To cull or not to cull?
One of the most difficult aspects of farming is culling. It may be a necessary part of doing business; however, it is often very costly. Tracking the reasons for culling is important. It allows you to develop a more accurate scope of what is happening, and evaluate the relationship of factors such as nutrition and management. When possible, effectively reducing cull rates can save money that might be better spent in other areas. Researchers at The Pennsylvania State University (Tozer/Heinrichs) found that if cullrates are reduced from 25% to 20%, the cost for replacement heifers is reduced by 24.6%. Conversely, the found that by increasing the cull rate to 30% there was a deficit of 4 heifers. The conclusion is simple: reducing the involuntary cull rates significantly improves profitability.