Feed Yards

“At the cost of getting into the cow/calf business, we’re probably going to see a steady decline in the cow herd.”

Bill Turner is a retired beef scientist and now runs a cow/calf operation full time.

“We’re having essentially a small decline in the number of cows that are in the production herd. They’re tending to go down, but in terms of pound of beef, we’re producing more beef out of fewer cows, and so what’s happened is we’ve used the advantage of the feed yard to get our tonnage up, so we’re feeding cattle to heavier weights.”

Research is being done on distillery grains, but its moisture content makes id hard to transport long distances.

“We’re liable to see more sorghum production with that grain going into the feeding aspect for cattle. Probably going to see some other grains and grain by-products that are being used. Locally, I’ve been in feed yards in the north east feeding potato waste.”

Dr. Turner believes the feed yards will see some base ingredient changes.

“I think that what we’re going to see is that the concept of a very simple steamed flake corn ration being used is going to change. It’s probably going to be some by-product sequence”

“There may be a by-product feed out here that has relatively low value, but once you run the price of corn up over here, then all of the sudden you might be able to pay a little more for it to process it further, so that you can utilize it.”

So cattlemen may want to hold on to their hats. Changes taking place in the beef industry are going to make for an interesting ride. I’m Joe Brown, tracing the journey our food makes from the ranch to our plates, from the ground up.

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