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In this example we are using the ‘Urgent Breeder Selling Program’ advice on the CattleFacts.com.au website. This sample was built based on their documentation and revolves around showing how complex business requirements can be implemented in a Multi-Sheet Decision Table.
They break down cattle stock under the following headings:
Wet or Dry Is the cow currently producing milk?
Pregnant Is the cow currently pregnant?
The advice is based on the following:
- Sell cows which will generate the least profit over the next 12 months
- Sell cows which present the greatest drought risk during the next 12 months
Dry Empty Cows A dry empty cow will generate no income until she next weans a calf. Depending on seasonal conditions she may take several months to conceive followed by a 9 month gestation and possibly 8 months before the calf is weaned. All up around 18 months unless you 'early' wean. The most profitable thing is to convert her to money. The money is better in the bank reducing debt or spent on an income producing activity.
Dry Pregnant Cows The time of the year the calf is born is important in deciding whether to keep or sell these cows. Calves born outside the 'Preferred' period represent less income in terms of calf growth, drought risk and cow re-conception. Each region can identify a preferred time for cows to calve, even if cows cannot be managed to calve in this period.
Wet Cows Wet cows have the complication of having a calf at foot. They are usually lower in condition than dry cows and therefore less valuable and less saleable. Even so, they should be evaluated on pregnancy status in a similar manner to the dry cows. A non-pregnant cow which has a weaning age calf at foot could be a sale candidate in 2-3 months once she is fattened. Crop fattening or feedlotting are options to consider. The urgency for cash and the economics of fattening are 'cards to be played' with these cows. Identifying cows which have just had a calf weaned from them can be difficult. If they have the opportunity, they usually 'show up' at the yards with full udders after the muster. A pregnancy test of this mob could be rewarding in terms of sale options.
Based on this logic they produce a sales rating to be applied to the Cow determining in what order the cows should be sold.