Department of Animal Science


Date of this Version



Published in 2012 Beef Cattle Report (2012) p. 41-42. Copyright © 2012 The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska.


Recent research on the economics of optimal beef replacement heifer size development reinforced the established economic principle that revenue or cost optimization are not equal to profit optimization. A modified profit function was used to analyze simulated results which demonstrated the differences among the three measures. In the case of optimizing pregnancy rates, a heifer must be heavier to optimize productivity as measured by revenue verses profit. Similarly in the case of cost minimization, the reduction in developmental expenses results in less profit except in the case where the economically optimal sized heifer equals that of the size chosen to cost minimize.