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Comparing Spring and Fall Calving Seasons

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Comparing Spring and Fall
Calving Seasons
2007 Agricultural and Natural
Resources Update for Agents
October 23, 2007
John Johns – Animal Sciences
Lee Meyer – Agricultural Economics
Focus:
пЃЇ Which calving season is best for our
farmers and how they should decide
and,
пЃЇ Which system is best for which type
of farmers? (i.e. there may not be a
general, fit all, recommendation)
Info Needed for Making
Good Decisions:
пЃЇ
пЃЇ
пЃЇ
пЃЇ
пЃЇ
пЃЇ
Price Patterns
Differences in Production Costs
The “comfort” factor
Winter feeding costs
Health Issues
Moving cows between seasons
Issues for Discussion:
пЃЇ Increasing number of fall herds in
Kentucky – Why?
 Risk – what about drought years?
пЃЇ Small vs. larger operations,
 one herd – spring OR fall vs.
 Two herds – spring AND fall
пЃЇ Non-traditional (not hay-based)
feeding programs
пЃЇ Extending ownership past weaning
Background
пѓ�Surveys show the months that most calves are
born in Kentucky are February, March, April and
September, October and November.
Twice as many calves are born in the spring
months.
Why?
Spring Calving - Advantages
пЃЇ Summer grazing costs are lower
 Winter feeding – dry cows
пЃ® less supplemental feed needed
пЃ® easy
пЃЇ Less overall, year-round management
Spring Calving - Disadvantages
пЃЇ Weather
пЃ® Mud
пЃ® Cold Rain
пЃ® Ice
пЃЇ Market Discounts
пЃ® Selling in the Fall
пЃЇ Fescue pastures for rebreeding and
calf growth
The alternative - Fall calving and
Spring Weaning
Pros and Cons to Consider:
пѓ�Feeding lactating cows during the winter
пѓ�Productivity differences from a spring calving
herd
пѓ�Marketing/grazing options
пѓ�Giving open cows a 2nd chance
пѓ�Doubling bull use
Season of birth, calf birth weight
and % calving difficulty
Birth Weight, lbs
% Calving Problems
Trial
Spring
Fall
Spring
Fall
OK
74.6
67.4
21.4
15.9
LA
61
60
-------
--------
OK
87
72
-------
--------
OK
82
77
-------
--------
Reason: fall born calves generally have lighter
birth weights compared to spring born.
Calving Season, Calf Loss and
Cow Conception
Season
Fall
Spring
% Death Loss
1.3
5.5
% Conception
93
92.4
Calving
Interval, Days
Cow Age, yrs
364
364
7.4
6.7
Calving Dates
9/1 – 11/15
1/1 – 3/15
JAS 64:687 (5 yr summary from LA)
Season of Birth and Calf
Weaning Weight
205 day
weaning wt.
lbs
Fall
Spring
440
505
Thesis of Gary Hill, 1974 Kentucky
Season of Birth and Calf
Actual Weaning Weight
Days of age at
weaning
Fall
Spring
288
211
Actual
592
weaning
weight, lbs
Thesis of Gary Hill, 1974 Kentucky
494
Season of Birth and Calf
Performance
Fall
Spring
Birth Wt. lbs
60
61
205 day wt.
lbs
439
442
Wean Wt. lbs
(270 days)
528
469
JAS 64:687 (5 yr summary from LA)
Fall Calving Summary
пЃЇ
пЃЇ
пЃЇ
пЃЇ
пЃЇ
пЃЇ
More calves to sell
Decreased weaning weights
Increased sale weights
Improved markets
Increased nutrient demand
Increased ration quality and amount
January Rations For Fall or Spring
Calving Cows, lbs/cow/day
Feed
Spring
Fall
Fescue Hay
20
17.5
Soy Hulls
4.4
8.5
IRM High Mag
.25
.25
Protein Block
.50
1.0
1200 lb cows calving either 9/1 or 3/1. Fescue
hay TDN = 50%, CP = 8.0% dry basis
Season of birth and
cow hay intake
Spring
Fall
Days Fed
92.5
97.5
Tons/Cow
.98
1.18
% increase
JAS 64:687 (5 yr summary from LA)
20
Seasonal Price Index –
Kentucky Feeder Steer Prices
1.2
500-600 wt.(00-06)
7-8 wt. ('00-'06)
1.1
Yr. Avg.
1.0
0.9
M
ay
Ju
ne
Ju
ly
Au
g
Se
pt
O
ct
N
ov
D
ec
r
Ap
M
ar
b
Fe
Ja
n
0.8
Seasonal Price Index – Ky.
Feeder Steer Prices (1995-04)
3 -4 w t
Jan
Feb
M ar
Apr
M ay
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
O ct
Nov
D ec
99
102
104
103
100
99
99
100
99
96
97
100
M e d . a n d L a rg e F ra m e # 1
4 -5 w t
5 -6 w t
6 -7 w t
7 -8 w t
98
97
97
98
101
99
97
97
104
103
99
97
104
103
100
97
101
102
100
98
101
102
102
102
100
102
103
103
100
101
103
103
98
99
101
103
96
97
99
101
97
97
99
101
99
98
99
101
Seasonal Price Index – Kentucky
Feeder Heifer Prices 1995 - 2004
1.15
1.10
1.05
400 to 500 lbs
600 to 700 lbs
Yr. Avg.
1.00
0.95
0.90
0.85
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Seasonal Price Index – Ky.
Feeder Heifer Prices (1995-04)
3 -4 w t
Jan
Feb
M ar
Apr
M ay
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
O ct
Nov
D ec
97
100
104
105
103
102
100
100
99
96
96
98
M e d . a n d L a rg e F ra m e # 1
4 -5 w t
5 -6 w t
6 -7 w t
7 & up
97
96
97
98
100
98
97
98
103
101
98
97
104
102
99
97
103
102
99
98
103
103
103
101
101
103
104
103
101
102
104
103
99
101
102
103
96
98
100
101
96
96
98
100
98
98
99
101
M
ar
Ap
r
M
ay
Ju
ne
Ju
ly
Au
g
Se
pt
O
ct
N
ov
D
ec
b
Fe
n
140
130
120
110
100
90
80
70
60
50
40
Ja
$ / cwt.
Feeder Steer Prices
500 -600 lb. M#1 Ky. Avg.
1995-2007
2005
2006
2007
2005
2006
Ju
ly
Au
g
Se
pt
O
ct
N
ov
D
ec
M
ar
Ap
r
M
ay
Ju
ne
140
130
120
110
100
90
80
70
60
50
40
Ja
n
Fe
b
$ / cwt.
Feeder Steer Prices
700 - 800 lb. M#1 Ky. Avg.
2000-2006
2007
Spring vs. Fall Budgets
Spring 3/1; Fall 9/1; sell at 240 days
Productivity
Spring
Fall
Wean Wts:
500 lbs.
500 lbs.
Death loss:
5%
2%
Hay fed:
1.0 ton
1.5 ton
Grain fed:
5 bu.
15 bu.
Budgets:
www.uky.edu/Ag/AgEcon/pubs/software/budgets_livestock.html
Spring vs. Fall Budgets
Spring 3/1; Fall 9/1; sell at 240 days
Economics
Spring
Fall
Returns/Cow:
$413
$488 (+18%)
Feed Cost/cow:
$197
$247 (+25%)
Var. Cost/cow:
$368
$424
Returns over VC
$45/cow
$64/cow
Return to LCM
-$70/cow
-$51/cow
Economics of Weaning Weights
пЃЇ Research is not clear on differences
in weaning weights;
пЃ® Fall is lower on 205 day basis
пЃ® Practical outcome is that weaning
weights are probably the same at 8 mo.
weaning age
пЃЇ Sensitivity Analysis
пЃ® The breakeven point is a 25 lb. lower
weaning weight for fall calving
Other Economic Considerations
пЃЇ Extend ownership in the spring on
fall-born calves – adds $40 - $60/hd.
пЃЇ Consider alternative feed ration to
reduce winter feeding cost
пЃЇ Utilize stockpiled fescue to reduce
feeding cost
Conclusions and Practicalities
пЃЇ Fall calving may be a good option for
the single bull herd;
пЃЇ Close enough that larger herds may
benefit from spring and fall herds;
 And …
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