The ability of the operator seemed to be much more important in determining the number of beef cows carried and the cost of raising calves than did the type of land on a group of southern Iowa baby beef farms. The type of land, however, had an influence in determining the type or cattle enterprise that was to be followed. Regardless of topography or the percentage of land in crops, the usual number of beef cows for the average-sized farm was 10 per 100 acres. For larger farms it was eight to nine.
Farmers who were able to arrange their breeding program to have a large number of calves come in the spring had lower maintenance costs per stock cow and obtained a 9 percent greater calf crop. Calves coming in the spring were also heavier at weaning. The cost per 100 pounds of calf raised was one-third smaller than when calves came at irregular intervals throughout the year.
Hopkins, J. A.; Goodsell, W. D.; and Buck, R. K.
"An economic study of the baby beef enterprise in southern Iowa,"
Research Bulletin (Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station): Vol. 24
, Article 1.
Available at: https://lib.dr.iastate.edu/researchbulletin/vol24/iss272/1