A Calculator for Marginal Calf Weight Values

It is important that cattle producers know the cost of adding gain to cattle and the marginal value of that gain. These costs and values are often similar from year to year. But when the grain market

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7 thoughts on “A Calculator for Marginal Calf Weight Values

  1. This does not take into consideration the sliding calf price scale. In my Canadian presentation last week the sliding scale, cow size, milk and cattle numbers on the same acres was my central theme. Went over very well. I will be expanding on this.

    1. This isn’t about that larger picture, Chip. This is just a little calculator to help folks think about the price on that very sliding calf price scale you’re talking about.

    2. Kathy did a good job covering this.
      As Chip said the user needs to know the starting weight, have an end weight goal and know the management and impact on animal gain (a budget with all the costs and impact on animal gain). Then knowing the price for different weight animals (price slide) the marginal value can be calculated and then using the identified costs the net income can be calculated for the animals when they reach the goal weight. A good manager will then put the actual numbers into the budget as a closeout report for decision making in the future.

  2. Without starting weights and a description of management it and an ending goal it cannot be judged.

    1. No, this assumes that you have animals of a certain weight and you’re looking at the market to see what it’s offering. If you know how much it costs to put on additional weight, and you know what the price is for the two different weights, you can decide if you should spend the money to put additional weight on calves.

  3. I am confused. Normal, but still. Are these purchased light calves being grown in a pen? Or fed on grass? Creep feeding calves on the cow?

    Without more information, this is telling me very little.

    1. I don’t think this has to do with how they’re being raised, Chip. My take on this is that it’s a way to decide if you’re going to keep on feeding them. The cost of pasture may be less than actual feed, but knowing your marginal values let’s you decide when to sell them for hopefully the best price.

      But I could be confused too! 🙂

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