Cow Efficiency

When the cattle industry embarked on the performance race 40 plus years ago, two things happened. Weaning weights went up, which was the prime goal. It was assumed (Assume: To take for granted) that since we were selling pounds, more was better. It again was assumed that increased production per cow was good. We were led to believe 400 pound calves were money losers and if we raised bigger calves, profit would follow. This was only a presumption (that which is supposed to be true with no actual proof). The economics of increasing weaning weights was not part of the research. There were direct and indirect costs. This article only deals with the indirect costs that later became known, yet not considered a detrimental factor in production and profit. Unknowingly, cow size was soon to follow the weaning weight increases. It was gradual and wasn’t recognized as a threat to profit for many years as production per cow was blinding the view. When it was realized the industry was producing the same amount of meat with fewer cows that was signaled as a plus. Again, another assumption. All emphasis remained on production per cow. Production per acre was/is an unknown term in the animal science “book.” Production per animal separates the animal from the land. Production per acre is where we need to look for profit. Animal scientists concentrating only on individual animal performance classify pastures as just a place to house the animals, not as a partner in production. This

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