Life cycle evaluation of five biological types of beef cattle in a cow-calf range production system: I. Model development

Author: Written by Davis, K. C., M. W. Tess, D. D. Kress, D. E. Doornbos, and D. C. Anderson

Journal: Journal of Animal Science, Oct 1994; 72: 2585 – 2590.

Abstract: Data collected during a 10-yr study at the Northern Agricultural Research Center (NARC), Havre, MT were used in construction of a simulation model to evaluate production systems using different breed groups. Five dam breed groups, straightbred Hereford (HH), 50% Angus-50% Hereford (AH), 25% Simmental-75% Hereford (1S3H), 50% Simmental-50% Hereford (1S1H), and 75% Simmental-25% Hereford (3S1H), were studied. The simulated system was a northern range cow-calf production system with spring calving and fall weaning. Replacement heifers were purchased and all calves were marketed at weaning. All nonpregnant females were sold in the fall. Statistical analyses of the data yielded input values (least squares means for breed group x age x sex subclasses) for cow and calf weights, pregnancy rate, dystocia, and calf survival. Pregnancy, dystocia, calf survival, calf weights, and cow weights were simulated stochastically. Energy requirements for maintenance, growth, gestation, and lactation were predicted from equations adapted from the literature based on body weight, frame size, sex, and breed group. Economic inputs and outputs were computed by accounting for variable input expenses and output revenues associated with animal performance and fixed costs associated with range management. Simulated measures of system performance included measures of energy conversion, break-even prices, and profit.