The cattle industry is very competitive which is forcing cow-calf producers to strive for efficiency. Research has shown that as a cows mature weight increases, feed efficiency decreases, as well as reproductive efficiency and other production factors. This poster will show the results of a study which (1) identified the economically optimum cow size when charging for grazing public lands on a true Animal Unit Equivalent (AUE) basis and (2) determined the effects of the current practice of charging on a per head basis for grazing public lands on the optimal cow size.
Three alternative grazing times (100%, 75%, and 50%) on the forage resource base common in the Intermountain West were defined, as well as three different weights of cattle (small, medium and large). Grazing plans were created for each resource base and winter rations were balanced to ensure adequate nutrition and accurate budgeting.
When grazing on public land was charged on a true AUE basis, the small cows generated the highest net returns on all resources. Also, each resource base was able to maintain a larger number of the smaller cows than the medium or large cows under these conditions. When grazing on public lands was charge on a per head basis, as is typical, the large cow generated the greatest net returns on resource base 1 and 2. However, the small cow generated the greatest net return on resource base 3.
|Conference||2015 Extension Risk Management Education National Conference|