An evaluation of the cost benefits of spaying females in Northern Australia was undertaken to better understand why and if spaying still has a place as a management tool, what (if any) are the financial benefits and how much resources should be directed at methods of controlling pregnancy in the future.
The study demonstrated positive cost benefits in the majority of properties (5/6) studied. It highlighted the constraints and issues in targeting suitable markets for females in northern Australia. An analysis of the results revealed that any increases in Gross Margin/Adult Equivalent (GM/AE) were dependent on the percentage increase in the net value of the females sold in relation to the lowered turnoff. An equation was developed that quantified this relationship. The results enabled a more in depth examination of common cull cow policies, demonstrated the role of value adding to the female sales and highlighted the need to expand our thinking in ways to improve profitability in the northern beef herds.