How to make more cash from your cows

14 May 2015

The data on 78,000 cows in 142 breeding mobs located on 72 commercial properties in northern Australia has been crunched and analysed and now a new manual tells producers about what underpins a productive northern breeding herd.

The newly published Technical Synopsis: CashCow findings – insights into the productivity and performance of northern breeding herds provides an overview of the key data sets and insights from the CashCow project.

In summary, the MLA-supported CashCow project found there are three key performance drivers for a productive breeder herd and each of those drivers is influenced by different factors:

Time taken for cows to re-conceive

Influenced by:

  • body condition score (which is in turn influenced by grazing management, P status, time of calving and out of season calving)
  • bull soundness
  • disease status
  • genotype
  • age at puberty (heifers) and mating weight

Calf loss at pre- and post-calving

Influenced by:

  • abortion (which in turn is influenced by disease, stress and toxins)
  • neonatal loss (which in turn is influenced by mustering, disease, heat stress, wild dogs, P status, calf rearing history)
  • dehorning

Cow loss

Influenced by:

  • body condition score (which in turn is influenced by grazing management, P status, time of calving and out of season calving)
  • disease eg botulism
  • cow age

The synopsis also talks through the next steps to measuring these key performance indicators. The three step process involves:

  1. Collecting records to calculate annual weaner production and/or annual live weight production.
  2. Comparing to production benchmarks for your country type.
  3. Comparing to performance benchmarks for your country type.

Download the Technical synopsis: CashCow findings

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