Cost of Production Comparisons from Three Different Cow-Calf Systems in Iowa

  • Denise L. Schwab (Iowa State Universtiy)
  • Joe Sellers (Iowa State University)
  • Russ M. Euken (Iowa State University)


This project was designed to evaluate cow herd cost of production based on three different systems. Outcomes from this project were consistent with prior production cost reports, including large variation in production costs among all beef herds, regardless of system type. Feed cost represents roughly half of the direct (cash) production costs. All three systems have the potential to be low cost operations provided managers optimize feed and ownership costs. There are potential economies of scale benefits to all three system types. The most important implication is the importance of producers keeping and analyzing their own costs. Even with 62 records, this is still a limited dataset and simply represents 24 operations over the three years of the project (2015-2017). Additional details on the full project can be found in the Iowa Cow-Calf Production-Exploring Different Management Systems available at

How to Cite:

Schwab, D. L., Sellers, J. & Euken, R. M., (2019) “Cost of Production Comparisons from Three Different Cow-Calf Systems in Iowa”, Iowa State University Animal Industry Report 16(1).

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Published on
12 Aug 2019