PR - ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF FORAGE SYSTEMS DESIGNED TO INTENSIFY BEEF PRODUCTION
Intensified livestock production systems have the potential to produce more beef per acre. However, these systems may be more costly and not necessarily more profitable, making them less sustainable from an economic perspective. Ongoing experiments are being conducted to evaluate the productivity differences between an extensive system using native rangeland exclusively and an intensive system that incorporates winter and summer annual forages produced on cropland. Data from these experiments are used to estimate economic returns for different production stages (cow/calf, stocker, hay) and the system. For the two years analyzed, the intensive system generated substantially more profit at the cow/calf stage in year two, leading to more profit on average for the two years for this phase. The stocker phase contributed much less to system net returns than the cow/calf enterprise in either system but was more profitable in both years for the extensive system. Hay production in the intensive system in year two was not profitable. Average net income for the two systems was similar for the two years, with the extensive system generating slightly more returns to risk and management.
Keywords: cow/calf, stocker, systems, grazing, profitability, intensive