Thank you for your interest in Braunvieh cattle, and thanks for visiting our ranch via this website (we hope you come by so that we can meet in person)! We have suffered extreme drought conditions for the last five years. Then, beginning Memorial Weekend we got some rain and grew some grass in the summer of 2014. And may I say, it has been an extreme blessing to see the landscape change to being productive again. I had made the decision to sell all the replacements that I had chosen, but praise God, we are gonna be able to keep them.
My opinion of the future….There are LOTS of folks like us out there. We culled DEEP during this 5 year drought. We are below 1/2 of where we were, cow wise, in 2009. Females are in very short supply. They are going to get more expensive. We will see commercial (broken mouthed) females selling for $3000. I know that seems crazy, but I believe it is gonna happen. As expensive as cows are now (Feb 2015), we have not seen the top of the market. The herd building has begun, but I think we have another 4 or 5 years of tight supply.
Our approach on the Diamond H is to start with the very best genetics. We started our herd with what we thought fulfilled that purpose. We can be seen at the purebred sales, buying the best genetics available. At the most recent national sale we bought the high selling pair. It is a fact, quality genetics cost more, and we are not afraid to invest in our program. Then we bring some of the top bulls in the breed via AI to mate with those cows. We develop both heifers and bulls giving them the best nutrition we can. I don’t have to tell you, that approach has become very expensive the last few years. The drought and the price of corn has “changed the landscape” of input costs. For instance, our supplement of choice, cottonseed, was priced at $160 a ton in 2009. This last winter, it was $320, down to $280 this year. The very same roll of hay (a 18% protein bermuda) that I feed heifers and breeding cows, was $50 in 2009, is $100 this year. Do you see a pattern? Double…….in three years. Even the water system we are on (and most of our cattle drink from) recently increased the price 18%. Three years ago, I could carry a cow for $20 a month. Today it is more like $75, maybe more. SO…..when you see the price of cow or heifer, you need to remember why the price is where it is. There is very good news for the commercial breeder. With feeder prices exceeding $2.50 per pound, I think the time is even better to invest in top quality genetics. THINK ABOUT IT. If you invest in a good bull and he puts 50 pounds on your weaning weights, that is $125 per calf, times 40…..well it takes very little time for a bull to pay for himself. Then add the efficiency that Braunvieh bring to the equation and that cheap bull you bought from your neighbor just got EXPENSIVE.
As seedstock producers, we strive to deliver a cow that will do her job, and produce an offspring, every year. One that will produce a calf that gains well, and capture premiums on the grid. We endeavor to breed bulls that work hard, travel well, are fertile and produce offspring that will improve your genetic package. And our goal is that they will do that, while being more efficient than other cattle.
I assure you, this is not a hobby for us….it is our passion!