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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Evaluation of Beef Cattle Operations Utilizing Different Seasons of Calving, Weaning Stratigies, Post-Weaning Management, and Retained Ownership

Authors
item Kruse, R - MONTANA STATE UNIV
item Tess, M - MONTANA STATE UNIV
item Grings, Elaine
item Short, R - RETIRED ARS SCIENTIST
item Heitschmidt, Rodney
item Phillips, William
item Mayeux Jr, Herman

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science Supplement
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 1, 2004
Publication Date: June 15, 2004
Citation: Kruse, R.E., Tess, M.W., Grings, E.E., Short, R.E., Heitschmidt, R.K., Phillips, W.A., Mayeux Jr, H.S. 2004. Evaluation of beef cattle operations utilizing different seasons of calving, weaning stratigies, post-weaning management, and retained ownership. Journal of Animal Science Supplement 82(2):111.

Technical Abstract: Production data from a 3-yr study conducted at Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Laboratory near Miles City, MT were utilized to evaluate impacts of season of calving (SOC), weaning strategy (W), post-weaning management of replacement heifers (PWM), and retained ownership of steer calves (RO) on enterprise profitability. The SOC evaluated were late winter (FEB), early spring (APR), and late spring (JUN). The FEB and APR calves were weaned at 6 and 8 mo of age; JUN calves were weaned at 4 and 6 mo of age. The PWM strategies included one treatment intended to allow heifers to grow at a constant rate from weaning to breeding and the second intended to minimize harvested feed inputs. The RO options included backgrounding in El Reno, OK and backgrounding in Miles City, MT utilizing two different diets. Production systems were modeled to characterize each possible combination of factors. Economic performance of each system was based on animal performance and variable input costs. Data were analyzed at each level of production (cow-calf and backgrounding) with system and year included in the model. There were no differences between systems utilizing different PWM. For cow-calf enterprises selling calves at weaning, JUN systems yielded higher ranch gross margin (RGM = gross revenue minus variable costs) than all other systems, and were statistically higher than APR early-weaned system (P<0.05). When steer calves were backgrounded after weaning, most systems utilizing JUN calving yielded a significantly higher gross margin than those utilizing FEB or APR. There were few differences between backgrounding treatments within calving season. The SOC had larger impact than W, PWM, and RO on the enterprise profitability. Our results suggest that, in systems managed similarly to those modeled here, feed costs and time of marketing may have important effects on profitability.

Last Modified: 11/25/2014
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