Cow-calf producers have to make forage pay for itself, according to John Lawrence, director of the Iowa Beef Center. Lawrence discussed the issue with producers during the Iowa Forage and Grassland conference held recently in Des Moines.
"Land costs have increased but, fortunately, cows have become more efficient and producers have become better managers, which has led to fewer acres per cow needed to raise cattle economically," said Lawrence.
Acres needed per cow in Iowa is 3.3. Those numbers are increased to 5.1 acres/cow needed in Missouri, 11.7 acres per cow in Kansas, 12.6 acres/cow in Nebraska and 14.9 acres/cow in South Dakota. While it takes fewer acres in Iowa and Missouri, there are also fewer pasture acres as compared to Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota.
Lawrence said producers need to be sure to lower their fixed costs by using good management skills.
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