Beef production based on a suckling system as an alternative to milk production at the example of Polish Red cattle
The population of Polish Red (PR) cattle systematically decreases because of its low milk production. However, there are farmers, who are interested in keeping PR cows in the suckling system. The aim of the study was to evaluate different forms of milk and beef production (combination of factors e.g.fattening bulls, heifers raising, milk or beef production) characterizing farm production from the rural economy point of view and to point out the most effective forms of cattle production based on the data of PR cattle. The research was carried out on the example of the farm keeping PR cattle in suckling system. Linear programming method was used. The economic effectiveness of beef and milk production was examined by optimizing different rearing forms. The goal of the optimization was to maximize the net farm income. Parameters (all data necessary for the calculation of the demand for forage, people and machine work) were established on the basis of The Catalogue of Standards and Norms by Klepacki  and records from farms keeping PR cows for beef and milk production. It was found, that the participation of direct payments in total revenue in case of forms assuming milk production and blef production is 28 and 44%, respectively. Cattle production is responsible for 60% of total revenues in milk production, whilst for 36% in beef production. In the case of the latter, the highest net farm income is possible to achieve in the form, which provides heifers rearing for farm’s own needs and for sale (including fattening bulls sold at the age of 24 months). In the case of milk production, the highest net farm income is possible to achieve in the form, which assumes heifers raising only for farm’s own needs (excluding fattening bulls). Net farm income amounts to 25 409 E and 28 470 E, respectively, while net farm income per cow is respectively 410 E/cow and 499 E/cow. Beef production based on suckling system enables to achieve the income similar to that achieved from milk production though unit profitability is much lower.
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