The Power of the Preg Check
In a study conducted by the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation in 2006, the value of a $1-$5 pregancy test could result in an increased profit for producers of $77 per head.
“This study showed that only 33 percent of producers with more than 100 head in Oklahoma and Texas pregnancy checked their cows,” Dr. Barker says. “The need for producers to have pregancy checks conducted on their herd, and the economics for veterinarians to maintain and develop those skills, can help producers regain income that has been lost, in many cases.”
For example, he says, in January 2012, 1.78 million beef cows were in Oklahoma. With a 67 percent growth in pregnancy checks at $5 per head, income for Oklahoma practitioners could increase by $7 million.
A Closer Look: Is Pregnancy-Checking Worth the Cost?
In a 2011 study conducted by Virginia Tech, Dr. Barker says, a late-bred cow costs $1.74 per day, and a last-day born calf returned $157 less than one born on the first day of a calving season.
And in a study conducted by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, a 1 percent increase in pregnancy rate can lead to an increased profit of $6.34 per head, Dr. Barker says.
“There’s a lot of money left on the table by both sides, by not conducting pregnancy checks,” he says.
For this reason, Dr. Barker says, client education and providing and seeking necessary skills is critical.