Management and marketing strategies for high desert beef ranches in Eastern Oregon Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/ff365824k

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  • Ranchers in the high desert area of Eastern Oregon traditionally market their calves when they are weaned in late fall. This is the time when the market prices for calves are at a seasonal low. In this study the economic feasibility of various alternative management and marketing strategies for the utilization of range forage with a spring calving operation is determined. The operational objectives were (1) to determine the most profitable time and weight to market the spring-born calves, (2) to determine whether supplementary feeding of yearlings is economically feasible, (3) to explore the competitive relationship between cows and yearlings for limited range forage, and (4) to determine the combination of beef production and growing activities which will provide the highest net returns. Linear programming was used to determine the combination of activities that would maximize net returns subject to the constraint of forage quality and quantity. The quality and quantity of the range forage was determined by using data provided by the Squaw Butte Experiment Station, Burns, Oregon. All the basic data pertaining to the high desert area were obtained from Squaw Butte. The initial L. P. solution indicated the heifers should be sold March 1 at 600 pounds having been fed to gain 1.5 pounds per day while the steers were sold April 16 at 780 pounds, gaining 2.0 pounds per day. The cows earned a higher MVP for the limited resource, range forage, than could the yearlings either with or without supplementary feeding. In the second solution barley price was reduced from $50 to $45 per ton and the steers were sold April 16 at 780 pounds (same as initial solution). The heifers were sold June 16 weighing 900 pounds having been fed to gain 2.0 pounds per day. Supplementary feed was provided on the range for these heifers from April 16 to June 15. The study shows that the traditional management and marketing practice is not the most profitable alternative. The feed costs are less than the increase in income from feeding the animals to heavier weights.
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