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Take Aim at Controlling Breeding Costs

Fresh Whole Beef
United States
May 8, 2022
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With cattle markets at record high prices cow-calf producers find themselves competing for production inputs at higher costs. In an effort to economize, questions that may arise might be “What is a breeding bull worth?” or “How much per calf are my breeding costs?”. The following four factors could potentially alter breeding costs: 1) Bull prices, 2) Calving rate, 3) Cow to bull ratio and 4) Cull bull price. By using the “Cow/Heifer Breeding Cost Cow-Q-Lator” these costs were analyzed. There are various other factors which we leave for discussion at another time. Using representative base values, we estimate that the average breeding costs of $110.26 per weaned calf. This is based on an average calving rate of 87% (the percent cows weaning a calf after being exposed to a bull). Cull bulls averaged 2,000 pounds, with a 4 year useful life, a mortality rate of 2% and a salvage value of $120.00 per cwt. The expected interest rate was 6% on investment. The ratio of cows per ...
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