The Beef + Lamb New Zealand Genetics Beef Progeny Test data clearly shows that, the better condition your cows are in at mating, the more calves they will produce.
The test is run across five large-scale commercial properties throughout New Zealand.
The dollars and cents
Based on a 100-cow beef herd, it costs $1650 to increase the average BCS by 1 point in the lead up to mating.
1 BCS point = 30kg of weight gain, which requires 165kg of feed at 10MJ
At 10c/kgDM, that’s $1650
Based on the graph above – and to keep the maths simple – if you lift the score from 4 up to 5, your 100 cows will potentially generate another 15 calves – worth $12,800 at weaning.
Value of weaner = $800
15 calves x $800 = $12,000
Your $1650 spend just returned you $12,000.
If you lift the score from 5 up to 6, that’s potentially another 7 calves – still a healthy $5600 return on your $1650 spend.
Allowing for losses between scanning and weaning, you are still looking at returns on your capital (i.e. the additional feed) of up to 600%.