Process Management

News 196 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Nebraska runner up in cattle feeding

The number of cattle on feed in Nebraska has grown over the past 18 months and, when it comes to total cattle on feed, Nebraska has moved ahead of Kansas and into second place behind Texas.

In fact, the number of cattle on feed has increased in all states in the Northern Plains and one of the big reasons behind this change is simple economics, says Darrell Mark, University of Nebraska Lincoln agricultural economist.

"Although it is hard to read a long-term trend in a few months, I believe the Northern Plains, including Nebraska, has a big competitive advantage in cattle feeding because of the proximity of corn and ethanol production to cattle," Mark says.

It makes a substantial difference in economics in what is becoming a closed-loop system to some extent: corn, ethanol and cattle. It's simply hard to match that in other regions because of the cost differentials."

Mark also notes that cattle fed wet distillers grains simply perform better than cattle fed other feed ingredients. "This helps lower the cost of gain and can improve cattle feeding profits by as much as $30 per head," he says.

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