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
Darrell Mark, University of Nebraska Lincoln agricultural
"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
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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