Farmers often think of sale prices to judge the profit from a breed. The sales price is something concrete, directly obvious, however behind the sale of an animal there are costs. The real profits consist of several elements (the product, premia, costs…). The profit margin is the best technical and economic comparison of breeds.
The figures in the table are based on results from the National Date base in France (2006), on data from 500 farms in all areas of France. It clearly shows the impact of the maternal qualities of Salers on the profits of a farm.
More than 300 kg of liveweight per unit with concentrate costs of only €0.34 per kg. For heavy weanlings, the average for all breeds is 308 kg/unit.
Salers are very near with 306 kg, this is due to :
• A high overall numeric productivity compared to other breeds ie 94% the highest of all breeds. Note the calving interval is short : less than 370 days. This indicates a calf per cow and per year.
• Low calf mortality (6%) : with Salers, 99% of calvings are easy and calves are very vigourous at
birth. Calving is generally without assistance and vets bills are very low, even when crossing with a
double muscled bull.
• A low cow replacement rate because of less problems Most pure-bred females are used for breeding ; Salers are hardy and noted for longevity. On farms where Salers are crossed, almost invariably with a heavy muscled Charolais bull, the cows have long productive careers, crosses are not retained. The data shows that 16% of Salers have calved more than 10 times (only 4 to 8 % for the other principal beef breeds).
• The profit margin : € 907 per hectare, is high because concentrate costs are low. Salers users who
produce heavy weanlings or light stores (bulls) usually feed concentrate only after weaning. This
means a maximal usage of grass and the cows milk potential. The milking ability of Salers is the highest of French suckler breeds.
• Weanling are often grown on ; the weights at sale are superior to other breeds. When retained the farm is entitled to bull premia, this increase the superiority of the profit margins still further.
However, while interpretation of profit margins is complex since production systems differ, the
maternal qualities of Salers cows play a key role leading to more and heavier calves and this leads to
Table : Margin per livestock unit – weanlings with premium – contributory factors
Source : Résultats techniqures et économiques des exploitation
du socle national, édition janvier 2007 (French Nat. Data Base 2007).
Stéphane GAREL, Salers UPRA Technician .
For those interested in visiting French herds, Emilie VOYANT, Salers Herd Book Technician is available to help you.
Both can be contacted at:
HERD BOOK/UPRA SALERS, 26 rue de 139ème RI,
Tel : 04.71.45.55.80
E-Mail : UPRA-SALERS@wanadoo.fr