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Cutting input costs

00:00AM Aug 29, 2008

Ron Gill, Texas A&M Extension beef cattle specialist, told attendees at the Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course that cattle producers have no control over rising input costs—like fuel, feed and fertilizer—but they can control how much of these commodities is used in their operations. 
Gill said producers have control over the type and amount of feed that is purchased, the amount of fuel that is purchased, and must consider additional revenue streams when possible. The point is to have a systematic, planned approach to controlling cost. 
Some things to reconsider:

  • Reconsider fuel-type of pickup based on price of fuel. Right now, gas is cheaper than diesel.
  • Be more diligent in your driving. "You would be amazed at how much nonproductive driving we've done when there were cheap energy prices,” he said.
  • Make sure you have the right type of cattle to fit your environment. "For some reason, cattle producers have it in their mind they want X amount of cows,” Gill said. Concentrate fertilizer dollars on the most productive soils.
  • Bring in someone to help evaluate your operation and help you start cutting costs.