Characterizing profitable East Texas cow/calf operations Academic Article uri icon


  • The National Cattleman's Beef Association and the USDA Cooperative Extension Service have developed a method of measuring and comparing production and financial characteristics of cow/calf operations. This column reports on the use of this standardized performance analysis in characterizing practices used by East Texas cow/calf operators. The study was intended to determine management and financial differences between profitable and unprofitable operations, to determine the factors that have the most influence on profitability, and to use modeling procedures to project changes in income and net worth through the year 2003. Profitable operations emphasized overall production and financial goals, whereas unprofitable operations set goats that were more related to singular changes in herd management. This study suggests that there is tremendous variability in profit and ample room for improvement if profits are unacceptable. The range in net income per cow among the test ranches in the study was $443. Profitable ranches averaged $92.11 in net income per cow; unprofitable ranches averaged a loss of $106.60 per cow.

published proceedings

  • Compendium on Continuing Education for the Practicing Veterinarian

author list (cited authors)

  • Sprott, L. R., Carpenter, B. B., Robert, B. S., Richardson, J. W., McGrann, J. M., & Bade, D. H.

complete list of authors

  • Sprott, LR||Carpenter, BB||Robert, BS||Richardson, JW||McGrann, JM||Bade, DH

publication date

  • August 1998