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The Basics: Farms Vs. Ranches

The Basics: Farms Vs. Ranches

Farms vs. Ranches

In real estate sometimes clients and agents alike will use terms interchangeably. There are two terms which continually show up in client questions and throughout the real estate process where there is confusion between the two. The terms “farm” and “ranch” are often used to explain the same thing. However, those who have grown up around either of these know they aren’t the same thing. Many people who did not have the opportunity to grow up in rural areas often misinterpret these two terms. To help clear up the confusion here are:

The Basics: Farms Vs. Ranches

Farms A farm produces a commodity from the soil, whether it be vegetables, grains or hay. In our area of Northern Colorado, there are two types of farms: Irrigated and Dryland. Vegetables require soils that are richer in nutrients and mineral. These types of soils are usually in the proximity of a river or natural drainage. Vegetables also need a steady supply of irrigation water. Corn, alfalfa and sugar beets are crops that also need irrigation water, but will produce well in  most soils. Grains, such as milo, wheat and sunflowers produce best in irrigated ground, but also do well in the more arid and dry land farm ground. Ranches Ranches consist of more acreage than farms, any crops grown (grass or natural vegetation) are used as feed for livestock (i.e. cattle, bison, sheep, or any forage grazing animals). Some ranches may have a small portion of the acreage designated for hay fields that are not grazed, but rather cut and baled for hay for winter feed after the grazing season is over. Also, if the primary use of the property is to raise and produce pork and hogs are the commodity, then typically this is called a farm, even though it is livestock that is actually produced. So there you have it. To sum it up, a farm is primarily used to raise commodities such as vegetables, grains or hay, while ranches are typically used to raise livestock such as cattle, bison or sheep. Still have questions? No problem! Feel free to contact us and let us know how we can help!


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