The Value of Reproduction KRIRM faculty describe one method of evaluating the value of reproduction in the cow calf business.

By: Jason Sawyer, PhD, and Rick Machen, PhD; appearing in the Spring 2020 KRIRM Newsletter

In cow-calf operations, reproductive rate is the foundational productive function of the enterprise. Obviously, if cows do not become pregnant, then no calves are produced for revenue generation the following year. Revenue from culled cows is not a result of production; it is the liquidation of an asset that must be replaced (usually at a higher price), if production is to continue. Pregnant cows must successfully produce a live calf, and live calves must be weaned and sold before production revenue is generated. It is intuitive that improvements in reproductive success, or the prevention of reproductive failure, drive cow-calf enterprise productivity.

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