Cattle operations will include cow/calf at the Marianna, Florida site and a winter stocker program at the Headland, Alabama site. Under the assumptions in our business model, we expect that the cow/calf operation on the second year of bahiagrass will increase the returns to the farmer of a 200 acre farm of about $7,000. We also assume that each cow will require about 10 hours of work per year, thus the cattle operation increases the total labor costs on the farm considerably. This can be critical if the fall calving season overlaps the peanut or cotton harvest period.
The impact of the cattle on the physical properties of the soil needs to be determined. This is an area under investigation. We also will look at the impact of cattle on nutrient cycling and subsequent row crop yields.