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Could 2015 Be the Year for the Grass Manager?

06 January 2015

An Ohio expert posits whether this year could be when graziers make money, after a period when corn and soybean growers have had the best of things.

Throughout most of the midwest and certainly across Ohio, the majority of the past 5 or 6 years might aptly be labeled "The years of the corn and soybean farmer", writes Stan Smith of Ohio State University Extension. 

An Ohio farmer harvesting 'free rain and sunshine', offering a Christmas morning present to his bred heifers - stockpiled grass last pastured in July.

As demand for grains outpaced the ability to produce adequate supplies, those who managed to grow corn and bean crops were rewarded with unprecedented prices that in turn yielded unprecedented returns to the investment in farm land.

Is it time to label 2015 "The year of the grass manager"?

Much the same as the scenario that we observed with cash grain production, demand for nutrient dense red meat and in particular beef is out pacing the ability to produce adequate supplies.

What that means in a nutshell is that outstanding grass managers - those managing the process of converting forage to beef - are being rewarded with unprecedented returns to their investment in forage producing land.

Today as opposed to the past 5 or 6 years it's a whole new ball game. Simply put, the most astute grass managers are positioned to capitalize.

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