Animal Science Department


Date of this Version

December 1995


Published for Proceedings, The Range Beef Cow Symposium XIV December 5, 6 and 7, 1995, Gering, Nebraska.


This paper focuses on profitability points which apply to the cow/calf producer. This is a challenging task and, at best, will be a restatement of the practices that are employed by any good beef producer. In today’s environment, if one has the boldness to put these points in print, it is only to reinforce the good management already being implemented and to offer ideas for other management practices that could also be employed. The merit of this exercise is to exchange ideas that can be mixed and matched with what is already being done on the ranch. The result will hopefully increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the operation, and thus, help the profitability picture of the business. This will become increasingly more important in the current cattle cycle. Paul Genho, manager of Deseret Ranches, stated in a recent meeting at Texas A & M, “The industry that emerges from this down phase will be leaner, smaller and more competitive.”

The following profitability focus points are management ideas that may effect profitability in a cow/calf operation. Most of these ideas have been gathered from other producers across the country and from programs such as the Range Beef Cow Symposium. The points are arbitrarily listed and the sequence is not necessarily indicative of importance. Certain guidelines and examples will be given which specifically apply to Quinn Cow Company. Whether or not they will lead to profitability in the last half of the nineties, for ourselves or others, remains to be seen. Cost effective management, however, will be key for survival. Dr. Robert Taylor, Colorado State University Animal Scientist, at the 1995 mid-summer NCA meeting in Denver, estimated that after the current cattle cycle, 30% of today’s beef producers will not be in business.