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Measuring Performance Per Animal vs Per Acre

By   /  August 3, 2015  /  3 Comments

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For the last 50+ years, nearly all of the so-called “experts” in the beef industry have been foc
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About the author

is an industry leader in developing bulls on forage, and is internationally known as a successful rancher and businessman. In the mid 80s, Kit started out by leasing grassland and buying cows. In the beginning, he strived to build a herd that would wean bigger calves, but quickly learned that increasing weaning weights did not increase profit. Kit then changed his management approach to be profit-driven instead of production-driven, and carried-out management practices to reduce and eliminate expenses. At the same time Kit implemented ways to increase beef production per acre – compared to beef production per calf. Over the last 25 years, Kit has grown his ranch into a very profitable family corporation. From the first production sale of 7 bulls in 1990, Pharo Cattle Company now produces and markets over 800 forage-developed bulls every year. Kit Pharo advocates several no-nonsense ways to put profitability back into ranching and publishes a quarterly newsletter that is sent out to over 20,000 people.


  1. Kit Pharo says:

    Grant, there is absolutely nothing in what I wrote to give you the impression that the heavier cow weaned 46% of her own weight, while the lighter cow weaned 41% of her own weight. With very few (if any) exceptions, smaller cows will wean a higher percent of their own weight than big cows. That is one of the reasons smaller cows are more profitable. No matter how much land you have, you can run substantially more smaller cows than big cows. The smaller cows will always produce more total pounds that are worth more per pound. That always equals MORE PROFIT!. There is ample evidence that says big cows cannot produce calves that are as big as those produced by smaller cows. Check this out… http://www.pharocattle.com/extrastuff/PCC_Program/BIG_Cows.pdf. The reason the big cows produced small calves is that they do not fit their environment. They are struggling to meet their maintenance requirements.

  2. Grant Goss says:

    I understand that the numbers that you used are probably just random numbers that you picked for example’s sake, but since I am very new to stock work, I was trying to make them come out as you’d stated they would. I could very well be missing something, like an obvious assumption that someone who is not new would pick up on, but when I worked out the example’s weaning weight percentages the heavier cow weaned at 46% of her weight, and the lighter cow weaned at 41%. This seems to contradict what you were trying to get across, and I would really like to understand what you were saying…did I miss something?

    Thank you for your time.

    • Dan Nosal says:

      I think you may have misunderstood the example Kit was using. I don’t think he was comparing 1400# cows that wean 650# calves to 1100# cows that wean 450# calves. The cows and the calves were two separate examples.

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