Beef Cow Nutrition Basics
by Rick Rasby, Extension beef specialist, University of Nebraska
Feed costs make up more than half the cost of producing a weaned calf. This year, due to drought and the more recent increase in corn prices, cow costs have the potential to be higher. Profitable cow-calf producers tend to have three items in line with one another: weaning weight, reproductive rate and the cost of producing a weaned calf.
Weaning weight and reproductive rate will likely not be maximums, but optimums given the feed, labor and capital resources available. However, reproductive performance of the cow herd has a major effect on the economics of the cow-calf enterprise.