Economic analysis and stochastic simulation of alternative beef calving and feeding systems in western Canada.

Khakbazan, M., Carew, R., Scott, S.L., Chiang, P., Block, H.C., Robins, C.D., Durunna, O.N., and Huang, J. (2014). "Economic analysis and stochastic simulation of alternative beef calving and feeding systems in western Canada.", Canadian Journal of Animal Science, 94(2), pp. 299-311. doi : 10.4141/CJAS2013-185  Access to full text

Abstract

Biological and economic data from three field-experimental sites in Manitoba (Brandon Research Centre) and Saskatchewan (Western Beef Development Centre; Semi-Arid Prairie Agriculture Research Centre) were used to determine the economic and financial benefits of alternative beef calving and feeding systems. Stochastic budgets and Monte Carlo simulation techniques were used to evaluate the profitability and risk levels of four alternative livestock beef management systems: early-calving/rapid-gain post-weaning feeding (ER), late-calving/rapid-gain post-weaning feeding (LR), early-calving/slow-gain post-weaning feeding (ES), and late-calving/slow-gain post-weaning feeding (LS). Economic budgets were constructed to evaluate the viability of different phases of beef production including backgrounding, pasture, swath grazing and finishing. Statistical analysis considered operational costs (feed, yardage, implants, medicine, labor, marketing, and other costs), price variables (fed-steer, feeder cattle, and grid pricing premiums/discounts) and steer performance measures such as average daily gain (ADG). Results from the simulation analysis revealed that late-calving systems provided higher returns for livestock producers, while rapid-feeding systems were more preferable for producers who were more risk-averse.

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