Efficient cattle production through good management can have a big influence on farm profitability. Fixed costs are generally high and difficult to reduce in cattle production. In order to reduce cost of production, producers should look to minimise variable costs through methods such as out wintering cows. Optimising output is another method of reducing cost of production.
One major limitation in suckler cow herd performance throughout Scotland is fertility. On beef finishing units, reducing days to slaughter through improved performance is a way to optimise performance.
Labour is another large cost for cattle producers. In order to reduce labour requirements but still ensure the safety of the handler, good handling equipment is a worthy investment.
Furthermore, new technologies such as EID readers and weigh heads can reduce labour requirements whilst optimising performance by enhancing data capture on farm.
Through trials on farm, the monitor farm programme investigated options available to farmers to improve the efficiency of cattle enterprises.