Title: Economic potential of beef production in the Suwannee River development area
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Title: Economic potential of beef production in the Suwannee River development area
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Full Text

Lo 5L7


February 1967


Agricultural Economics
Mimeo Report EC 67-7


ECONOMIC POTENTIAL

OF BEEF PRODUCTION IN THE

SUWANNEE RIVER DEVELOPMENT AREA








R. E. L. Greene and John R. Linn
Agricultural Economist and former Graduate Assistant
Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


MAY -5 1957

.1 1


Department of Agricultural Economics
Agricultural Experiment Stations
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
University of Florida, Gainesville








TABLE OF CONTENTS


Page

INTRODUCTION. . . . . *
Purpose of Study. . . . .
Method of Study .. ..... .. * 2
Analysis and Presentation of Data ... . 2

FARM ORGANIZATION ... . . 4
Acres Operated and General Land Use . .. 4
Acres in Crops and Seeded Permanent Pasture . . 4
Crop Production Practices . . . 7
Variety and Rate of Seeding .... .. . 7
Fertilization Practices . . 7
Yield Per Acre .. .. . 9
Number of Various Classes of Livestock . 9
Distribution of Operator's Capital. . .. 9
Receipts. . . * 12
Expenses. . . . 12
Returns . . . 15

ANALYSIS OF THE BEEF ENTERPRISE . . 16
Number, Weight and Value of Breeding Stock. . 16
Average Number of Years Brood Cows in Beef Herd 18
Management Practices. . . . * 18
Acres in Temporary Grazing Crop and Improved and Unimproved
Pasture. . 21
Calves Born, Raised and Weights 22
Pounds and Value of Beef Produced .. . 23
Income, Specified Expenses and Net Returns Above
Specified Expenses .. . 23
Income. . . 26
Specified Expenses.... . 26
Net Returns Above Specified Expenses. . . 27

ESTIMATED EFFECT ON AVERAGE FARM INCOME IF BEEF ENTERPRISES
WERE ELIMINATED . ......... . 27
Added Costs . . . ....... 28
Reduced Returns .. . . 28
Added Returns . . .. 28
Reduced Costs ... .. . 28
Labor . . . . 30
Feed Purchased. . . . 30
Grazing Crops and Pasture . . . 30
Livestock Purchased . . . 30
Other Costs . . * 30
Estimated Change in Farm Income . .. . .. 31









Page


IMPROVING RETURNS FROM THE BEEF ENTERPRISE . ... 31
Present and Suggested Practices. .... . 32
Breeding . . . .. . 32
Management Practices . . . .. 32
Percent Calf Crop Weaned, Age of Calf at Weaning,
and Average Sales Weight. . .. .... 33
Herd Replacements and Number of Years
Brood Cows in Herd. . . .. . 33
Supplemental Feeding . ... . 33
Temporary Grazing Crops and Improved
Permanent Pasture . . . . 33
Comparative Costs and Returns for a Representative
Small Beef Cattle Enterprise with 1962 and
Recommended Practices .... . ..... 34
Number, Weight and Value of Breeding Stock . 35
Number of Calves Weaned and Sales Weight . . 35
Pounds and Value of Beef Produced. . . 35
Acres in Temporary Grazing Crops and Permanent Pasture 35
Income, Specified Expenses and Returns Above
Specified Expenses. . . ... 37
Comparative Costs and Returns for a Representative Large
Beef Cattle Enterprise with 1962 and Suggested Practices 39
Number, Weight and Value of Breeding Stock . .. 39
Number of Calves Weaned and Sales Weight . . 41
Pounds and Value of Beef Produced. . .. 41
Acres in Temporary Grazing Crops and
Permanent Pasture . . . ..... 43
Income, Specified Expenses and Net Returns Above
Specified Expenses. ...... . . ... 43

SUMMARY. . . . . .... 47

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS . . . . . 49













ECONOMIC POTENTIAL OF BEEF PRODUCTION IN THE
SUWANNEE RIVER DEVELOPMENT AREA
By
R. E. L. Greene and John R. Linn


INTRODUCTION


Farm incomes in the Suwannee River Development Area2 are
relatively low. Gross farm income in Columbia and Suwannee Counties
averaged only $5,260 per farm.3 Cattle were reported sold on 1,073
farms with average sales of slightly over 13 head. Gross receipts from
the sale of cattle were approximately $1,220 per farm.

Many of the farm people in the area are unemployed or under-
employed during a part of the year. There is need for new or addi-
tional uses for currently owned resources to provide for more employ-
ment and increased incomes. Several years ago, large acreages on
farms throughout the area were planted to bahiagrass for seed
production. In recent years, low prices for bahia seed have reduced
the profitability of this enterprise. Some agricultural leaders are
of the opinion that the production of beef cattle can make profitable
use of this grass. This would require considerable additional capital
for farmers to buy cattle and finance the beef operation. As an aid
in making management decisions on the desirability of adding or ex-
panding the number of beef cattle, farmers need information on costs
and returns from beef production.



Purpose of Study

The purpose of this study was to determine present production
practices of beef producers and to evaluate the economic potential of
beef production as a means of making a more profitable use of farm and
human resources in the Suwannee River Development Area.


1Agricultural Economist and former Graduate Assistant, Florida
Agricultural Experiment Stations.
Suwannee River Development Area refers to Columbia, Jefferson,
Lafayette, Madison and Suwannee Counties.
3U. S. Bureau of the Census, U. S. Census of Agriculture,
1959 (U. S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C., 1961).









-2-


Method of Study

Columbia and Suwannee Counties were selected as the study area
because the farming carried on in these two counties is typical of the
majority of farms in the Suwannee River Development Area (Figure 1).
The farming systems are diversified with cash crops and livestock being
important sources of income on most farms.

The farms chosen for study were limited to those that had beef
cattle enterprises. They were selected in consultation with county
agents and other agricultural workers as being representative of size
of enterprise and current practices being used by beef producers.
Approximately 47 farms were visited and records were obtained for 28.
Of the records taken, three were eliminated; two as being unusually
small (less than five brood cows) and one due to inconsistencies in
the data. Data for the remaining 25 records formed the basis of this
study.

A survey was conducted during 1963 to obtain complete farm
business information for the 1962 calendar year. Data collected
included beginning and ending inventories of all assets, records of
land use, fertilization practices, seeding and pesticide rates, crop
and livestock receipts, costs of operating tractors, trucks, automobiles
and other farm expenses. Special supplemental information was obtained
for the beef cattle enterprise.



Analysis and Presentation of Data

In analyzing the data, the farms were divided into two groups
based on size of the beef enterprise. Size was measured by the number
of brood cows and pregnant heifers in the beef herd at the beginning
of 1962. Thirteen farms had less than 25 cows and 12 farms stocked
25 or more cows. These are often referred to as small and large herd
farms.

Data are first presented by size groups for the overall farm
business, as the farms were operated in 1962. Available resources and
enterprise combinations are shown; also receipts, expenses and farm
returns are enumerated. Specified current production practices are
shown for crops.

Data are then presented on the beef cattle enterprise as it
was handled in 1962 showing management practices, numbers, weights,
beef produced, receipts, costs and net returns above specified
expenses. Calculations are presented to show estimated effects that
elimination of the beef enterprises would have on average farm incomes
of the two groups of farms. Finally, data are presented for two
representative farms, one with a small and one with a large beef






















































Figure 1.--Location of the Area Studied.












cattle enterprise, showing receipts and expenses in 1962 and the
estimated increase in net income from beef cattle if farmers adopted
recommended production practices.


FARM ORGANIZATION

Acres Operated and General Land Use

On small herd farms, the average producer operated 463 acres
of which 8 acres were rented (Table 1). The operators of large herd
farms operated 553 acres. On these farms 81 acres were rented in
and 22 acres rented out. Acres operated on all farms averaged 507.

Crops and seeded permanent pasture accounted for 35 percent
of the total acres operated on small herd farms and 42 percent on
large herd farms. Open pasture not improved was about three times
greater on large herd farms than on small herd farms. All farms had
nearly 7 percent of the total acres in this classification. Woodland
pastured accounted for 21, 14, and 17 percent in the two size groups
and all farms, respectively.


Acres in Crops and Seeded Permanent Pasture

The principal crops grown in 1962 in terms of the number of
farms growing them were tobacco, corn, rye, millet and bahia seed
(Table 2). Eighty percent of all farm operators grew tobacco, 68
percent corn, 64 percent rye, 36 percent millet, and 32 percent
harvested bahia seed. Tobacco was the major cash crop, followed in
importance by corn, peanuts harvested for nuts, bahia seed and
watermelons. The other crops were mainly for feed and soil improvement.
Seventy-seven percent of the farms with small herds and 67 percent with
large herds double-cropped some of their land.

More cropland was planted in solid corn to be harvested for
grain than in any other crop. This crop accounted for 21 percent of
the total land in crops and seeded permanent pasture on small herd
farms, and 13 percent on large herd farms. The second most important
field crop was solid corn for hogging-off. The percentage of crop
acres planted in solid corn for harvesting was less on large herd
farms but the percentage planted for hogging-off was approximately the
same for the two groups. Solid corn was followed in importance by
interplanted corn. The interplanted crop was peanuts except for one
farm which grew velvet beans and soybeans.

Old bahia accounted for 29 percent of the total land in crops
and seeded permanent pasture on small herd farms and 46 percent on









-5-


Table l.--Acres Operated and General Land Use on Farms with Small
and Large Beef Cattle Enterprises, Columbia and Suwannee
Counties, Florida, 1962.

Less than 25 cows
Item 25 cows or more All farms
25 cows or more
: :


Acres operated:
Owned
Rented in
Total
Less acres rented out
Total acres operated

General land classification:
Acres per farm:
Crops and seeded permanent
pasture
Idle cropland
Open pasture not improved
Woodland:
Pastured
Not pastured
Total

Percent of total:
Crops and seeded permanent
pasture
Idle cropland
Open pasture not improved
Woodland:
Pastured
Not pastured
Total


455
8
463
4I/
463


164
48
18

95
138
463


35.4
10.4
3.9

20.5
29.8
100.0


494
81
575
22
553


474
43
517
10
507


232
87
50

77
107
553


42.0
15.7
9.0

13.9
19.4
100.0


38.8
13.2
6.5

17.2
24.3
100.0


1/Less than .5 acre.



large herd farms. Second to old bahia was rye with 10 and 12 percent
of the total acres on small and large herd farms, respectively. Bahia
established new in 1962 amounted to approximately 2 percent of total
acreage on farms with small beef enterprises and 5 percent on farms
with large beef enterprises. Although tobacco was the most important
cash crop, it occupied only about 3 percent of the total crop and seeded
permanent pasture acreage on small herd farms and 2 percent on large
herd farms.
















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Crop Production Practices

Information was obtained on current production practices
used by farmers for various crops. The data were summarized to show
principal variety, average rate of seeding, kind and amount of
fertilizer, and yield per acre. Separate summaries were not made
the tko sizes of farms.

Variety and rates of seeding.--Hicks Broadleaf was the most
common variety of tobacco, (Table 3). Seeding rate averaged 0.9 ounce
per 100 square yards of bed. Plants set per acre averaged 10,624.
Dixie 18 was the most frequently used variety of corn. Rate of
seeding averaged 5.1 pounds per acre for corn planted solid and 4.4
pounds where corn was interplanted with peanuts, Bradford was the
most frequently used variety of peanuts. Rate of seeding averaged
64 pounds per acre when planted solid and 32 pounds when peanuts were
interplanted with corn. Seeding of watermelons averaged 2.4 pounds
per acre with Charleston Gray being the most common variety. The most
usual seeding rates for the principal grazing or soil improving crops
were 19 pounds per acre for Pensacola Bahia, 15 pounds for Star Millet,
72 pounds for Florida Black Rye and 6.8 pounds for Early Hairy Indigo.

Fertilization practices.--Tobacco beds were normally fertilized
with 225 pounds of a 6-9-3 fertilizer per 100 square yards of bed
(Table 3). An average of 1,150 pounds of 3-9-9 fertilizer was
applied per acre at time of setting and 775 pounds of 4-8-12 fertilizer
was used as a side dressing. On corn planted solid, 350 pounds per
acre of 4-12-12 fertilizer was drilled at planting time. After the
corn was up and growing good, 125 pounds of ammonium nitrate was used
as a side dressing. Two-hundred pounds per acre of a 0-14-14 fertilizer
was used at seeding time on peanuts planted solid. Land plaster was
applied at the rate of 450 pounds per acre as a side dressing. Where
corn and peanuts were interplanted, an average of 300 pounds per acre
of 4-18-16 fertilizer was put on the corn at planting. It was side
dressed with 100 pounds of ammonium nitrate. The interplanted peanuts
received 200 pounds per acre of 4-12-12 fertilizer at seeding and
200 pounds of land plaster as a side dressing. Seven-hundred pounds
per acre of a 6-12-12 fertilizer was used on watermelons at planting
and then side dressed with 100 pounds of nitrate of potash.

Bahia pasture was normally fertilized with 500 pounds per
acre of 4-12-12 fertilizer in the spring of the year and followed a
few weeks later with 50 pounds of liquid nitrogen. Millet was fertilized
with 350 pounds per acre of 6-12-12 fertilizer when planted and then
top dressed with 100 pounds of liquid nitrogen. Rye received 400 pounds
of a 4-12-12 fertilizer per acre when sowed and was top dressed with
175 pounds of ammonium nitrate.















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Yield per acre.--The average yield of tobacco for all farms
was 2,129 pounds per acre (Table 4). Corn planted solid averaged
49 bushels per acre and interplanted corn 29 bushels. The average
yield of peanuts planted for nuts was 1,350 pounds per acre. Practically
all of the peanuts interplanted with corn were hogged-off. Although
seven farmers reported planting watermelons, harvesting occurred on
only two farms because of the low market price.



Number of Various Classes of Livestock

Small herd farms averaged 19.1 brood cows compared to 52.6 on
large herd farms (Table 5). The average number for all farms was
35.2 cows. There was an average of 1.2 bulls in the small herd group
and 1.7 bulls in large herd groups. There was an average of 6.9
heifers and 4.3 steers on small herd farms. Large herd farms averaged
11.9 heifers and 7.6 steers. The average for all farms was 9.3 heifers
and 5.9 steers.

Only one farm reported a dairy cow. On small herd farms sows
and gilts averaged 6.2 head contrasted to only 4.0 head on large herd
farms. Fifty-six percent of the small herd farms and 44 percent of
the large herd farms reported a boar. There was quite a contrast
between the two sizes of farms as to the number of pigs and other
hogs per farm, the average number being 1.9 and 14.3 head for the two
groups, respectively. Chickens were reported on only 16 percent of
the farms in 1962. The average size flock was 54 on small herd farms
but only 4 on large herd farms.



Distribution of Operator's Capital

The value of capital used in the farm business was based on
estimates of the farm operators. Real estate was valued at its
estimated worth for agricultural purposes. Other assets were valued
at their market value or at cost less depreciation. The value of
rented capital was not obtained.

The average investment was $56,834 on small herd farms and
$73,304 on large herd farms (Table 6). On small herd farms, $45,459
or 80 percent of the total capital was in land, fences, and buildings.
Operators of large herd farms had $54,767 invested in land, fences
and buildings, or 75 percent of their total investment. The proportion
of total capital invested in machinery and equipment and in feed
was about the same in each size group.












-10-


Table 4.--Yield Per Acre of Crops Harvested on Farms with Small and
Large Beef Cattle Enterprises, Columbia and Suwannee
Counties, 1962.

: Less than 25 cows All
Crop : Unit : 25 cows or more farms

Tobacco pounds 2,304 1,915 2,129
Corn, solid bushels 47 50 49
Peanuts, solid pounds 1,351 1,348 1,350
Corn and peanuts
interplanted:
Corn bushels 25 40 29
Peanuts pounds 1/ 1/ 1/
Watermelons pounds 1/ 1/ 1/

-/Too few data available to estimate yield for 1962.


Table 5.--Average Number of Livestock Per Farm on Farms with Small
and Large Beef Cattle Enterprises, Columbia and Suwannee
Counties, 1962.1/

SLess than 25 cows All
Class : 25 cows or more farms

Beef cattle:
Brood cows 19.1 52.6 35.2
Bulls 1.2 1.7 1.4
Heifers 6.9 11.9 9.3
Steers 4.3 7.6 5.9
Dairy cows -- .1 2/

Hogs:
Sows and gilts 6.2 4.0 5.1
Boars .5 .5 .5
Pigs and other hogs 1.9 14.3 7.9
Chickens 53.8 3.8 29.8


1/Average of numbers
2/Less than .05.


at beginning and ending of the year.










-11-


Table 6.--Distribution of Operator's Capital on Farms with Small and
Large Beef Cattle Enterprises, Columbia and Suwannee Counties,
Florida, 1962.,

SLess than 25 cows All
Item
S25 cows or more farms

Average investment per farm
Land and fences $41,893 $48,671 $45,147
Buildings 3,566 6,096 4,780
Total real estate $45,459 $54,767 $49,927

Machinery and equipment $ 6,753 $ 8,515 $ 7,599
Feed 771 951 857
Seed and supplies 14 153 81

Livestock:
Beef $ 3,463 $ 7,970 $ 5,626
Other 374 948 650
Total $56,834 $73,304 $64,740

Percent of total investment

Land and fences 73.7 66.4 69.7
Buildings 6.3 8.3 7.4
Total real estate 80.0 74.7 77.1

Machinery and equipment 11.9 11.6 11.8
Feed 1.4 1.3 1.3
Seed and supplies 2/ .2 .1

Livestock:
Beef 6.1 10.9 8.7
Other livestock .6 1.3 1.0
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0

1/The value of capital furnished by the landlord (rented
capital) was in addition to the amount shown in this summary.
2/
Less than .05.

On small herd farms the average investment was $3,463 in
beef cattle and $374 in other livestock. This was only about
40 percent of the investment in these items on large herd farms.
In terms of total capital, operators with small beef enterprises
had 6.1 percent of their investment in beef cattle and those with
large beef enterprises, 10.9 percent.











-12-


Receipts


Total farm receipts averaged $15,920 for all farms, but
varied only about $1,500 for the two groups of farms (Table 7).
Approximately 54 percent of the total receipts for all farms was
obtained from crops, livestock provided 28 percent and miscellaneous
sources 12.7 percent. Tobacco was the most important source of receipts.
It accounted for 49 percent of total receipts on small herd farms and
28 percent on large herd farms. The second most important group of
receipts was the sale of livestock. Percent of total receipts from
livestock was 23 and 32 for farms with small and large herds,
respectively. Sale of hogs accounted for 97 percent of the receipts
for other livestock on small herd farms and 65 percent on large herd
farms.

Miscellaneous receipts and increases in capital were important
sources of receipts averaging 14 and 23 percent of total receipts for
small and large herd farms, respectively. Government payments were
high, especially on large farms. On some farms, sizeable acreages of
land were in the soil bank.


Expenses

The annual cost of operating a farm depends on many factors.
Costs will vary depending on the amount and value of various items
used in production. Total farm expenses amounted to $10,416 on small
herd farms and $12,788 on large herd farms (Table 8)..

The largest item of expenses was the cost of fertilizer and
lime which averaged $1,980 on farms with small herds and $2,904 on
farms with large herds. For all farms, cost of fertilizer and lime
was 21 percent of total expenses. The second largest expense was the
cost of hired labor which averaged $1,699 and $2,216 for the two groups
of farms, respectively. Very few operators had hired laborers living
on the farm. When this was the case, dwelling privileges along with
perquisites were in addition to the cash cost. The value placed on
unpaid family labor was slightly over $400 per farm for both groups
of farms and amounted to about 4 percent of total farm expenses. The
charge for family labor was based on the estimated cost per year to
hire labor to do work that family labor contributed to the overall
farm operation.

Cost of feed was the third most important item of farm expenses.
The amount was adjusted for any changes in inventories between the
beginning and end of the year. The cost of pasture and harvested
feeds grown on the farm was included in cash outlays for such items
as labor, fertilizer, seed, equipment expenses, etc. The charge for












-13-


Table 7.--Sources of Receipts on Farms with Small and Large Beef Cattle
Enterprises, Columbia and Suwannee Counties, Florida, 1962.

Average per farm Percent of total
Source :Less than:25 cows : All :Less than:25 cows : All
: 25 cows :or more :farms : 25 cows :or more : farms

Crops:
Tobacco $ 7,479 $ 4,733 $ 6,161 49.2 28.3 38.7
Corn 995 666 837 6.5 4.0 5.3
Peanuts 435 668 547 2.9 4.0 3.4
Watermelons 227 507 362 1.5 3.0 2.3
Bahia seed 246 661 445 1.6 4.0 2.8
Other 147 249 196 1.0 1.5 1.2
Total $ 9,529 $ 7,484 $ 8,548 62.7 44.8 53.7

Livestock:
Beef cattle $ 1,393 $ 3,287 $ 2,302 9.2 19.7 14.5
Other livestock 2.066 2,142 2,102 13.6 12.8 13.2
Total $ 3,459 $ 5,429 $ 4,404 22.8 32.5 27.7

Miscellaneous:
Machine use $ 189 $ 98 $ 146 1.2 .6 .9
Land rent 32 862 430 .2 5.2 2.7
Government payments 762 1,800 1,250 5.0 10.8 7.9
Other 193 205 199 1.3 1.2 1.2
Total $ 1,176 $ 2,965 $ 2,035 7.7 17.8 12.7

Increase in inventory $ 1,031 $ 826. 3$ 933 6.8 4.9 5.9
Total receipts $15,195 $16,704 $15:,20 1 00.0 000 00.0


feeds averaged $849 on farms with small beef herds and $1,382 on farms
with large beef herds. On all farms, the amount was $1,105 or 10 per-
cent of total farm expenses.

Other than livestock brought and expenditures for new buildings
and equipment, there were a number of miscellaneous classes of expenses.
With the exception of the cost of operating tractors, the cost for
individual expense items was usually less than 3 percent of the total
farm expenses.

Livestock purchased included beef cows, bulls, heifers and
steers and other classes of livestock such as chickens, sows and gilts,











-14-


Table 8.--Distribution of Expenses on Farms with Small and Large Beef
Cattle Enterprises, Columbia and Suwannee Counties, Florida, 1962.

Average per farm Percent of total
Kind :Less than : 25 cows: All :Less than :25 cows : All
: 25 cows : or more: farms : 25 cows :or more : farms


Labor:
Hired
Unpaid family
Feed
Seed and plants
Fertilizer and lime
Spray and dust
materials
Veterinary supplies
and expenses
Tobacco curing fuel
Insurance
Land rent
Taxes
Electricity
Telephone
Farm share, auto
Truck expenses
Tractor expenses
Equipment expenses
Repairs, buildings
and fences
Commission and
yardage
Machine hire
Other
Total

Livestock purchased:
Beef cattle
Other livestock
New buildings and
equipment
Total expenses


$ 1,699
416
849
550
1,980


218

62
324
130
189
166
70
21
150
308
816
262

221


$ 2,216
446
1,382
580
2,904


174

110
314
119
282
256
76
30
146
395
581
264

235


80 117
145 393
99 3
$ 8,755 $11,023


$ 320
116

1,225
$10,416


$ 1,947
430
1,105
564
2,424

197

85
319
125
234
209
73
25
148
350
703
263

228

98
264
53
$ 9,844


$ 345 $ 332
700 396

720 983
$12,788 $11,555


/ Less than .05.


16.3
4.0
8.2
5.3
19.0

2.1

.6
3.1
1.2
1.8
1.6
.7
.2
1.4
2.9
7.8
2.5

2.1

.8
1.4
1.0
84.0


3.1
1.1

11.8
100.0


17.3
3.5
10.8
4.6
22.7

1.4

.9
2.5
.9
2.2
2.0
.6
.2
1.1
3.0
4.6
2.1

1.8

.9
3.1
1/
86.2


2.7
5.5

5.6
100.0


16.8
3.7
9.6
4.9
21.0

1.7

.7
2.8
1.1
2.0
1.8
.6
.2
1.3
3.0
6.1
2.3

2.0

.8
2.3
.5
85.2


2.9
3.4

8.5
100.0










-15-


boars and pigs. The cost of livestock purchased was 4.2 percent of
total expenses for small herd farms and 8.2 percent for large herd
farms. The cost of and percent of total expenses for the purchase
of beef cattle was about the same for the two size groups. The greatest
difference was in the other livestock category where the cost averaged
$700 on farms with large beef enterprises compared to only $116 on
farms with small beef enterprises. The difference was due mainly to
one farm in the large group buying a considerable number of nondescript
cows in the fall of each year, wintering them and then selling them
the following June or July. These cows were purchased in an extremely
poor condition at very nominal prices. They were fed a subsistence
ration during the winter and put on grass in the spring. Cows of
this type could not be classified as beef or dairy. This was a
separate enterprise from the beef cow operation so it was considered
as other livestock.


Returns

Farm income measures the returns to the operator for his labor
and management and all capital investment in the farm business. It
is the amount available to pay for family living expenses, debts-and
improvements. Farm income averaged $4,779 on small herd farms and
$3,916 on large herd farms (Table 9).



Table 9.--Farm Returns on Farms with Small and Large Beef Cattle
Enterprises, Columbia and Suwannee Counties, Florida, 1962.

Less than 25 cows All
Item : 25 cows or more farms


Receipts $15,195 $16,704 $15,920
Expenses 10,416 12,788 11,555
Farm income $ 4,779 $ 3,916 $ 4,365
Interest on average capital
at 6 percent 3,410 4,398 3,884
Labor income $ 1,369 $ -482 $ 481
Farm income 4,779 3,916 4,365
Less charge for operator's
labor and management 3,031 2,917 2,976
Return to capital $ 1,748 $ 999 $ 1,389
Percent return to capital 3.1 1.4 2.1









-16-


Labor income is the return to the operator for his labor and
management of the farm after covering all expenses, including a charge
of 6 percent on the average value of capital supplied by the operator
for use in the business. Labor income was calculated by subtracting
an interest charge from farm income. The average labor income was
$1,369 on farms with less than 25 cows and minus $482 on farms with
25 or more cows.

Return to capital is the return for capital invested in the
business after deducting all expenses including a charge for the
operator's labor and management. Return to capital was calculated
by subtracting the operator's estimate of the value of his labor and
management from farm income. Each operator was asked to value his
labor and management at what he would have been paid to operate a
farm similar to his, or what it would have cost him to hire someone to
carry out the same duties and responsibilities he performed on his own
farm. The return to capital averaged $1,748 per farm on farms with
small beef enterprises and $999 on farms with large beef enterprises.
The percent return to capital was computed by dividing returns to
capital by the average capital investment. The return to capital was
3.1 percent on farms with less than 25 cows and 1.4 percent on farms
with 25 cows or more.



ANALYSIS OF THE BEEF CATTLE ENTERPRISE

As indicated earlier, in taking the farm business records
special attention was paid to beef cattle enterprises. Information
was collected relating to specified practices. Detailed data were
obtained on numbers, weight and value of animals in the beef enter-
prises at the beginning and end of the year, number, pounds and value
of beef sold or eaten and number and weight of animals transferred
between classes during the year. Estimates were obtained of the
amount of various expenses that should be charged to the beef enterprise
for both direct and indirect items of expenses. The financial data
were summarized to show receipts, designated expenses and returns
above specified costs for the beef enterprise for the year both on
a per farm and a per cow basis.


Number. Weight and Value of Breeding Stock

Data were obtained on the number of cows and bulls in the
beef herd at the beginning and end of the year and also the number
added and removed during the year. On small herd farms, the herds
averaged 19 cows and the average value was $116 per head (Table 10)
Herds on farms having 25 or more cows, averaged 53 cows valued at
$113 per head. Herd bulls were valued at $264 on small herd farms






-17-


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-18-


and $338 on large herd farms. There was an average of 1.2 bulls in
small beef herds and 1.7 bulls in large beef herds.

Less than one brood cow per farm was purchased on small herd
farms at an average price of $138. Slightly over 2 cows were purchased
on large herd farms at a cost of $96 per cow. The average sales prices
of cows removed from the herds was $118 and $117, respectively, for
small and large beef herd farms. Heifers that freshened and were
added to the herd were valued at $124 on small herd farms and $115
on large herd farms.

Small herds showed a net depreciation in value of $26 per farm
during the year and large herds $78, or an average of $50 for all farms.

Average number of years bood cows in beef herd.--On small herd
farms the average cow stayed in the herd 12.8 years (Table 11). This
was a 7.8 percent turnover. The average cow stayed in the herd 9.9
years on large herd farms or a rate of turnover of 10.1 percent.
These figures are higher than that reported under the section on
management practices. These are data for one year. Part of the
difference is due to the fact that for each size of herd the average
number of cows increased between the beginning and ending inventory.
The increase was 42 percent on farms with small herds and 9 percent on
farms with large herds. Ninety-five percent of the herd replacements
were raised on small herd farms and 77 percent on large herd farms.


Management Practices

Data were obtained on selected management practices. These
were summarized for all farms only. Of the 25 farms having a beef
enterprise only 8 percent reported purebreds (Table 12). Eighty-four
percent of the operators used a year-round breeding system. Heifers
on the average were bred at 16 months of age. Nonpregnant cows were
sold. The average brood cow was sold at 7.5 years of age. Brood
cows were fed a supplemental ration during the winter.

Eighty-four percent of all farms reported a purebred herd bull.
On about three-fourths of the farms, bulls were purchased at a young
age and put in service at about 20 months of age. They were kept in
service for approximately three years.

About two-thirds of the operators reported creep feeding of
their calves. Fifty-six percent said they fatten their calves before
marketing. There was a spread of three months between age at weaning
and marketing. Calves were weaned on the average at 7 months of age
and marketed at 10 months.









-19-


Table 11.--Number of Brood Cows at Beginning and End of the Year,
Average Number for the Year and Related Factors on Farms
with Small and Large Beef Cattle Enterprises, Columbia
and Suwannee Counties, Florida, 1962.

Size of enterprise All
Item : Less than : 25 cows : farms
: 25 cows : or more

Number Number Number

Beginning inventory 15.8 50.3 32.3

Additions:
Purchased .4 2.3 1.4
Heifers for replacement 7.7 7.6 7.6
Total 8.1 9.9 9.0
Total supply 23.9 60.2 41.3

Subtractions:
Sold .9 3.9 2.3
Died .6 1.4 1.0
Total 1,5 5.3 3.3

Ending inventory 22.4 54.9 38.0
Total disposition 23.9 60.2 41.3
Average size of herd 19.1 52.6 35.2
Average years in herd 12.8 9.9 10.6
Percent turnover 7.8 10.1 9.4
Percent of replacements
raised 95.1 76.8 84.4
Percent subtractions caused
by deaths 40.6 26.4 30.3


Most of the operators reported castrating male calves at an early age.
The predominant castration method was a knife. Preventative medical
measures to control communicable diseases were not carried out on a
very high percentage of farms. Seldom was any specific method used
to identify individual animals. The most common method was by sight.









-20-


Table 12.--Beef Cattle Management Practices Reported by Operators,
25 Farms, Columbia and Suwannee Counties, Florida, 1962.

Number or
Practice Unit
percent


Breeding stock:
Brood cows:
Operators reporting purebred Percent 8
Age first breeding Months 15.6
Time of breeding:
Seasonal Percent 16
Year-round Percent 84
Nonpregnant cows sold Percent 64
Average age Years 7.5
Winter supplemental ration fed Percent 84

Bulls:
Operators reporting purebred Percent 84
Buy as young bull Percent 76
Age first breeding Months 20
Length of service Years 3.2

Growing stock:
Creep feeding of calves Percent 68
Fattening of calves before
marketing Percent 56
Age at weaning Months 6.8
Age when marketed Months 9.7

Animals dehorned Percent 20
Males castrated Percent 88
Age castrated Months 1.6
Method of castration knife

Vaccination for:
Blackleg Percent 48
Shipping fever Percent 20
Brucellosis Percent 28
Fly control Percent 76
Animal identification by sight Percent 92









-21-


Acres in Temporary Grazing Crops and Improved
and Unimproved Pastures

Land in temporary grazing crops averaged 37.2 acres on farms
with small herds and 34.0 acres on farms with large herds (Table 13).
This was an average of 2.3 acres and 0.7 acres per cow for the two
groups, respectively. About 60 percent of the temporary grazing crops
grown during the winter was rye. The rest was other miscellaneous small
grains or a mixture of rye and wheat. Millet was the temporary grazing
crop grown during the summer period.



Table 13.--Acres in Temporary Grazing Crops, Improved Permanent
Pasture and Unimproved and Woodland Pasture on Farms with
Small and Large Cattle Enterprises, Columbia and Suwannee
Counties, Florida, 1962.

1/
S Acres per farm Acres per cow-/
Item
:Less than :25 cows : All :Less than : 25 cows: All
: 25 cows :or more : farms: 25 cows : or more: farms

Temporary grazing
crops:
Winter 34.9 32.5 33.8 2.2 .7 1.0
Summer 2.3 1.5 1.9 .1 2/ .1
Total 37.2 34.0 35.7 2.3 .7 1.1

Improved permanent
pasture: 3/ 5/
Bahia 50.53- 118.9 83.3- 3.2 2.3 2.6
Other 4.2 8.9 6.5 .3 .2 .2
Total 54.7 127.8 89.8 3.5 2.5 2.8

Unimproved and
woodland pasture 113.0 110.0 111.5 7.2 2.2 3.4
Total all
pasture 204.9 271.8 237.0 13.0 5.4 7.3


-/Based on number of
beginning of the year.
2/Less than .05.


cows and pregnant heifers on hand at the


3/Seed harvested from 4.0 acres.
/Seed harvested from 10.0 acres.
/-Seed harvested from 7.8 acres.








-22-


Improved permanent pasture averaged 54.7 acres per farm on
small herd farms and 127.8 acres on large herd farms. This was an
average of 3.5 and 2.5 acres per cow for small and large herd farms.
Bahia grass accounted for about 93 percent of the improved pasture
acreage. A few farmers reported some pangola and coastal bermuda grass.

In addition to the land in temporary grazing crops and improved
permanent pasture, there was an average of about 112 acres in unimproved
and woodland pasture. Average acres per cow were 7.2 on farms with
small herds and 2.2 on farms with large herds.

Acres in pasture of all types averaged 205 on small herd farms
and 272 on large herd farms. This was an average of 13 acres per cow
on farms with small herds and 5.4 acres on farms with large herds.

In addition to the types of pastures enumerated, beef cattle
at times were allowed to run on corn and peanut fields hogged-off or
glean other fields after they were harvested. No charge was made to
the beef cattle enterprise for grazing of this type.


Calves Born, Raised and Weights

On farms with less than 25 cows, 14.8 calves were born and
.4 calf died (Table 14). Operators of farms with 25 or more cows
reported 43.5 calves born and that 1.5 died or a slightly higher birth
to death ratio for this size group. The percent calf crop raised was
calculated by dividing calves raised by the number of brood cows and
pregnant heifers in the herd at the beginning of the year. The percent
calf crop raised was 91 on farms with small beef herds and 84 on farms
with large beef herds. The average weight of calves marketed was 478
pounds on small herd farms and 435 pounds on large herd farms.



Table 14.--Calves Born, Died, Raised, Percent Calf Crop Raised and
Average Sales Weight on Farms with Small and Large Beef
Cattle Enterprises, Columbia and Suwannee Counties,
Florida, 1962.

:Less than 25 cows All
Item 25 cows or more farms

Calves born 14.8 43.5 28.5
Calves died .4 1.5 .9
Calves raised 14.4 42.0 27.6
Percent deaths 2.7 3.4 3.2
Percent calf crop raised 91.1 83.5 85.4
Average weight of calves
sold (pounds) 478 435 448








-23-


Pounds and Value of Beef Produced

Calves, steers, young bulls and heifers were the animals
considered in calculating pounds and value of beef produced. These
are commonly called growing stock. Cows and bulls in the breeding
herd were not included in this calculation. Pounds of beef produced
were calculated by totaling the estimated weight of growing stock in
the herd at the end of the year, weights of all animals sold and
eaten and weight of all cattle transferred to the breeding herd and
subtracting from this total the weight of all animals purchased plus
the estimated weight of the growing stock in the herd at the beginning
of the year. Value of beef produced was calculated by the same formula
by using dollars instead of pounds. In this method, growing animals
transferred to the breeding herd during the year are considered
producing beef until a young bull reached breeding age or a heifer
calved or her weight at the end of the year if pregnant.

As indicated under the section on management practices, calves
were weaned at about seven months of age and sold at about 10 months.
Many of the calves born during the year were not sold by the end of
the year. On small herd farms, there were 13.3 head of growing stock
on hand at the beginning of the year and 9.0 at the end (Table 15).
On large herd farms, there were 17.1 head on hand at the beginning
of the year and 21.8 head at the end.

On farms with small herds, 12.1 head were sold during the
year at an average price of about 21 cents per pound. On large herd
farms 28.5 calves were sold during the year at an average price of
approximately 22 cents per pound. The total production of beef was
8,370 pounds on small herd farms and 18,924 pounds on large herd
farms. Based on the number of cows and pregnant heifers in the herd
at the beginning of the year, production of beef per cow was 531
pounds on small herd farms but only 377 pounds on large herd farms.

Beef produced per acre of temporary grazing and improved
permanent pasture averaged 91 pounds on farms with less than 25 cows
and 117 on farms with 25 cows or more. Beef production per acre for
all land in pasture was 41 pounds on farms with small herds and 44
pounds on farms with large herds. The gross value per acre of beef
produced on all land was $8.11 on farms with small herds and $9.45 on
farms with large beef herds.


Income, Specified Expenses and Net Returns
Above Specified Expenses

Income, expenses and net returns above specified expenses for
the beef enterprise were calculated based on the value of beef
produced and the operator's estimate of that proportion of total
specified expenses prorated to the beef enterprise. These figures
are shown on a per farm and per cow basis in Table 16.














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-25-


Table 16.--Income, Specified Expenses and Net Returns Above Specified
Expenses from the Beef Cattle Enterprise on Farms with Small
and Large Beef Cattle Enterprises, Columbia and Suwannee
Counties, Florida, 1962.

: Average per farm Average per cow-

Item : Less than:25 cows : All : Less than:25 cows : All
25 cows :or more farms. 25 cows .or more : farms


Income:
Value of beef
produced
Specified expenses:
Labor:
Hired
Unpaid
Feed:
Protein supplement
and minerals
Hay
Corn
Grazing crops and
pasture:
Seed
Fertilizer
Lime
Veterinary supplies
and medicine
Commission and
yardage
Insurance
Taxes
Electricity
Telephone
Charge to beef enter-
prise for:
Automobile
Truck
Tractor
Equipment
Machine hire
Repairs--buildings
and fences
Depreciation--
breeding herd
Interest on invest-
ment in beef cattle
Total specified
expenses
Net returns above
specified expenses


$1,656 $ 4,065 $2,812


156
128


238
27
163

203
462
24

41

42
11
50
32
8


25
75
167
36
31

98

26

208

$2,251
$ -595


387
271


954
21
474

307
905
162

101

82
23
80
46
13


30
159
256
79
.65

131


267
197


582
24
312

253
674
91

70

61
17
64
38
10


27
116
210
57
:47

114


78 50


478

$ 5,102
$-1,037


338

$3,619
$ -807


$105


10
8


15
2
10

13
29
1

3

3
1
3
2
1


2
5
10
2
2

6

2

13

$143
$-38


/ Based on the number of
the beginning of the year.


cows and pregnant heifers in the herd at


/ Represents returns to operator's labor and management, land,
beef cattle's share of overhead expenses on equipment, buildings and fences
which are not included above.
Less than 50 cents.
-Less than 50 cents.


$ 81 $ 87


10

$102
$-21


10

$112
$-25









-26-


Income.--The average value of beef produced on small herd farms
was $1,656 and $4,065 on large herd herd farms. This was a gross income
of $105 per cow on small herd farms and $81 on large herd farms. The
average price of beef per hundredweight was $19.78 and $21.48 on the
two groups of farms, respectively.

Specified expenses.--Expenses specifically for the beef enter-
prise such as veterinary supplies and medicines, purchased feeds, and
commission and yardage, were charged directly to the enterprise.
Grazing crops and pasture were charged to the beef enterprise based
on the cost of fertilizer, seed and direct labor and machinery costs
for crops or pasture. No charge was made to cover the cost for land
or fixed costs or equipment, buildings and fences. Also, no charge
was made when beef cattle were grazed on corn and peanut fields that
had been hogged-off or for gleanings on other fields after the crops
were harvested. No direct charge was made for hay that was cut from
pastures as the cost of producing the hay was included in the costs
listed above.

The five most important items of expenses were charges for
labor, feed, cost of grazing crops and pasture, tractor and equipment
and the interest charge based on the investment in beef cattle.

Hired labor represented the estimated cash cost of labor for
vaccinating cattle, fertilizing pastures, mowing pastures, or any one
of a number of activities connected with the beef herd where hired
labor was used. The charge for hired labor was $156 on farms with small
herds and $387 on farms with large herds. Unpaid family labor reflected
the operator's estimate of the cost of labor performed by family member
if hired. Unpaid family labor averaged $128 on small herd farms and
$271 on large herd farms. On a per cow basis, hired and unpaid family
labor was $18 and $13 on the two groups of farms, respectively.

Protein supplements and minerals represented the main direct
cash outlays for feed purchased. This cost was $238 on farms with small
herds and $954 on farms with large herds. Of the hay fed beef cattle,
only the cost of that purchased was charged directly to the beef
enterprise. Farm produced hay was cut mainly from pastures. The cost
of the hay was included in direct items of expenses charged to pasture
and labor for cutting hay.

The value of corn fed to beef cattle was $163 per farm on small
herd farms and $474 on large herd farms. These amounts included charges
for both home grown and purchased corn. Harvested corn was charged
at the farmer's estimate of the market price. The average charge was
$1.14 per bushel on small herd farms and $1.08 per bushel on large
herd farms. On small herd farms, the beef herd received 145 bushels










-27-


of corn of which 7 percent was purchased. Beef cattle on
large herd farms received an average of 435 bushels of corn of which
15 percent was purchased. The direct charge for feed amounted to $27
per cow on small herd farms and $28 on large herd farms.

In addition to permanent pasture, many farmers grew some
temporary grazing crops for the beef herd. The cost of seed, fertilizer
and lime for grazing crops and pastures averaged $43 per cow on small
herd farms and $27 on large herd farms.

The charge for tractor and equipment averaged $15 per cow on
small herd farms and $7 on large herd farms. The interest charge on
the average value invested in beef cattle was $13 and $10 per cow for
the two groups of farms, respectively.

In addition to the expenses discussed above, there were a
number of miscellaneous items such as veterinary supplies and medicines,
commission and yardage, insurance, taxes, electricity, etc., most of
which were small. The total cost per cow for specified expenses
averaged $143 per cow on farms with small herds and $102 on farms with
large herds.

Net returns above specified expenses.--Total specified expenses
for the beef enterprise amounted to $2,251 per farm on small herd
farms and $5,102 on large herd farms. These data indicated that in
1962 average expenses exceeded the value of beef produced by $595 on
farms with small beef herds and $1,037 on farms with large beef herds.
This was an average loss of $38 per cow on small herd farms and $21
on large herd farms. As previously indicated, specified expenses
included no charges to cover value of operator's labor, cost of land
used by the beef enterprise or fixed costs of equipment, buildings and
fences.


ESTIMATED EFFECTS ON AVERAGE FARM INCOMES IF THE
BEEF ENTERPRISES WERE ELIMINATED

The analysis in the previous section of the beef enterprises
as they were conducted in 1962 indicated an average negative return
on farms with small or large herds. However, in terms of gross receipts,
income from beef cattle accounted for only 9.2 percent of the total
receipts on farms with less than 25 cows and 19.7 percent on farms
with 25 or more cows. Thus, on the majority of farms, the beef cattle
enterprise was a minor or supplementary enterprise. Having such an
enterprise may make possible the use of resources that otherwise would
not be used. Also, certain expenses would be the same or reduced very
little if the enterprise was eliminated. Therefore, the net contribution








-28-


of the enterprises to average farm income may be greater than is
indicated when all specified items of costs are charged as in the
previous summary.

A second approach to determining the contribution of the
beef enterprise to the average farm income is to estimate the net
change in income if the enterprises were eliminated from the farm
organizations. Such an estimate can be made by means of the partial
budget. This method involves specifying for such a change (1) addi-
tional costs, if any, that would be incurred, (2) income now being
received that would not be received, (3) income not now being re-
ceived that might be received and (4) costs being incurred that
would not be incurred.1


Added Costs

Elimination of the beef enterprises would result in no increase
in expenses (Table 17).



Reduced Returns

If the beef enterprises were eliminated from the farms,
average gross farm receipts would be reduced by the amount received
from the sale of beef cattle and also the net increase in the value
of the beef herds between the beginning and end of the year. The
decrease in receipts for these items would average $1,821 on farms
with small herds and $4,164 on farms with large herds.


Added Returns

The majority of farmers surveyed raised corn that was either
sold or fed to hogs and beef cattle. They no doubt would continue
to produce corn even though the beef enterprises were eliminated.
Thus, that portion of farm-grown corn fed beef cattle could be sold.
Operators of small herd farms fed an average of 134 bushels of
home-grown corn valued at $152 to their beef herds and operators
of large herd farms fed an average of 369 bushels of farm-grown
corn valued at $398.


Reduced Costs

Reduced costs are direct costs that operators would not
have incurred if they had not had beef cattle.

1In these calculations, it is assumed that the resources
would be idle if not used for beef cattle.










-29-


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-30-


Labor.--The estimated direct cash outlays for hired labor for
operating the beef enterpriseswere $156 on farms having less than 25
cows and $388 on farms with 25 cows or more. Since at least a part
of the unpaid family labor probably would be devoted to other farm
work, this should result in some decrease in the cost of hired labor
for other enterprises. It is assumed that the amount of this reduction
would be half of the charge for unpaid family on the beef enterprise,
or an average of $64 on farms with small herds and $136 on farms with
large herds.

Feed purchased.--Feed purchased included expenses for protein
supplements, minerals, hay and corn. The cost of purchased feeds for
beef cattle averaged $276 on farms with small herds and $1,051 on
farms with large herds.

Grazing crops and pastures.--The majority of operators surveyed
said they would not grow small grains such as wheat and rye or other
temporary grazing crops if they did not have beef cattle. New seedings
of bahia grass would also be eliminated. These crops and pastures
also would not be fertilized. The reduction in cost of seed would be
$203 on farms with small herds and $307 on farms with large herds.
Expenditures for fertilizer and top dressing would be reduced by $462
on small herd farms and $905 on large herd farms. It is assumed that
the land would need periodic liming so there would be no charge in
this item of expense.

Livestock purchased.--If the beef cattle enterprise was
eliminated, no beef cattle would be purchased. This would result in
a decrease in expenses of $320 on farms with small herds and $345 on
farms with large herds.

Other costs.--Expenditures for veterinary supplies and medicines,
commission and yardage, insurance, electricity, taxes and machine hire
would be eliminated or reduced if the beef cattle enterprises were
eliminated. Charges to beef cattle for these items amounted to $207
on small herd farms and $397 on farms with large herds. It was
assumed that expenses for the operation of trucks, tractors and
equipment would be reduced by the amounts charged to the beef enter-
prises but there would be no .change in operating expenses for auto-
mobiles.

The estimated total reduction in farm costs would amount to
$1,966 on small herd farms and $4,023 on large herd farms. If the
added returns are added to the reduced costs, the total of these items
would be $2,118 on small herd farms and $4,421 on large herd farms.








-31-


Estimated Change in Farm Income

The estimated change in average farm income was calculated by
subtracting the sum of the added costs and reduced returns (Subtotal A)
from the sum of the added returns and reduced costs (Subtotal B)
(Table 17). The difference in Subtotal B and Subtotal A would be
$297 on small herd farms and $257 on large herd farms. These
calculations would indicate that, on the average, the beef enterprises
as they were conducted in 1962 made no net contribution to average
farm income. On both groups of farms, average farm income would
have been slightly higher without the enterprises.



IMPROVING RETURNS FROM THE BEEF ENTERPRISES

Data previously presented showed that in 1962 the value of
beef produced was $105 per cow on small herd farms and $81 per cow
on large herd farms. The cost per cow for specified expenses was
$143 and $102 on the two groups of farms, respecitvely. Specified
expenses exceeded returns per cow by $38 on small herd farms and
$21 on large herd farms.

A number of factors accounted for the high costs on the farms
studied. Since farmers did not analyze their costs and returns by
enterprises, many, no doubt, did not realize the magnitude of some of
the individual items of cost. An important factor contributing to the
costs was the large acreage per cow in temporary grazing crops and
also the large number of acres in permanent pasture. The cost of
seed, fertilizer and lime for temporary grazing crops and permanent
pasture was $44 per cow on small herd farms and $27 per cow on large
herd farms. The cost of supplemental feeds was also high being $27
per cow on small beef enterprise farms and $29 per cow on large beef
enterprise farms. Part of the high feed cost was caused by farmers
not practicing a controlled breeding program. Many of the calves were
on hand over the winter period. They were kept on the farm about
three months after being weaned and fed supplemental feeds.

This section includes a discussion comparing present with
suggested practices. The suggested practices are based on recommenda-
tions of the County Agents in Columbia and Suwannee Counties,
Extension Specialists and Experiment Station workers. Data are also
presented for two representative farms, one with a small and one with
a large beef herd showing the size of the enterprise, value of beef
produced, specified expenses and net returns above specified expenses
for 1962 and estimated production, income, expenses and net returns
if the suggested level of practices was followed.










-32-


Present and Suggested Practices

Breeding.--For the producer that intends to maintain a
profitable cattle operation, good breeding and selection are important
elements for obtaining animals best suited for the production of beef.
Adequate milking qualities and mothering abilities are important for
the proper growth of calves. Attributes of the mother influence
market grade and weight of calves.

Eighty-four percent of the farmers surveyed reported purebred
bulls. However, it is possible that many producers should be using
bulls of higher quality. Sixty-four percent of the farmers reported
buying young bulls and putting them into service at about 20 months
of age. Bulls were valued at $265 and used an average of 3.2 years.
Under improved practices, it is suggested that bulls be purchased at
20 to 24 months of age and kept in service for four years. The cost
of the quality of bull needed would be about $500.

The average weight of brood cows was 742 pounds on farms with
small beef herds and 705 pounds on farms with large beef herds. The
estimated weight of heifers when transferred into the brood cow herd
was 564 and 600 pounds on the two groups of farms, respectively. With
good management practices, including proper nutritional diets and
selection and culling, heifers being grown for replacement should weigh
700 pounds when transferred into the brood cow herd. Mature brood cows
should weigh 900 pounds.

Management practices.--Farmers reported that heifers were
first bred at an average of 15.6 months of age. Heifers should not
be bred until they will weigh about 700 pounds when they enter the
herd. This means they should not be bred until they are about 24 months
of age. Heifers calving when they are too small may experience
difficult births requiring extra labor and attention to prevent high
death loss of the calf or mother. Also, the growth of a heifer may
be stunted and the weight of subsequent calves reduced. Heifers
calving at two years of age may undergo such stress during lactation
that they may not come into heat and therefore will not breed back
the following year.

Only 16 percent of the farmers reported a controlled breeding
program. It is recommended that controlled breeding be practiced with
the length of the breeding period being 90 to 100 days from March 1 to
June 10. The cows should be bred to calve mainly in January and
February with the calves having an average birth date of February 1.
The males should be castrated at about one month of age and vaccinated
for the normal communicable diseases. It would be desirable for tatoos
to be used for animal identification so that the farmer would know
positively which calf belonged to each individual cow to facilitate
keeping of accurate records.









-33-


Percent calf crop weaned, age of calf at weaning and average
sales weight.--The percent calf crop weaned was 91 on farms with small
beef enterprises and 84 on farms with large beef enterprises. With
good management and a good level of nutrition for the brood cows during
the breeding season, it seems reasonable to assume that percent calf
crop weaned should average 90 on the small herd farms and 88 on the
large herd farms.

Under present practices, farmers were weaning their calves at
6 to 8 months of age and marketing them at 9 to 11 months of age. Since
controlled breeding was not practiced, calves often were not sold by
the end of the year which made for supplemental feeding during the
winter months. With improved practices, the calves would be weaned
at 7 to 8 months of age and sold at approximately eight months of age,
with October 1 being the average sales date. Under present practices,
the average weight of calves sold was 448 pounds at an average price
of 21.6 cents per pound. Under improved practices, the average weight
would be 500 pounds and the average price 23.5 cents per pound.

Herd replacements and number of years brood cows in herd.--On
all farms under present practices, the average cow stayed in the herd
10.6 years. Most of the herd replacements were raised. Under recommended
practices, it is assumed that the average cow would stay in the herd
10 years and the annual death loss would be two percent. All of the
herd replacements would be raised. Sixteen heifers per 100 cows would
be saved back each year to allow for culling replacements. Three of
the replacements would be sold at the end of their first year and three
at the end of their second year in order to upgrade the herd through
better selection of the growing stock.

Supplemental feeding.--All farms reported various methods and
amounts of supplemental feeding. Some producers used what appeared to
be a good diet while other producers were letting the cattle "rough it"
during the winter. Protein supplements and minerals should be fed in
addition to winter grazing. Brood cows and bulls should be fed an
average of 3 pounds per head per day of cottonseed meal, or equivalent,
for 100 days during the winter period and minerals free choice. Growing
stock and heifers should be fed 1 pound per day of cottonseed meal and
4 pounds of ground snap corn for 100 days during the winter. During
1962, the value of protein supplements, minerals and corn averaged about
$28 per cow. With proper control over supplemental feeding, producers
as a whole, can reduce their feed cost and have a healthier herd.

Temporary grazing crops and improved permanent pasture.--Land
in temporary grazing crops under present practices averaged 2.3 acres
per cow on farms with small beef enterprises and .7 acre per cow on
farms with large beef enterprises. Most of the temporary crops were








-34-


sown for winter grazing, approximately 60 percent of which was rye.
The remainder was a mixture of rye and wheat or other miscellaneous
small grains. Under recommended practices, temporary grazing would
be limited to one-half acre of rye per brood cow and bull. At the
time of frost, the farmer should try to have his earliest planting
ready for rotational grazing. Two subsequent plantings in separate
fields would be ready for late grazing.

The estimated cost per acre for producing the rye would be
$27. This would include 500 pounds of 0-10-20 fertilizer at $40 per
ton that would be spread once each year but since corn is usually
grown after the rye only one-half of the fertilizer cost would be
charged to rye. Two bushels of rye seed at three dollars per bushel
is recommended. Approximately 80 pounds of nitrogen should be applied
to the rye in two applications. It is assumed that a 32 percent
nitrogen solution would be used at a cost of $80 per ton applied.
Land preparation and planting would cost approximately five dollars
per acre. Fence repair and depreciation would be one dollar per acre
to each crop since the land is double-cropped.

Improved permanent pasture averaged 3.5 acres per cow on
farms with less than 25 cows and 2.5 acres on farms with 25 or more
cows. Bahiagrass accounted for approximately 93 percent of the
improved permanent pasture. It is recommended that 1.5 acres of
improved bahiagrass be provided per brood cow and bull. The permanent
pasture land on each farm would be fenced into at least three fields
so rotational grazing could be practiced. It is anticipated that the
bahiagrass would be ready for grazing by the time the rye could no
longer be grazed in the spring. Also the early planted rye would be
available for grazing in the fall when the grazing season would be
over for the bahia pasture. The cows also would be allowed to run
on corn and peanut fields after harvesting.

Under improved practices, the cost for bahia pasture is
estimated at $26.50 per acre. This would include 500 pounds of
0-10-20 fertilizer at $40 per ton, 80 pounds of liquid nitrogen at
12.5 cents per pound spread, $2.50 per acre yearly for lime (one ton
per acre each three years at $7.50 per ton spread), $2 per acre for
mowing and spreading fertilizer and $2 per acre for annual depreciation
and repair of fences.


Comparative Costs and Returns for a Small Beef Cattle
Enterprise on a Representative Farm with 1962
and Suggested Practices

Farm A was selected as a farm with a typical small beef cattle
enterprise on the basis of those characteristics which most nearly








-35-


typify the average farm in the small beef enterprise group.

Number, weight and value of breeding stock.--Data on number,
weight and value of breeding stock in 1962 and for suggested practices
are shown in Table 18. In 1962 there was an average of 19.5 cows in
the herd at an average value of $105. The herd bull was valued at
$252. Four heifers were transferred in the herd at an average value
of $115 per head. Three cows were lost by death so more heifers
were transferred in the herd than normal. The herd depreciation was
$355.

Under suggested practices, it is assumed the herd would average
20 cows. Because of better practices, the mature cow would weigh
900 pounds and be valued at $150 per head. The herd bull would weigh
1,200 pounds and be valued at $340. Two heifers weighing 700 pounds
and worth $140 would be transferred into the herd. The bull would be
kept in service four years. Two cows, including deaths, would be
removed. The average cow would stay in the herd 10 years. The expected
herd depreciation would be $117 per year.

Number of calves weaned and sales weight.--Sixteen calves
were weaned in 1962 for an 84 percent calf crop weaned (Table 19).
The average sales weight was 443 pounds. Under improved practices,
it is assumed that 18 calves would be weaned or a 90 percent calf crop
weaned. The average sales weight would be 500 pounds.

Pounds and value of beef produced.--On Farm A in 1962, 13 head
of growing stock were sold during the year, 2 head killed for home use
and 4 head transferred to the brood cow herd (Table 20). Production
of beef amounted to 8,104 pounds and value of beef produced $1,699.
Production of beef per cow was 426 pounds.

Under suggested practices, 16 calves and culled heifers would
be sold or killed for home use and 2 heifers transferred to the beef
cow herd. Production of beef is estimated at 9,400 pounds or 470
pounds per cow. The value of beef produced is estimated at $2,160 or
$108 per cow. Due to the more uniform and higher quality calves, it
is assumed they would sell for 23.5 cents per pound. Under improved
practices, the only growing stock on hand at the beginning and end
of the year would be replacement stock for the brood cow herd.

Acres in temporary grazing crops and permanent pasture.--There
were 54 acres in temporary grazing crops on Farm A in 1962 (Table 21).
This was an average of 2.7 acres per cow and bull. Rye was grown for
winter grazing and millet for summer grazing. Improved pasture
amounted to 30 acres. Acres in temporary grazing and permanent pasture
averaged 4.2 acres per cow and bull.








-36-


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-37-


Table 19.--Calves Weaned, Percent Calf Crop Weaned and Average Sales
Weight, Farm A, 1962 and Suggested Practices, Columbia
and Suwannee Counties, Florida.

Item : 1962 practices Recommended practices

Calves weaned 16 18
Percent calf crop weaned 84 90
Average weight of calves sold
(pounds) 443 500


Under improved practices, it is suggested that one-half acre
of rye pasture and 1.5 acres bahia pasture be provided per cow and
bull. The rye would be planted at different times and the bahiagrass
would be fenced so rotational grazing could be practiced. By November 1
or approximately the time of the first frost, it is anticipated that
the earliest rye would be ready for grazing. It is also anticipated
that the bahia grass would be ready for grazing by the time the rye
could no longer be grazed in the spring.

Intensification of management practices should not be difficult
on this size of unit. The farmers surveyed indicated that bahiagress
needed more fertilizer and more frequent mowing. The practice of
allowing the cows to run on corn and peanut fields after the crops
are harvested would be continued under suggested practices. No charge
was made to the beef cattle enterprise for this type of grazing under
1962 or suggested practices.

Income, specified expenses and net returns above specified
expenses.--Income was calculated on the basis of value of beef produced.
The value of beef produced on Farm A in 1962 was $1,699 (Table 22).
Under suggested practices, the value of beef produced is estimated
at $2,160.

Total specified expenses per farm was $2,799 in 1962. Estimated
expenses under suggested practices would be $2,176. The main items of
expenses that would change are costs for growing temporary grazing crops
and herd depreciation. The cost for seed was $280 in 1960. The
estimated costs under suggested practices is $63. Herd depreciation
was $355 in 1962 and $117 under suggested practices. Miscellaneous
costs were $522 in 1962 and $260 under suggested practices. This










-38-


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-39-


Table 21.--Acres in Temporary Grazing Crops and Improved Permanent
Pastures, Farm A, 1962 and Suggested Practices, Columbia
and Suwannee Counties, Florida.

: 1962 practices Suggested practices
Item
: Acres : Acres per : Acres : Acres pYr
: per farm : animal!/ : per farm : animal-

Temporary grazing crops:
Winter 50 2.5 10.5 .5
Summer 4 .2
Total 54 2.7 10.5 .5

Bahia pasture 30 1.5 31.5 1.5
Total 84 4.2 42.0 2.0

1/Based on the number of brood cows, pregnant heifers and
bulls on hand at the beginning of the year.



decrease was due mainly to reduction in acreage of temporary grazing.

Returns above specified expenses in 1962 amounted to minus
$1,100 or minus $57.90 per cow. Under suggested practices, estimated
returns above specified expenses would be minus $16 or a negative
return of 80 cents per cow. Included in the estimated costs was a
charge of $10.per cow for unpaid labor and an interest charge of
6 percent on the value of the herd or $10 per cow. Under suggested
practices, the income per cow would be about enough to pay the
specified expenses including the $10 for unpaid labor and give a
return of slightly less than 6 percent on the investment in beef
cattle. There would be no return to management, land and beef cattle'
share of overhead expenses.


Comparative Costs and Returns for a Representative
Large Beef Cattle Enterprise with 1962
and Suggested Practices

Farm B was selected as a farm with a typical large beef cattle
enterprise on the basis of characteristics which most nearly typify
the average farm in the large enterprise group.

Number, weight and value of breeding stock.--The number of
cows and bulls in the herd at the beginning and end of 1962 and also









-40-


Table 22.--Income, Specified Expenses and Net Returns Above Specified
Expenses, Farm A, 1962 and Suggested Practices, Columbia
and Suwannee Counties, Florida.

S 1962 practices : Suggested practices
ItemPer farm Per cow Per farm Per cow
Per farm : Per cow-


Income:
Value of beef produced
Specified expenses:
Labor:
Hired
Unpaid
Feed:
Protein supplements
and minerals
Corn
Grazing crops and
pasture:
Seed
Fertilizer
Lime
Veterinary supplies
and medicines
Commission and yardage
Insurance
Taxes
Miscellaneous charges
Depreciation--breeding
herd
Interest on invest-
ment in beef cattle
Total specified
expenses
Net returns above
specified2 expenses
expenses-


$ 1,699


200


25
315


280
756


70
38
50

522

355


$ 89.42


10.53


1.32
16.58


14.74
39.79


3.68
2.00
2.63

27.47

18.69


188 9.89

$ 2,799 $147.32


$-1,100


$2,160 $108.00


200


313
37


63
788
79

24
48
22
25
260

117

200


10.00


15.65
1.85


3.15
39.40
3.95

1.20
2.40
1.10
1.25
13.00

5.85

10.00


$2,176 $108.80


-57.90


-.80


-/Based on number of cows and pregnant heifers in


the herd at


the beginning of the year.
2/
/-Represents the return to management, land and beef cattle
share of overhead expenses on buildings, fences, etc. which are not
charged above.








-41-


the number added and removed from the herd during the year are shown
in Table 23. There was an average of 51.5 cows valued at $90 per head.
Two herd bulls were reported at an average weight of 950 pounds and
a value of $238. Fifteen heifers were transferred into the herd
during 1962. The average weight per head was 600 pounds. They were
valued at $100 per head. Eleven cows weighing an average of 630
pounds were sold at a price of $93 per head. Five cows were reported
to have died during the year. The herd depreciation was $515. Based
on the 1962 data, the average cow was in the herd only 3.2 years.
This figure was lower than normal due to a death loss of about 10 percent.
Apparently the farmer was trying to improve the quality of his cows by
heavy culling and replacing them with better quality heifers.

Under improved practices, it is assumed that the herd would
average 52 cows, Because of better practices, the average cow would
weigh 900 pounds .nd bs valued at $150. Herd bulls would weigh
1,200 pounds and be valued at $340 per head. Five heifers weighing
an average of 700 pounds and worth $140 per head would be transferred
into the herd. This would be enough replacements to maintain the
breeding herd at a constant level and to allow for an approximate
10 percent turnover. Death loss would average about one cow or 2 percent
per year. Four cows would be culled and sold at an average price of
$135. The herd depreciation would be $320 per year.

Number of calves weaned and sales weight,--The operator of
Farm B reported 39 calves weaned in 1962 (Table 24). This was a
75 percent calf crop weaned. The average weight of calves sold was
458 pounds. Under suggested practices it is anticipated that 45 calves
would be weaned each year. This would be a weaning percentage of
86.5. With improved practices the average weight of calves sold
would be 500 pounds.

Pounds and value of beef produced.--Under 1962 practices, calves
on Farm B were weaned at an average of 5 months of age and sold at an
average of 15 months of age. There were 33 head of growing stock on
hand at the beginning of the year and 30 on hand at the end of the
year (Table 25). Twenty-four head were sold during the year and three
calves were killed for home use. Fifteen heifers were transferred to
the brood cow herd. The total production of beef was 20,214 pounds
valued at $3,479, or 17,21 cents per pound. Production of beef averaged
389 pounds per cow.

Under suggested practices, the calves would be weaned at an
average of 7 months of age and marketed at approximately eight months
of age. Forty calves and culled heifers would be sold or killed for
home use at an average weight of 500 pounds per head. It is assumed
that the calves would sell for 23.5 cents per pound as a result of
being more uniform and of a higher quality. This would be an increase









-42-


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-43-


Table 24.--Calves Weaned, Percent Calf Crop Weaned and Average Sales
Weight, Farm A, 1962 and Suggested Practices, Columbia
and Suwannee Counties, Florida.

Item 1962 practices Suggested practices

Calves weaned 39 45
Percent calf crop weaned 75 86.5
Average weight of calves
sold (pounds) 458 500



of 5.4 cents per pound over the price received in 1962. Five heifers
would be transferred to the brood cow herd. Under suggested practices,
the only growing stock on hand at the beginning and end of the year
would be replacement stock for the brood cow herd. The total
production of beef would be 23,500 pounds or 452 pounds per cow. The
value of beef produced would be $5,420.

Acres in temporary grazing crops and permanent pastures.--Acres
in temporary grazing crops amounted to 74 in 1962 (Table 26). This
was an average of 1.4 acres per cow and oull. Rye was the temporary
grazing crop grown during the winter and millet the temporary grazing
crop grown during the summer, Improved permanent pasture amounted to
95 acres, or an average of 1.8 acres per cow and bull. Five acres
of the improved pasture was coastal bermuda grass.

Under suggested practices, one-half acre of rye would be
provided for each brood cow and bull but no millet would be grown.
Two plantings of rye would be made to provide for early and late
grazing. Permanent pasture would average 1.5 acres of bahiagrass
per cow and bull. The bahiagrass would be fenced into at least three
fields so that rotational grazing could be practiced. By the first of
November, or approximately the time of the first frost, the early rye
would be ready for grazing. The bahiagrass would be ready for grazing
by the time the rye could be no longer grazed in the spring.

Income, specified expenses and net returns above specified
elenses.--Income was calculated on the basis of the value of beef
produced. On Farm B in 1962, the value of beef produced was $3,479
(Table 27). Under suggested practices, the value of beef produced
is estimated at $5,420.

Total specified expenses per farm was $6,145 in 1962. Estimated
expenses under suggested practices would be $5,308. The main items of




















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-45-


Table 26.--Acres in Temporary Grazing Crops and Improved Permanent
Pasture, Farm B, 1962 and Suggested Practices, Columbia
and Suwannee Counties, Florida.

: 1962 practices :Suggested practices
Item : Acres : Acres pe : Acres : Acres per
: per farm : animal per farm : animal

Temporary grazing crops:
Winter 60 1.1 27 .5
Summer 14 .3
Total 74 1.4 27 .5
Improved permanent
pasture:
Bahia 90 1.7 81.0 1.5
Other 5 .1
Total 95 1.8 81.0 1.5


-/Based on the number of brood
on hand at the beginning of the year.


cows, pregnant heifers and bulls


expenses that would decrease is the charge for corn and herd depreciation.
The charge for corn was $1,537 in 1962 but only $37 under suggested
practices. The high cost for corn in 1962 was because the calves
were carried through the winter period. Miscellaneous charges would
increase from $195 in 1962 to $687 under suggested practices. This
difference is the result of differences in estimated costs for power
and equipment on temporary grazing and permanent pasture.

Returns above specified expenses in 1962 amounted to minus
$2,666 or a negative return of $51.27 per cow. Under suggested
practices the estimated return above specified expenses would be $112
or a net return of $2.16 per cow. This amount is just enough to give
the operator a return of slightly over 6 percent for the investment
he has in beef cattle. There would be no return to management, land
and the beef cattles' share of the overhead expenses.









-46-


Table 27,--Income, Specified Expenses and Net Returns Above Specified
Expenses, Farm B, 1962, and Suggested Practices, Columbia
and Suwannee Counties, Florida.

S 1962 practices : Suggested practices
Item 1/ 1/
: Per farm : Per cow- : Per farm : Per cow-

Income:
Value of beef produced $ 3,479 $ 66.90 $5,420 $104.23
Specified expenses:
Labor:
Hired 250 4.81 250 4.81
Unpaid 5 .10
Feed:
Protein supplements
and minerals 685 13.17 792 15.23
Corn 1,537 29.56 37 .71
Grazing crops and
pasture:
Seed 362 6.96 162 3.12
Fertilizer 1,880 36.15 2,025 38.94
Lime 202 3.88
Veterinary supplies
and medicines 50 .96 62 1.19
Commission and yardage 90 1.73 140 2.69
Insurance 57 1.10
Taxes 110 2.12 65 1.25
Miscellaneous charges 195 3.75 687 13.21
Depreciation--breeding
herd 515 9.90 320 6.15
Interest on investment
in beef cattle 466 8.96 509 9.79
Total specified
expenses 6,145 118.17 5,308 102.07
Net returns above
specified expenses $-2,666 $-51.27 112 2.16

/-Based on number of brood cows and pregnant heifers on hand
at the beginning of the year.
2/
Represents the returns to management, land and beef cattle
share of overhead on buildings, fences, etc. which are not charged
above.









-47-


SUMMARY

The purpose of this study was to determine present production
practices of beef producers and to evaluate the economic potential of
beef production as a means of making a more profitable use of farm
and human resources in the Suwannee River Development Area.

During 1963 the survey method was used to obtain complete farm
business information on 25 farms in Columbia and Suwannee Counties for
the 1962 calendar year. Special information was also obtained dealing
with the beef cattle enterprise. For the purpose of analysis, the
farms were divided into two groups based on the size of the beef cattle
enterprise, Size was measured by the number of brood cows and pregnant
heifers in the beef herd at the beginning of the year. Thirteen farms
had less than 25 cows and 12 farms had 25 or more cows.

Acres operated averaged 463 on small herd farms and 553 on
large herd farms. Acres in crop and seeded permanent pasture was 164
and 232 for the two groups of farms, respectively. Based on the number
of farmers growing, the principal crops in 1962 were tobacco, corn,
rye, millet and bahia seed. More land was planted in solid corn
harvested than any other crop. Tobacco averaged 4.8 acres per farm
on all farms but accounted for only 2.4 percent of the acres used for
crops and seeded permanent pasture.

The average capital investment of the operator was $56,834
on farms with small beef herds and $73,304 on farms with large beef
herds. The average investment in beef cattle was $3,463 and $7,970
for the two groups of farms, respectively. On small herd farms 80
percent of the operator's investment was in land and buildings and
75 percent on large herd farms. The proportion of the operator's
investment in beef cattle was 6.1 and 10.9 percent for the two groups
of farms, respectively.

Total farm receipts averaged $15,920 on all farms but varied
by only slightly more than $1,500 for farms with small or large beef
herds. Tobacco accounted for 49 percent of total receipts on small
herd farms but only 28 percent on large herd farms. Receipts from all
crops accounted for 63 and 45 percent of total receipts for the two
groups of farms, respectively. Receipts from beef cattle accounted
for 9.2 percent of total receipts on farms with small herds and 19.7
percent on farms with large herds.

Farm expenses averaged $10,416 on farms with small herds,
$12,788 on farms with large herds and $11,555 on all farms. The largest









-48-


expenditure was for fertilizer and lime and the second largest was
for hired labor. These items accounted for 21 and 17 percent of total
expenses on all farms.

The average farm income was $4,779 on small herd farms and
$3,916 on large herd farms. Operator's labor income averaged $1,369
on small herd farms and minus $482 on large herd farms. The percent
return to operator's capital was 3.1 and 1.4 on the two groups of
farms, respectively.

An analysis was made of the beef cattle enterprises on the
two groups of farms to determine, income,costs and returns above
specified expenses for 1962. Farms with small herds had an average
of 19 cows and those with large herds 53 cows. The percent calf crop
weaned was 91 on small herd farms and 84 percent on large herd farms.
The average weight of calves sold was 478 and 435 on the two groups
of farms, respectively. The pounds of beef produced per brood cow
was 531 on small herd farms and 377 on large herd farms.

The value of beef produced was $1,656 on small herd farms and
$4,065 on large herd farms. However, specified expenses amounted to
$2,251 on small herd farms and $5,102 on large herd farms. Thus,
returns above specified expenses were minus $595 on small herd farms
and minus $1,037 on large herd farms.

Beef cattle was a minor or supplementary enterprise on the
majority of farms studied. Therefore, the contribution of the enter-
prises to net farm income may have been greater than is indicated
above since certain expenses would have been the same or reduced
very little if the farmers had not had beef cattle. Estimates were
made of the effects on net farm income for 1962 for the two groups of
farms of eliminating the beef enterprises. The results indicated that
as they were conducted they made no net contribution to the farm
business. Net farm incomes would have been $297 higher on small herd
farms and $257 higher on large herd farms without the enterprises.

A number of factors contributed to the low returns from beef
cattle in 1962. Since farmers did not analyze their costs and returns
by enterprises, many no doubt, did not realize the magnitude of some
of the individual items of cost. An important factor contributing to
the high costs was the large acreage per cow in temporary grazing crops
and also the large number of acres in permanent pasture. The costs
of supplemental feeds were also high. Part of the high feed costs
was caused by farmers not practicing a controlled breeding program.
Many of the calves were on hand over the winter period. They were
kept on the farm about three months after being weaned and fed
supplemental feeds.








-49-


To increase returns good management practices must be followed
such as proper feeding and careful selection of breeding stock.
Attention must be given to temporary grazing crops and improved
permanent pasture so as to provide only the amount needed in keeping
with the quality desired. Recommended practices should be followed
in raising replacement heifers to increase size and to provide a
larger brood cow. Heifers should be bred at an older age to bring a
larger calf and one that would also grow at a more efficient rate.
A controlled breeding program should be practiced to allow for more
uniformity in the growing stock. It also would permit marketing to
be done in the fall and thus climate supplemental feeding during the
winter period except for breeding stock and animals being grown for
replacements.

Farms with a representative small beef cattle enterprise and
one with a large beef cattle enterprise were selected to show costs
and returns in 1962 and estimated costs and returns if suggested
practices were followed. The summary of these two farms indicated
that the efficiency of the beef enterprise could be improved. However,
if charged with all costs, net returns would only be equal to about
a 6 percent return on the inventory value of the beef cattle. To
the extent that beef cattle was a supplementary enterprise, it would
add more to net farm income.


ADKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Much of the data in this manuscript was originally in a
Master's Thesis presented by John R. Linn to the Graduate Council of
the University of Florida in partial fulfillment of the requirements
of the degree Master of Science in Agriculture.




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