Analyzing The Cost Of A Bull
With the steady increase in input costs for cow-calf operations, beef producers will look to save money and cut costs in multiple fashions. One area often targeted for cost-cutting measures is money spent on bulls. Often producers focus on the initial cost of a sire, and realize “sticker shock” when purchase prices move upward. Considering that the herd sire has significant impact on numerous of traits with economic importance (coat color, calf vigor, weaning weight, carcass grade), an individual sire has a pronounced impact on profitability. Bull purchase price needs to be put in perspective by evaluating price relative to years of useful service the cost per cow exposed. Table 1 compares the cost per cow or a bull with a $2500 purchase price and one with a $1500 purchase price. Assumptions are as follows: 4 years of service, salvage weight of 2000 lbs, salvage price of $50 cwt. Cost per cow exposed is shown for each purchase price given the number of cows exposed.