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Garvo, and other feeders what are your thoughts on this article....
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Posted 11/13/2012 20:59 (#2695699 - in reply to #2695289)
Subject: RE: Let's get back to the article

Driftless SW Wisconsin

As you point out, cattle are ruminant animals that can turn roughage into a very useful, tasty and high protein food for humans.  Cows and calves can do well on rough patches of grass that are not much use for row crops, especially not corn.

Most of the ground in Iowa is really better suited to corn or other row crop than cows and calves.  Finishing as Gary does in buildings doesn't use much land for cattle, keeps most land in its best use, corn.  But this feedlot system just doesn't work for cow/calf.

As corn growing technology and seeds and maybe weather changes, even areas such as C and W SD, historically best suited for ruminant cattle, may be changing to where the highest use of land there is in row crops.

Cow/calf will increasingly be on rough ground not suited for row crops. Sure former pastures are getting turned into row crop ground. But there is a lot of other ground that could be used for cows that is not being used for much of anything. If calf prices get up to where it is worthwhile to fence, water, etc these areas, enterprising folks just might get back into cow/calf.

The article points out things in the feedlot business are changing.  Stuff always changes.  We need to change with it.  Calves will be raised more in areas NOT suited to row crops. Or on what is thought of as waste patches. Less corn will be used. Breeds that do not require as much corn through their life cycle will flourish more than breeds and genetics within breeds that depend on cheap corn.

One thing that is going to have to change is using only visual marbling to determine grade and value. I believe there is data that shows marbling is not necessarily an exclusive measure of tenderness and taste. There can be tender, tasty beef with less than prime marbling. Good topic.


Edited by Jim 11/13/2012 21:43
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