The role and types of data in beef cattle businesses
Financial data deals with the business in its entirety, composed of the three pillars – income statement, cashflow statement, & balance sheet. When year on year reports are compared, the information becomes a powerful decision-making tool. Not only does this financial data show how the operation is performing, but it can also allow you to understand the reasons why. Being able to generate a snapshot of the financial health of your business can allow you to identify weaknesses and be a proactive manager. It facilitates decisions about where to direct resources and can make accessing finance easier.
Herd recording proves to be an ongoing problem within the industry, with many producers unable to reconcile their herd numbers annually. Whilst there are some challenges when recording herd data, developing a robust system that is used consistently is vital to understand herd performance. Part of the solution to this is to capture data that is relevant and useful to the business in the decision-making process and aligns with the current direction and goals. This means that the amount and type of data collected needs to be specific to the requirements of the individual business to avoid collecting data that is unnecessary and therefore time consuming.
Consistently striving to improve the genetics of a herd is essential to increasing the productivity and profitability of an operation. Investment in genetics can address many key aims of the business including meeting market requirements whilst improving feed efficiency and reproduction rates. Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) provide an estimate of genetic merit for a given trait and can play a key role in improving herd genetics. They are used often by stud operations and allow producers to compare animals within their herd or to see where their herd ranks on genetic merit compared to others in the same breed. There are many different values that can be measured for, and it is highly dependent on the operation as to which EBVs will be relevant.