This paper reviews potential benefits of beef cows to other livestock enterprises on a sheep and beef farm. These benefits may include general benefits of cattle such as improved sheep performance via improved pasture quality. They may also include benefits specific to cows such as the efficient use of low quality feed and feed demand patterns which match pasture production. A linear programming model is used to quantify complementary benefits of breeding cows to the total farm economy. This is done by comparing the profit from finishing only policies with those that include breeding cow and finishing cattle policies. When the marginal benefit in farm profit is all attributed to the breeding cows their worth is between 5 and 26% greater than estimated by an enterprise analysis which does not account for complementarity. However, complementary benefits cease when returns from finishing reach $16/su greater than cows. Field system trials are required to validate these conclusions.

DG, McCall

Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 54, , 323-328, 1994
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