Stan Bevers analyzes a lot of data. As a teacher of, and advocate for, Standardized Performance Analysis (SPA), the professor, Extension economist and management specialist for the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, sees the results of habits that are common to beef producers who generate more profit from their cow-calf operations.

“This sounds so simple,” says Bevers, but profitable producers focus on reproduction and not production. “If a cow doesn’t get bred, nothing else matters. That is why we’re in the cow-calf business.”

Without a calf from every cow every year, "everything that follows is an expense without any revenue to offset it. We get so focused on production methods, but I have to have a calf to implant or feed for better gains. I have to have a calf first."

When the time comes for drought-stricken Texas and Oklahoma producers to rebuild their herds, Bevers suggests paying attention to the basics of cattle production and selection.

Look for bulls that can travel, are structurally correct and have the scrotal circumference to indicate a high libido. Breed associations generally have the average information for scrotal circumference and can advise producers on that trait.

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