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How to Maintain Your Texas Ranch

How to maintain your Texas Ranch

Owning a ranch is one of the most rewarding experiences that you can have. Aside from the huge potential to profit from the land, ranches provide you with your own outdoor recreational paradise and the freedom to make the land your own. 

Maintaining one, however, requires a lot of planning and proper management to retain its value and condition. Whether you’re using your ranch for livestock, hunting, or recreational purposes, here’s how to keep it running smoothly.

Maintain the fences

A good fence is essential to owning and maintaining a Briscoe ranch. Extend the life of your fence wire by keeping these properly stretched. Since they will become loose over time, putting creases in the wire can prevent that. And if you have an electric fence, control weeds and vines from growing on and below it by using herbicides or by cleaning it manually. Heavy weed or grass conditions can cause your electric fence to stop working properly.

Search for signs of damage by walking along the fence line frequently. It also helps to have a box or container with nails, gloves, fencing pliers, and small tools nearby. This will come in handy when you need to repair a part of the building or fence.

Maintain the buildings

While they aren’t as high maintenance as your fences, your ranch buildings and structures need to be checked, as well. Inspect these buildings regularly and make the necessary repairs.

Check on the equipment

Whether it’s a tractor, an ATV, or a pickup, keeping these machines in good working condition is key to a successful ranch operation. It also mitigates the need for costly and unnecessary repairs. Examine your ranch equipment regularly and switch worn-out or broken parts with newer ones. Check if your equipment needs oiling and greasing, too.

Keep your livestock healthy and happy

The best way to keep your livestock healthy and happy is through preventative care. Clean water, the right food, and healthy living conditions is a must. It’s also important to stay up-to-date with their vaccinations to prevent diseases. 

If you have cattle, horses, or pigs on your ranch, visit them regularly. Look out for debris, rocks, or possible infections on their bodies. Trim overgrown hooves, as well. Having the local number of the nearby veterinarian is a huge help in case of emergencies.

Pay attention to the soil

Soil plays a big role in the success of your ranch, especially if you are maintaining cattle. A soil management and grazing plan helps to improve the way you treat the soil.

Two main factors to consider when it comes to soil are its texture and structure. Texture has an impact on the number of nutrients it absorbs and its potential to hold water. Meanwhile, structure refers to the way the soil particles interact. A soil test can determine your soil’s pH level so you will know if it is more acidic or alkaline. The soil’s level of alkalinity has a direct effect on plant growth as it indicates how well your crops’ roots can absorb soil nutrients.

Control the growth of weeds

Managing the growth of weeds is essential in maintaining your Texas ranch. Aside from damaging electric fences and using up nutrients from the soil, weeds can also spread pests and diseases. 

There are several ways to control the growth of weeds, from chemical to manual methods. The preventive method, for instance, makes use of crop rotations, soil solarization, and proper management of drainage and irrigation systems to keep the weeds at bay. Before choosing a method, however, always determine first the type of weed that’s growing on your land so that you’ll know what you’re dealing with.

Update your ranch records

Bookkeeping is an important aspect of managing a ranch property. Every successful ranch owner can attest to that. Aside from taking note of the ranch’s progress, bookkeeping also helps when making future management decisions about your ranch. 

Another benefit to bookkeeping is being able to keep track of the different tax implications and benefits. In Texas, ranch owners are entitled to several property, agricultural, and income tax breaks. The Homestead Residence Exemption, for one, allows ranch owners to enjoy tax exemptions if their property is declared as a residence homestead.

For proper bookkeeping, make sure that all farm records are accurate, up-to-date, and recorded correctly. It also helps to have a good record-keeping system. There are online and desktop software available that are specific to farming and ranching, such as QuickBooks Desktop Pro, QuickBooks Online, EasyFarm, and FarmBooks.

Find the Briscoe or Lubbock ranch of your dreams with 5 Point Star Realty, the go-to experts for ranches and farms for sale in TX. Get in touch with us today at 806.224.3145 or send an email to info@5psr.com.