Keeping an eye on productivity measures in your cow herd can make or break your year. Kenny Burdine of the University of Kentucky reminds producers of two key productivity measures to keep top of mind: weaning rate and pounds of weaned calf per cow. While neither measures necessarily have a dollar sign, they offer significant contributions to revenue.

Operations with a higher weaning rate, or the percentage of cows exposed to a bull that wean a calf each year, will be more profitable than those with lower rates due to the cost of maintaining and breeding cows whether they wean a calf or not.

Meanwhile, pounds of weaned calf per cow measures the next level beyond a weaning rate by also including weaning weights. It can be calculated by dividing the total number of weaned pounds by the number of cows exposed to a bull or by multiplying the average operation-wide weaning weight by the weaning rate. Another way to look at it is in terms of production per unit.

Read more on productivity measures on cow-calf operations here.