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Is There Gold in Them Thar Crossbreeding Hills? Darrh Bullock University of Kentucky
Simple Economics Income Cost Profit = Income - Cost
Income Weight Price Income = Weight * Price
Costs Overhead Development Maintenance Production
Economic Considerations Cow/Calf Producer –Calving Ease –Weaning Weight –Weaning Rate –Calf Prices
Economic Considerations Cow/Calf Producer –Longevity/Replacement –Cow Maintenance –Cull Cow Prices –Health Costs
Heterosis Impact on Profitability Weaned Weight/Cow Exposed Longevity/Replacement Rate Feedlot Performance Carcass Composition
Literature Lifetime input cost per value unit of weaned calf and cull cow output was reduced 6% by use of crossbred cow and 6% more with crossbred calf (Nunez-Dominguez, 1992)
Literature Total heterosis for total income was 15% (Lamb and Tess, 1989) Maternal heterosis for net profit was nearly $70/cow/yr (Davis et al., 1994)
Crossbreeding Calculator Bullock and Isaacs
Crossbreeding Calculator Download this from
Economics of Heterosis 85% Weaned/Cow Exposed 525 lb Wean Wt. $85/cwt Heterosis* –Maternal – 15% –Individual – 7% *Bourdon 2000
Economics of Heterosis Weaning Weight/Cow Exposed Cow %ABC A100 A75,B25 A67,B33 A50,B50 A50,BC25
Economics of Heterosis Weaning Weight/Cow Exposed Cow %ABC A1000 A75,B25$35 A67,B33$50 A50,B50$70 A50,BC25$70
Economics of Heterosis Weaning Weight/Cow Exposed Cow %ABC A1000$27 A75,B25$35$50 A67,B33$50$59 A50,B50$70 A50,BC25$70$78
Economics of Heterosis Weaning Weight/Cow Exposed Cow %ABC A1000$27 A75,B25$35$50$55 A67,B33$50$59$66 A50,B50$70 $83 A50,BC25$70$78
Economics of Heterosis Weaning Weight/Cow Exposed 2 Breed Comp (50%)$42 2 Breed Rotation (67%)$56 2 Breed Roto-Term (var)$61 4 Breed Comp (75%)$63 (Heterosis)
Longevity Calculator Bullock and Burdine
Longevity Calculator Download this from
Economics of Heterosis Longevity Based on results of Nunez- Dominquez et al (1991) using imposed culling policy Replacement Rate –Straightbred – 18.1% –Crossbred – 15.8%
Economics of Heterosis Longevity Mortality Rate –Straightbred – 20% –Crossbred – 9% Infertility – varied by age group (Actual Culling Prac)
Economics of Heterosis Longevity 550 lb steer $85/cwt 500 lb heifer $75/cwt Weights adjusted for AOD No price slide 1200 lb $42/cwt (adj)
Economics of Heterosis Longevity Economic differential –Fertility differences included $33.45/hd advantage –Fertility differences excluded $11.86/hd advantage
Economics of Heterosis Combined Economic Differential –Maximum Heterosis $95.31/hd –50% Heterosis $47.65/hd
Price Differential Straightbred calves must receive an almost $10/cwt premium to compensate for reduced production compared to minimal crossbreeding systems
Economic Considerations Feedlot –Morbidity (?) –Mortality (?) –Feed Efficiency (1%) –Margins
Economic Considerations End Product –Carcass Weight (4%) –Dressing Percent (0%) –Yield Grade (1%) –Quality Grade (1%) –Price Structure
Summary Profitability in feeder calf production is greatly impacted by crossbreeding Primarily due to heterosis
Summary Benefits in the feedyard and carcass traits are less impacted by heterosis, however, complementarity may play an important role here
Thanks Kenny Burdine Lee Meyer Steve Isaacs Fred Thrift
Questions Darrh Bullock University of Kentucky (859)
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