Abstract #T249

# T249
Cow-calf production performance under different management systems in Thailand.
Jirayut Khemsawat1, Skorn Koonawootrittriron*1, Thanathip Suwanasopee1, Mauricio A. Elzo2, 1Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand, 2University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.

The numbers of beef cattle and cow-calf producers in Thailand are decreasing every year due to a sharp increase in demand and high prices offered for all types of cattle by neighboring countries. To help evaluate the extent of this problem, an assessment of the current status of cow-calf production in Thailand is needed. Thus, the objective of this study was to compare the cow-calf production performance and profitability in 3 regions of Thailand (UN = upper Northeast region; LN = lower Northeast region, CT = Central region). The factors considered were number of cows per farm, paddock size, number of laborers, birth weight, weaning weight, sale age, calving interval, costs and profits. Data for these factors were gathered from 501 cow-calf producers (130 producers in UN, 341 producers in LN, and 30 producers in CT) using questionnaires, interviews, visits, and seminars. Means and SD were used to describe factors. Least squares means (LSM) for all factors in each region were computed using a linear model that included region (UN, LN, CT) and farm size (small: less than 10 cows; medium: 11 to 20 cows; large: more than 20 cows) as fixed effects, and residual as a random effect. Cow-calf producers had from 7.7 (UN) to 12.9 (CT) cows per farm, paddock size ranged from 1.3 (UN) to 2.1 (CN) ha, and hired 1.9 (LN) to 2.2 (UN) laborers for their operations. Calf birth weights ranged from 24.3 (UN) to 29.9 (CT) kg, weaning weights ranged from 151.9 (LN) to 193.4 (CT) kg, weaning ages from 7.8 (CT) to 8.6 (UN) mo, and sale ages ranged from 11.7 (CT) to 13.5 (LN) mo. Calving intervals were from 12.6 (LN) to 13.7 (UN) mo. Factor LSM differed among regions (P < 0.05), except for weaning age, sale age and calving interval. Cow-calf producers in CT had higher profits and lower costs than UN and LN (P < 0.05). These results suggested the need for different cow-calf production strategies would need to be implemented in each Thai region improve productivity and profitability in a sustainable manner.

Key Words: cattle, cow-calf production, cost