Animal Science Department


Date of this Version

December 1993


Published for Proceedings, The Range Beef Cow Symposium XIII December 6, 7, & 8, 1993, Cheyenne, WY.


Cow-calf producers find themselves in the unique position of managing an enterprise where profitability is dependent on their ability to hit two targets, the first being the complex of maternal traits as defined by the environmental and management constraints of their individual farm and ranch. The second target is outlined by the demands of the marketplace.

What is the feasibility of accomplishing these two goals within the context of improving profitability by lowering appropriate production costs while avoiding the discounts inherent in commodity pricing schemes? The answer to this question is dependent on a variety of factors, including: the specific market being targeted, the severity of market discounts, the pricing mechanism (individual versus pen average) and the degree of environmental, management, and financial flexibility of the enterprise.