Beef Market Advisor

Friday, May 07, 2004

Optimal Replacement Strategies In Cow Operations Source: BEEF Cow-Calf Weekly 7 May 04

Colorado State University and University of Nebraska scientists analyzed data from a large Nebraska cow herd to compare three economic models to determine optimal replacement and marketing strategies for maximizing long-term profit potential. The model that consistently returned the highest average net income per animal annually for the enterprise also had the most distinct and visible composition over a 20-year period with respect to cow age groups (yearlings, 2s, 3s, 4 to 9s, and over 9s).

This model suggested that the ranch market mostly weaned heifers in lower-priced years and mostly bred yearlings in higher-priced years. This results in an older herd in lower-priced years and a younger herd in higher-priced years. The model also favored a practice in which more cows were sold as bred cows in the fall than as pairs in the spring.

The authors acknowledged that a replacement strategy for different ranches may vary with differing circumstances. As a result, this decision should be repeatedly addressed to ensure the long-term success of the enterprise (Mackey et al. 2004. Prof. Anim. Sci. 20:87).

-- Michigan State University Beef Cattle Research Update, Spring 2004

posted by Dr. Harlan Hughes 3:38 PM [edit]

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