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Implications of increasing bred animal value

Marketing and risk management are more important than ever when it comes to the cattle industry.

April 11, 2024

1 Min Read
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By Tim Christensen, Iowa State University

As I watched the local markets on bred heifers and cows this spring, I found myself wondering, what these these bred animals are worth? I looked back at some resources from 2014 and decided to update them with current numbers. The results might surprise you. Or they might not, depending on your point of reference.

With what could be considered conservative numbers for the current market, we can easily say we have more than double our investment in today’s cow herd compared to 10 years ago. This makes marketing and risk management more important than ever.



It is imperative that today’s producers understand their cost of production and understand their breakeven prices when marketing their cattle. We have recently updated the “Livestock Enterprise Budgets” in Ag Decision Maker to assist producers with determining their costs. Find all of these on the website in file B1-21.

Beef producers can enter their own numbers from their operations to understand what the true costs are for their own production. They then can use this information to look for opportunities to reduce cost or maximize income. As always, I warn that the more realistic you can be in entering these numbers, the more accurate the numbers coming out of these calculations are. If you have any questions reach out to me by email at [email protected].

Source: Iowa State University

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