By Deitra Robertson, Accredited Land Consultant, Deitra Robertson Real Estate
If you’re on the hunt for horse property, you probably don’t want to settle for anything less than perfect—and we don’t blame you. Maintaining equestrian property is a fair amount of work even with optimal conditions, and you also want to make sure that you have the very best environment possible for your horses. For those reasons, it helps to go into the process with some general guidelines, especially if it will be your first time buying in this market.
So, what do you need to know? Here are five helpful tips for making sure that you buy equestrian property you (and your horses) will love.
Tip #1: Work with an experienced real estate agent
Choosing the right real estate agent will be one of the most important decisions you make. An agent who has local experience and has helped clients buy and sell horse properties will be able to offer you insight and guidance that other agents won’t.
Tip #2: Outline your must-haves
What features do you need on your horse property and what features can you overlook? Do you have the time and budget to make improvements, or are you in need of turnkey property that’s ready for move-in? It’s essential that you know exactly what your property needs are so that you and your agent can narrow your search and not waste time with properties that won’t be a good fit. Factors to consider here include property size, accessibility, fencing, and the condition of the home and stables.
Tip #3: Study the soil
The quality of soil drainage on a property (or lack thereof) can make a huge difference in whether it’s suitable for the number of horses that you plan to house. In fact, it’s just as big of a factor as size when determining how many horses a property can “carry”. A topographical assessment will help you determine the slope and drainage of the property. Sandy soils are better for equines than clay and gumbo!
While your current needs are very important, keep your future needs in mind, too. Is this a piece of property that can grow with you? Is it going to need expensive upkeep or improvements above and beyond the norm? What about the surrounding area—is it expected to stay as is or are there plans for commercial or residential development? You can’t predict everything that might happen, but thinking long-term will give some context to your potential purchase and whether it’s a smart investment as well as suitable.
Tip #5: Account for water
You need more potable water for a horse property than a standard residential home. Check whether the property has a municipal water connection or is fitted with wells, and if it’s the latter, whether the capacity of the wells is sufficient for your needs (horses require about 10 gallons of water per day just for drinking). If there’s not enough water access at the moment—or if it’s raw land—look into water rights and the logistics of bringing in one or more wells before you commit.
Your perfect horse property is out there. Know what you want, take your time, and work with the right agent and you will be enjoying your horse farm before you know it!
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By Galen Chase
Broker/Owner, Chase Brothers, LLC Land & Ranch Brokerage
One quality of ranching that we appreciate the most is the legacy of a ranch that is passed down between generations. As we are experienced ranchers, cattlemen, and hunters ourselves, we know just how invaluable real experience is to running successful ranching operations. Experience matters, and the knowledge of your land’s heritage and history is crucial to ensuring your ranch continues to create opportunities for younger generations.
Diversifying your ranching operation is not only necessary to ensure a future, but it can help diffuse risk and create solid business opportunities. Weather challenges, market uncertainty, and fluctuating costs can all impact your ranching operation — don’t put all your eggs in one basket!
In our ranching operations, we welcome diversity in all things, and we understand that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. There are opportunities to diversify in livestock species, soil microbes, plant species, and even your daily routine. This handful of examples just begins to scratch the surface of what is possible!
It can be tough to know where to begin when looking at diversifying operations, and that’s why having an expert’s input can be helpful. The Chase Brothers team has decades of real ranch management experience, meaning not only can we help you find the right property for your operational needs, but we can also contribute ideas that can improve your ranch.
Most recently, one of our own team members, Byron Geis, took the leap to run sheep with his family’s cattle enterprise. Byron was raised on his family’s ranch in Campbell County, Wyoming, and is now looking to increase carrying capacity while better utilizing the land. You can hear about Byron’s experience directly from him and learn more about the factors that led him to embrace change and challenges within his own ranching operations. Byron and his family reintroduced sheep onto their ranch, which played a significant role in soil management.
As you can see in the video above, the smaller ungulates break down the brittle top layer of the topsoil, which is essential to helping moisture soak through to the root zone when the soil becomes capped. Decreasing bare ground and plant spacing with this tool is critical in reversing desertification of the low precipitation zones like we have in the arid and brittle landscapes of the American West.
What we saw in Byron’s experience is that having a desire to learn is just as important as having a passion for ranching! The combination of land management experience coupled with an understanding of the history and heritage of the land is the kind of experience that matters.
At the end of the day, the key to effectively diversifying is to find what works for you, your team, and your land. Only take on what you can manage, and don’t be afraid to look for external resources. Utilizing expert input from consultants, neighbors, or even appropriate agencies can help safeguard your strategy.
Contact the Chase Brothers Team
We have a lifetime of ranching experience, and whether you’re looking for answers about ranch management and sustainability or you’d like to learn more about buying or selling, we can help! Get in touch with our team today.
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By Sandy Bahe, ALC
Managing Broker, Accredited Land Brokers, LLC
When it comes to raising cattle, Oklahoma has always been among some of the top places for cattlemen. But why in recent years have more and more cattle ranchers relocated? Here are the top reasons why ranchers are looking for ranch land and abandoning places like California and Arizona.
Why Cattlemen are Buying Ranches in Oklahoma
According to the Oklahoma Beef Council, there are presently more than 700,000 cattle farms and ranches in the U.S., which produce around 19% of the world’s beef. While states like California, Arizona, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Wyoming, and Texas have traditionally been popular places for ranching (they do have lots of space after all), in the last few years, more and more cattlemen are moving their herds to Oklahoma.
Here are some of the top factors we’ve seen for this move.
New regulations in other states:
States like California, Oregon, and Colorado have all passed or are in the process of implementing new regulations that affect how cattle farms would be able to produce, slaughter, and even transport their product. For some ranching operations, the price to restructure their facilities and reengineer manufacturing protocols is much greater than moving the operation entirely.
Cost of caring for cattle:
This point is pretty straightforward — in traditional Northern, (long winters) ranching states like North Dakota and Indiana, caring for a cow can cost around $900 per cow per year. Consider the average cattle herd is around 40 cows. Now, look at the cost in Oklahoma, which falls around $250-300 per cow.
Cost of land is more economical:
On average, land in Oklahoma runs around $9,000-$11,000 per cow, which is much lower than places like California, Texas, or Arizona.
The ongoing drought in the West:
For years, California and other western ranching states have suffered dried-up pasturelands, evaporating water troughs, and depleting aquifers. According to one long-time Arizona rancher, rainfall used to be around 16-18 inches per year, and recently they’ve only gotten 3-5 inches. This can have a dreadful and drastic impact on cattle ranching operations. Rather than continue to deal with the negative impacts of their current environment, many ranchers are selling off their herds or moving them to Oklahoma.
Established communities and resources:
Oklahoma has long-running established farming communities and the highly developed infrastructure to support them. There are numerous organizations across the state that can help inform, advocate for, and establish your cattle ranching operation.
As you can see, there are a healthy mix of reasons why cattlemen are moving towards the Great Plains. If you have cattle and are looking to expand or start a ranch, now is the time to look for the right property.
Find the Best Oklahoma Cattle Ranch
Whether you’re looking for a change, escaping poor environmental conditions, or need to optimize your operation, Oklahoma could be the perfect place to move your cattle. www.worldclassranches.com has tons of resources and property listings across Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas for cattle ranches and more. Take a look through the property listings, or take advantage of this influx of ranchers to Oklahoma and list your own property with Accredited Land Brokers Team. They know ranching!
Sandy Bahe – Managing Broker, World Class Ranch’s
Ranch Agent of the Year for 2019 and 2020.
Accredited Land Brokers Team
eXp Realty – International
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By Caroline Kirby
Heatwaves, human error, and drought have all contributed to an unfortunate increase in wildfire across the U.S., but particularly on the west coast of the country. The severity and frequency of wildfire season is also increasing, with experts predicting the 2021 wildfire season to be particularly harsh.
While it may feel like there’s not much you can do to prevent and protect your land from wildfire; there are plenty of safety measures worth implementing on your land. If you own a ranch, farmland, or even a vacant property in a wildfire-prone area, here are some important steps to take.
How to Protect Your Land from Wildfire
Analytics company Verisk determined that states California, Texas, Colorado, Arizona, Idaho, Oklahoma, Washington, Oregon, Montana, and Utah were had the highest potential risk for wildfire. If you have land in these areas or are looking at purchasing land around one of these states, then it’s worth spending some time getting familiar with potential risks and forming a safety plan.
Unfortunately, the majority of wildland fires in the U.S. are totally preventable as they are caused by people. Many human-caused fires come from unattended campfires, burning debris, downed power lines, and negligently discarded cigarettes, according to the U.S. Department of Interior.
The first step to protecting your property from wildfire is to get educated and be aware of potential risks. You may think that you’re extra safe and none of your actions could lead to a fire, but many rural properties like ranches or farms utilize burn barrels. If you use a burn barrel on your property, avoid burning material from automobiles, used oil, preserved wood, animal manure or pathological waste, and any material that may contain rubber or plastic.
Always cover your barrel with a metal screen, get a permit, and never burn in the heat of the day or when winds are greater than 8 mph.
Even if you don’t burn on your property, you should look at all aspects of your land as a potential wick. Some items to keep an eye on include:
• livestock feed
• fuel for regular business operations
The wind-driven embers of a wildfire are the greatest threat to properties, not flames, as the ember increases the chance for a quick spread once they land on combustible material.
Some of the lesser-known risks of causing wildfires on rural land include off-highway vehicles, logging practices, more frequent lightning strikes, welding, and fuel storage.
Steps to Take Before Fire
Wildfire on a ranch or farm can be extremely dangerous and expensive. Here’s a simple to-do list to ensure you are prepared in the case of an emergency:
• Keep a 30-foot barrier clear of burnable materials around fields and structures.
• Create a contingency plan for feeding and relocating livestock if time permits
• Perform random safety checks on your property and conduct practice drills with family and employees
• Let your local fire department know of access roads, water sources, and fence lines – also consider placing signage directing visitors to water sources.
• Wildfires are unpredictable and can make usual routes unsafe, so be sure to plan various exit routes to get off your property.
• Determine what assets are your priorities should you have to choose which to protect, whether it’s livestock, machinery, feed, or buildings on your property.
Your land is a huge investment – do your due diligence to ensure your property is protected in the case of a wildfire. If you’re looking for more helpful landowner info, check out LandHub’s blog library for more resources!
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