Honored Advisor
Posts: 11,091
Registered: ‎05-13-2010

Re: Looking at establishing a cattle ranch, anyone have recommendations on location?

With grass being a function of rainfall, that is excellent advice. I would add, well-drained land, not lowland.

Temperate regions have a longer growing season, so less need for stored hay, which mrans lower input costs.

We are in NC and VA, and have the benefits of both warm and cool season grasses. Your best grass season is going to drive the decision of whether to calve in spring or fall.
Just south of our NC location, most rely on Bermuda grass, which gives heavy summer tonnage, so they calve in spring almost exclusively. In our VA location, fescue is the mainstay, and stockpiling is common. That is a near - total fall calving area.

Right now, we have calves getting nice and slick on annual ryegrass stands in NC. We will have to cut and bale what they can't keep up with, and ditto on the fescue under the cows, which have moved to VA.

You need to look at choice of breeds if you locate in the Southeast, as not all can take the heat...which I think is where the interest in Balancer stock has developed.

Additionally, if cost of land is an issue, forget regions with great crop potential, as the $$$ to establish yourself will be prohibitive. I think anywhere from the central Virginia hills, Kentucky, and similar areas, you will find winters not too long and botter, land maybe still affordable, and some excellent sources of cows and bulls nearby. Alternative feed sources like peanut vines aren't a bad thing to have, too.

Good luck. You will be buying in at record high prices, for animals, land and equipment.