4 Attributes To Consider When Buying A Cattle Ranch
Buying a ranch for cattle ranching is perhaps one of the biggest investments a farmer can ever make. If you are in the process of looking at ranch property listings, visiting sites, and making a decision, there are four important attributes to consider in the process.
1. Water Access
Most modern-day ranchers will give you simple access to public water supplies, but relying solely on public water on a cattle ranch can grow to be extremely expensive. You are going to want to look at the other water access points that will be free for you to use, whether it is a good underground water table where you can dig a well or a local stream. Just one point of natural water could mean a much lower operating cost for your cattle ranch overall.
2. Soil Quality
You can look at a tract of land and assume that it will support the growth of whatever plants you will be feeding your herd, but there is nothing as effective as actually getting the soil analyzed. Whether you will be growing a mix of fescue and clover or wheat and straw, you need to know the quality of the soil is up for the task before you extend an offer. Soil quality can be mended, but you should know what you have to work with as a base.
It is rare for zoning to be an issue on an already established ranch, but it is still important to look into zoning and land restrictions just the same. You don't want to invest your money, set up your operation, and find out that there are zoning restrictions that will get in the way of your business. Keep in mind that something as simple as a zoning or pesticide restriction can be problematic on a cattle ranch.
4. Flooding Potential
Find out if the ranch is located in a flood zone, and if so, how frequently the area has flooded over the last decade or so. While many ranches can withstand some flooding and still manage, when you use a ranch for cattle farming, flooding can ruin your pastures and put your livestock at risk. Likewise, it is a good idea to look at drainage capabilities. If a ranch is in an area where flooding could be an issue, it may not be such a big deal if there is ample drainage available and water will recede rather quickly because of it.