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Abstract

Variable precipitation, more importantly drought, impacts profitability for livestock management. Financial outcomes from management decisions related to forage shortages can be exacerbated by price variability. This research examines alternative management strategies to determine the potential profitability and riskiness over a long-term horizon and across various drought event scenarios. Results indicate that late calving can be a promising strategy, but it also can result in higher variability in profits as compared to some of the other strategies analyzed. Retaining ownership of steer calves over the winter, with the option to sell if forage supplies become scarce, outperforms both partial liquidation and summer feeding, and it results in less profit variability than late calving or early weaning.

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