For the end of my second year in Purpan, I've done my internship in a Montana Ranch.
[...] Office address: Sweet Grass County Extension Office Hooper, PO Box 640, Big Timber, Montana 59011. [...]
[...] They want to know where the produce they buy comes from. For keeping good margin profit, the ranchers knew change their habits for moving the calving season to take the best advantage of the grazing season. The feedlots operators will want buy heavy calves instead of too young calves they'll have to feed a lot: some feedlots lost money last year, they'll refuse experiencing that again. They will decrease their prices according to calf's age and weight. Compare to Australia or South America, Montana's ranchers have to undergo more expensive both feed costs and fuel energy; but the power of the Montana meat producers is that they provide “clear” origin premium meat. [...]
[...] The way to farm has been perfected since 3 generations. The ranchers do know the soil texture is fragile and they farm the fields when it's appropriate: not too much dry or moist. Direct sowing would have difficulties to work here. The vegetal residues and wastes need more time decomposing with this method, because they stay on the surface area; in Montana the freezing period (confer the report's introduction) is too large to let microorganisms decompose the wastes before the new seeds are sown. [...]
[...] Raising corn for ethanol production is increasing which keeps the feed costs elevated. Cereal grain production is subsidized by the government keeping high feed costs for the cattle industry. Which are the countries the most able to compete with Montana's beef producers? _Australia and South America because their labour force and feed costs are a lot cheaper. Carcass quality won't be enough good but consumers would look for lowest prices, consumers are prices drivers. Interviewed: M.KING Marc, Montana State University Extension Agent. [...]
[...] What do you think about the traditional irrigation system in Montana? _It's very economical but labour intensive because you have to remove the dams many times a day. It's very expensive for a Ranch to undergo the prices of fuel for providing energy to the wheel lines –which are already a huge investment-. That's why a lot of ranchers use this old but efficient way to irrigate. Would you explain why it's efficient, I thought this system would erode and wash the soil, wouldn't it? [...]
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