tucker, Agriculture Business Specialist, University of Missouri Extension called, "Calculating Your Real Cost of Production – Can You Survive Lower Prices?" According to most experts, cattle prices have not yet reached the bottom. Again, according to most experts, the main remedy available to those of us who are trying to make a profit is to cut production costs. The question then becomes what and where to cut. But is this the right question? Maybe the question should be, "Are we doing enough to utilize the resources available to us?" Now I know that this may upset some folks, but on our place we do not use mob grazing to the extent that we allow land to be without livestock for long periods of time. It is not practical or profitable for us to let a piece

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