What do you consider big when it comes to a grain operation? What about cattle? What’s a big cow-calf operation? Consider a grain farm that grows 30 bushels per acre of wheat with the wheat worth $5.50 a bushel. It takes about 1,500 acres to have a gross return of $250,000. On canola, assuming a value of $10.50 a bushel and a 30 bushel per acre crop, a gross return of $250,000 is reached with only 800 acres. Those are small acreages compared to the size of most farms. In a cow-calf operation, let’s assume weaned calves at 550 pounds and a price of $1.25 per pound. To reach a gross return of $250,000, you need to sell more than 360 calves, which implies a cow herd of about 400.If you’re running 400 cows, you’re considered a pretty big cattle producer. If you have 1,000 to 1,500 crop acres, you’re considered small fry. A profit of $100 per cow might seem like a dream come true and maybe we’ll get there in the years ahead with the contraction that the North American beef herd has seen. But $100 per cow profit is only $40,000 on 400 cows. It’s only $10,000 on 100 cows. The average herd in Saskatchewan is less than a hundred cows.

I’m Kevin Hursh.

DynAgra, an independent Western Canada-based Company, is dedicated to providing growers with the tools to manage the risk and maximize the profitability of their farm business through the continued innovation of agricultural products and services. We are committed to developing and providing growers with the latest in precision agronomics, variable rate technology, soil fertility, crop protection, fertilizers, custom application and financial solutions.