A bio-economic model for cost analysis of alternative management strategies in beef finishing systems

C Kamilaris*, RJ Dewhurst, B Vosough Ahmadi, Paul Crosson, Peter Alexander

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)


Global population growth together with rising incomes is increasing the demand for meat-based products. This increases the need to optimize livestock production structures, whilst ensuring viable returns for the farmers. On a global scale, beef producers need tools to assist them to produce more high-quality products whilst maintaining economic efficiency. The Grange Scottish Beef Model (GSBM) was customized to simulate beef finishing enterprises using data from Scottish beef finishing studies, as well as agricultural input and output price datasets. Here we describe the model and its use to determine the cost-effectiveness of alternative current management practices (e.g. forage- and cereal-based finishing) and slaughter ages (i.e. short, medium or long finishing duration). To better understand drivers of profitability in beef finishing systems, several scenarios comparing finishing duration, gender, genetic selection of stock for growth rate or feed efficiency, as well as financial support were tested. There are opportunities for profitable and sustainable beef production in Scotland, for both cereal and forage based systems, particularly when aiming for a younger age profile at slaughtering. By careful choice of finishing systems matched to animal potential, as well as future selection of high performing and feed efficient cattle, beef finishers will be able to enhance performance and increase financial returns.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102713
JournalAgricultural Systems
Early online date26 Nov 2019
Publication statusPrint publication - Apr 2020


  • Beef production systems
  • Bio-economic modelling
  • Economic viability
  • Finishing stage


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