Saturday, October 23, 2004

North Dakota's CHAPS Calving Distribution Table Emphasizing Beef Cow Herd Sorted By Age Of Dam --. Note which age of females produced the heaviest calves. Generally, we find the females 5, 6, and 7 years of age produce the heaviest calves. Females 2, 3 and 4 years old tend to produce lighter weight calves. Females above 8 years of age tend to produce lighter calves. When prices are high, like now, ranch herds should have high numbers of 4, 5, 6 year old females so that they have the most pounds of calf to sell when prices are high. Most drought reduced herds, will be expanding with 2 and 3 year old females during the high prices of the next three years. Unfortunately, when calf prices are high, these repopulating drought-induced herds will have more low producing 2 and 3 year old females. This is not optimal for maximum profits but is a direct result of selected drought management strategies. The biggest economic costs of drought is not during the depopulation phase but is the missed profit opportunity experienced during the repopulation phase of the cattle cycle which typically corresponds to high calf price years. Clearly, when you have young cows, high producing aged cows, and older cows during the cattle cycle make a mid difference in the total profitability over a complete cattle cycle.
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