The value of reproduction
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. It is intuitive that improvements in reproductive success, or the prevention of reproductive failure, drive cow-calf enterprise productivity.
Profitability, however, is not solely driven by gross revenue or productivity. The incremental costs of increasing production must be considered if managers are to successfully allocate resources to increase profitability. In other words, improving reproductive rate at all costs is not likely to be a solution, according to the King Ranch Insitute for Ranch Management.
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