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Copyright © 2014
Angus Journal

Bettering Beef Cow Efficiency


The measure of output per level of input is perhaps the greatest single factor affecting your profitability as a beef producer. Whether marketing or feed prices are high or low, your efficiency as a producer determines whether you make a profit or a loss.

Health status, culling rates, reproductive efficiency, management restrictions, genetics and feeding practices are all factors that affect beef cow efficiency. And, there’s the end product value to consider. Increasing biological efficiency can be antagonistic with economic efficiency if the end product doesn’t match customer needs. 

Michigan State’s Harlan Ritchie notes in The Search for the Elusive Optimum Cow that 71% of total dietary energy expenditure is used for maintenance, and 70% of that amount is directed toward maintaining the herd. Half the energy used in beef production is fed to the cow herd just to maintain it. Making that cow more biologically efficient can help. 

C.P. Mathis and J.E. Sawyer point out in Beef Cow Efficiency in the Southwest, that “efficiency is the optimum use of resources toward a sustainable level of production.” The New Mexico State University Extension specialists make the point that you can’t just maximize output and minimize input to be efficient long-term.

Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., and Angus Productions Inc. created this site as a gateway to information you can use to improve your herd’s efficiency. We encourage you to use the request form to ask us to e-mail you when we update the site or to notify us of information you think others would find useful. Enjoy the site.























Editor's Note: The articles used within this site represent a mixture of copyrights. If you would like to reprint or repost an article, you must first request permission of Angus Productions Inc. (API) by contacting the editor at 816-383-5200; 3201 Frederick Ave., Saint Joseph, MO 64506. API claims copyright to this web site as presented. We welcome educational venues and cattlemen to link to this site as a service to their audience.