Cost-effective calf management practices can add significant net cash farm income to cattle operations on top of already high cattle prices, according to a Farm Assistance study conducted by specialists with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

With prices for calves at historic levels, beef cattle producers could increase revenue by implementing blackleg vaccinations, castrations and implants, as well as deworming. Ranchers who neglect these practices could be missing significant additions to revenue, according to economists.

“The financial performance and condition of most South Texas cow-calf operations will continue to be supported by off-farm income, hunting and other sources of income,” said Mac Young, AgriLife Extension economist. “At the same time, implementing cost-effective calf management practices offers cow-calf producers the potential to improve profitability.”

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Spring and summer rainfall has improved forage conditions and increased interest in herd rebuilding, Young said.

“As a result, demand and prices for feeder calves and prices for replacements have increased,” he said. “Cow-calf producers in South Texas routinely make management decisions to adapt to weather, market and economic conditions. Various calf management practices can be critical to herd performance and profits. Successful managers will find ways to improve their operations by adopting better and cost-effective approaches to doing things.”

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