Cow-calf management practices in Mexico: Farm organization and infrastructure

Everardo González-Padilla, Arantza Lassala, Mariana Pedernera, Carlos G Gutierrez

Abstract


Veterinaria México OA
ISSN: 2448-6760

Cite this as:

  • González-Padilla E, Lassala A, Pedernera M, Gutiérrez CG. Cow-calf management practices in Mexico: Farm organization and infrastructure. VetMéxOA. 2019;6(3). doi: 10.22201/fmvz.24486760e.2019.3.677.

Beef cattle breeding has developed in extensive grazing systems in Mexico, concerning the livelihood of over one million families and affecting the use of natural resources. The diversity of climate, region, land tenure, herd size and poverty level potentially influence livestock farming. To detect areas of opportunity in the use of human, animal and natural resources, and to determine the degree of technological penetration, a structured questionnaire was administered as personal interviews to 3280 producers. Over 50% of farmers have an activity other than cattle breeding, mostly raising crops and other livestock. Weaned calves, primarily destined for the national market, are the foremost commercial product. Nevertheless, 20% of farmers in the northern region export their calves. European X Zebu crossbred cattle are widespread (over 45% of operations), followed by Bos taurus taurus breeds (22%). Criollo and predominantly Zebu cattle are present in <15% of farms, and dairy breeds in <5%. Over 70% of producers declared to select animal breed based on productive traits and adaptability, even though only 52% have record-keeping systems. The customary method to register data is hand-written, and < 7% of producers use computers. Recorded information comprises data on reproduction (59.1%), calves (44%), herd health practices (32%) and purchases and sales (28%). Over 95% of farmers identify animals by hot iron marks and National Individual Livestock Identification System (SINIIGA) ear tags. Close to 52% of animal breeders do not receive technical advice. Finally, according to producers, the main constraints for farm growth and profitability were lack of access to credit, followed by low market value of their products and insufficient infrastructure.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22201/fmvz.24486760e.2019.3.677

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