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Title: Economic effects of nutritional constraints early in life of cattle
Contributor(s): Alford, Andrew (author); Cafe, Linda  (author)orcid ; Greenwood, Paul (author); Griffith, Garry  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2009
DOI: 10.1071/EA08266
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Abstract: An experiment was conducted at the Grafton Agricultural Research Station on the northern coast of New South Wales whereby low and high pasture nutritional systems were imposed on a herd of Hereford cows during pregnancy and from birth to weaning in a factorial design. Offspring representing extremes of growth to birth and/or weaning were then selected for study of long-term consequences of growth early in life. Implications of the nutritional treatments of cows on subsequent weaning rates were also tested with data from previous studies. The extent to which these extreme maternal nutritional and offspring growth scenarios affected herd profitability was tested with the Beef-N-Omics decision support package. For the representative cattle enterprise modelled, gross margin per hectare ranged from $A114 to $A132. In all cases, the gross margin for those groups with fetal growth based on a higher level of nutrition exceeded that of their peers on a lower level of nutrition. It is more profitable for cows and calves to have access to a high standard of nutrition during pregnancy and up to weaning than for them to have access only to a poor standard of nutrition. Incorporating differential weaning rates following maternal nutritional treatments reduced gross margins per hectare by up to 30%. On average, a 1% reduction in weaning rate resulted in a 4.5% reduction in gross margin. Restricted cow-calf nutrition affects the future cow fertility, as well as the current calf progeny, economically.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Animal Production Science, 49(6), p. 479-492
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Place of Publication: Australia
ISSN: 1836-5787
Field of Research (FOR): 070201 Animal Breeding
070202 Animal Growth and Development
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 830302 Dairy Cattle
830301 Beef Cattle
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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