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Grass Fed by the Numbers

apical meristem

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Argentine Beef Production
Inventory: 55 Million head cows and calves
Slaughter: 13 Million head
Production: 2.8 Million tonnes/ yr

Australian Beef Production
Inventory: 27 Million head cows and calves
Slaughter: 8.3 Million head/ yr
Production: 2.25 Million tonnes/ yr
(1 Million head feedlot capacity)

Brazilian Beef Production
Inventory: 170 Million head cows and calves
Slaughter: 34 Million head / yr
Production: 7.4 Million tonnes/ yr

Uruguayan Beef Production
Inventory: 12 Million head cows and calves
Slaughter: 2 Million head / yr
Production: 500,000 tonnes/ yr

United States Beef Production
Inventory: 96 Million head cows and calves
Slaughter: 34.4 Million head/ yr
Production: 12 Million tonnes/ yr



On average it takes around 10 pounds of dry matter to put on a pound of beef, but 6 pounds of feed in a feedlot situation.
Growing and finishing steers have probably less than 50% forage harvest efficiency.
Harvesting corn, soy and alfalfa is probably 90-95% efficient.
Grass finishing can require high loads of fertilizer and lime, much of which is leached or runs off.
Either huge amounts of land would have to be opened up or the cattle herd would have to shrink significantly (probably by half or more) for the United States to convert to a grass fed system.
It takes 20 months to go from weanling to finished steer, but 6 to 8 months to finish a steer on feed.
The bottom line, however is cost. Right now it costs too much to own cattle on feed.

Most cow/ calf producers I know do not excessively feed their cows grain because it is uneconomical.
 

edrsimms

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apical meristem" On average it takes around 10 pounds of dry matter to put on a pound of beef[b:3tqvtwv7 said:
This depends on your quality of forage[/b], but 6 pounds of feed in a feedlot situation.But you have to count all the acreage it took in corn to make that feed
Growing and finishing steers have probably less than 50% forage harvest efficiency.ruminant animals are the most efficient in converting grass to beef on earth
Harvesting corn, soy and alfalfa is probably 90-95% efficient. (at what cost, you need to include that)
Grass finishing can require high loads of fertilizer and lime, much of which is leached or runs off.
This is incorrect, LOL. didnt you mean growing corn soy and alfalfa?

Either huge amounts of land would have to be opened up or the cattle herd would have to shrink significantly (probably by half or more) for the United States to convert to a grass fed system.First you would have to butcher all of your grain-fed genetics as we all know they wont work on pasture

The Grass-fed community really doesn't want you "grainers" in our business as we are enjoying record profits

It takes 20 months to go from weanling to finished steer,This is incorrect, too unless you are trying to use grain-fed genetics in a forage based operation then yeah maybe it would take those inefficient type cattle 20 months to finish but 6 to 8 months to finish a steer on feed.
The bottom line, however is cost.Grazing is cheaper Right now it costs too much to own cattle on feed.Not just right now, but in the last 20 years

Most cow/ calf producers I know do not excessively feed their cows grain because it is uneconomical.
 

FarmGirl10

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edrsimms":cajl2a5k said:
apical meristem" On average it takes around 10 pounds of dry matter to put on a pound of beef[b:cajl2a5k said:
This depends on your quality of forage[/b], but 6 pounds of feed in a feedlot situation.But you have to count all the acreage it took in corn to make that feed
Growing and finishing steers have probably less than 50% forage harvest efficiency.ruminant animals are the most efficient in converting grass to beef on earth Harvesting corn, soy and alfalfa is probably 90-95% efficient. (at what cost, you need to include that)
Grass finishing can require high loads of fertilizer and lime, much of which is leached or runs off.
This is incorrect, LOL. didnt you mean growing corn soy and alfalfa?

Either huge amounts of land would have to be opened up or the cattle herd would have to shrink significantly (probably by half or more) for the United States to convert to a grass fed system.First you would have to butcher all of your grain-fed genetics as we all know they wont work on pasture

The Grass-fed community really doesn't want you "grainers" in our business as we are enjoying record profits

It takes 20 months to go from weanling to finished steer,This is incorrect, too unless you are trying to use grain-fed genetics in a forage based operation then yeah maybe it would take those inefficient type cattle 20 months to finish but 6 to 8 months to finish a steer on feed.
The bottom line, however is cost.Grazing is cheaper Right now it costs too much to own cattle on feed.Not just right now, but in the last 20 years

Most cow/ calf producers I know do not excessively feed their cows grain because it is uneconomical.
That was quite the obvious statement. :lol:
 

edrsimms

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FarmGirl10":7vq8lje6 said:
edrsimms":7vq8lje6 said:
apical meristem" On average it takes around 10 pounds of dry matter to put on a pound of beef[b:7vq8lje6 said:
This depends on your quality of forage[/b], but 6 pounds of feed in a feedlot situation.But you have to count all the acreage it took in corn to make that feed
Growing and finishing steers have probably less than 50% forage harvest efficiency.ruminant animals are the most efficient in converting grass to beef on earth Harvesting corn, soy and alfalfa is probably 90-95% efficient. (at what cost, you need to include that)
Grass finishing can require high loads of fertilizer and lime, much of which is leached or runs off.
This is incorrect, LOL. didnt you mean growing corn soy and alfalfa?

Either huge amounts of land would have to be opened up or the cattle herd would have to shrink significantly (probably by half or more) for the United States to convert to a grass fed system.First you would have to butcher all of your grain-fed genetics as we all know they wont work on pasture

The Grass-fed community really doesn't want you "grainers" in our business as we are enjoying record profits

It takes 20 months to go from weanling to finished steer,This is incorrect, too unless you are trying to use grain-fed genetics in a forage based operation then yeah maybe it would take those inefficient type cattle 20 months to finish but 6 to 8 months to finish a steer on feed.
The bottom line, however is cost.Grazing is cheaper Right now it costs too much to own cattle on feed.Not just right now, but in the last 20 years

Most cow/ calf producers I know do not excessively feed their cows grain because it is uneconomical.
That was quite the obvious statement. :lol:
Yes it is suprising at times the people that don't know this LOL and in CT, it seems if you don't say the basics they assume you don't know -- it's ok --they are learning
Ed
 

IluvABbeef

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apical meristem":12yynn2r said:
On average it takes around 10 pounds of dry matter to put on a pound of beef, but 6 pounds of feed in a feedlot situation.

So all in a feedlot situation, the ratio of feed efficiency is 10:1. Okay. But there's something I'm not understanding here: 6 lbs of feed? Either I'm missing something or 6 lb seems awful small in terms of (perhaps) daily consumption?

Growing and finishing steers have probably less than 50% forage harvest efficiency.

Since this statement is just limited to growing and finishing steers, and not other classes of cattle, this statement seems a bit questionable. A growing steer, in order to put on muscle and bone in the form of growth, has to use the forage he ate and convert it into forms of nutrients and mineral to grow. Something like that.

Harvesting corn, soy and alfalfa is probably 90-95% efficient.

This statement is too general. It doesn't take into account costs of labour, machinery, fertilizer, etc. that goes into planting then harvesting the crop.

Grass finishing can require high loads of fertilizer and lime, much of which is leached or runs off.

Not if proper grazing practices and management is put into play. That's what the beauty of MIG is all about; grazing cattle without the needed inputs of fertilizer when the fertilizer is already being added naturally.

Either huge amounts of land would have to be opened up or the cattle herd would have to shrink significantly (probably by half or more) for the United States to convert to a grass fed system.

In a way this is true, however with more encouragement to graze intensively (especially in the areas where this works better than others), the cattle herd will probably need to shrink a little to not much. Especially if less excess crops were grown or the cropland for cattle were converted to grass instead. Again; in an ideal world.

It takes 20 months to go from weanling to finished steer, but 6 to 8 months to finish a steer on feed.

I agree, but this depends on your forage base and the type of steers fed; with higher nutrient forages (i.e. using legumes and green feed along with grass) the time frame would shorten. Besides, the grass-fed industry aims to finish smaller steers (1100-1200 lb) than the feedlot industry (~1400 lbs). In terms of type of steers, the British breeds need to be backgrounded for 6 months to a whole year before they are ready for the feedlot. So, for instance, weanling steers at 6 months are backgrounded for a year = 18 months upon entering a feedlot. They are fed for another ~6 months, then slaughtered, making their age at 24 months. But, the time frame is shorter for the Continental steers; since they wean big, they only need to be backgrounded for a few months or not at all before they are put in the feedlot. A 6 month old weaned Continental calf weighing ~750 lb is for sure ready for the feedlot. But, they are in the feedlot for 6 to 8 months. In terms of age, that's a bit of a difference.
For a grass-fed steer, since they are on pasture all the time, and weaned a month or so later than conventionally done, they would still be ready to slaughter at about the same time, if not a month or so sooner, than the british-breed feedlot steers.


The bottom line, however is cost. Right now it costs too much to own cattle on feed.

Yes, and that's where all this grass-fed craze is stemming from. Besides, cattle DO do better on grass anyway.

Most cow/ calf producers I know do not excessively feed their cows grain because it is uneconomical.
:nod:
 

TexasBred

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ruminant animals are the most efficient in converting grass to beef on earth

Goats produce beef?? Deer produce beef??? I know what you're trying to say BUT, not all grasses are of equal digestibility, energy, protein etc., most having a very low TDN. Regardless of how efficient the cow is she can still only utilize what is available.

How did you genetically modify your cattle to become so effecient 4C...read us your textbook.
 

IluvABbeef

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TexasBred":1u3px20n said:
ruminant animals are the most efficient in converting grass to beef on earth

Goats produce beef?? Deer produce beef??? I know what you're trying to say BUT, not all grasses are of equal digestibility, energy, protein etc., most having a very low TDN. Regardless of how efficient the cow is she can still only utilize what is available.

How did you genetically modify your cattle to become so effecient 4C...read us your textbook.

:clap: :clap: Now why didnt I catch that?? Oh right; cause I'm a "clueless idiot." :D
 

talldog

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TexasBred":2ulhpniv said:
http://www.csiro.au/files/mediaRelease/mr2004/kangaroofat.htm

Ed needs to check these guys out....very nutritious and "healthy" meat....Might have to put up a high fence tho. :lol2: :lol2:
Seems like a good endeavor for you and your climate !!!!!!!!! :tiphat:
 

options

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Ed
I'm sure you have already posted it but I don't know where to look, so could you tell again how many pounds of beef are you able to produce per acre per year using your grassfed method?
 

TexasBred

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talldog":1b5fbm0c said:
TexasBred":1b5fbm0c said:
http://www.csiro.au/files/mediaRelease/mr2004/kangaroofat.htm

Ed needs to check these guys out....very nutritious and "healthy" meat....Might have to put up a high fence tho. :lol2: :lol2:
Seems like a good endeavor for you and your climate !!!!!!!!! :tiphat:

Naw...we got jackrabbits as big as those roos...probably just as lean as well.....and "grass fed".
 

talldog

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TexasBred":3k2nfyh4 said:
talldog":3k2nfyh4 said:
TexasBred":3k2nfyh4 said:
http://www.csiro.au/files/mediaRelease/mr2004/kangaroofat.htm

Ed needs to check these guys out....very nutritious and "healthy" meat....Might have to put up a high fence tho. :lol2: :lol2:
Seems like a good endeavor for you and your climate !!!!!!!!! :tiphat:

Naw...we got jackrabbits as big as those roos...probably just as lean as well.....and "grass fed".
To be sure they'd taste better with a little corn !! :tiphat:
 

mnmtranching

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There's a handful of cattle people on CT and some good beef producers. Every once in a while someone new comes on these forums that obviously knows something about US beef production. It's refreshing to me to open someones thread and see some REAL US beef production knowledge.

apical meristem, CT needs cattle people like you, hang in there.
 

edrsimms

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You raise goats and deer Texasbred? And here I thought you and John250 were crossing Ostrich an Limmis. i guess he fibbed huh.
TexasBred":2f62unt6 said:
ruminant animals are the most efficient in converting grass to beef on earth

Goats produce beef?? Deer produce beef??? I know what you're trying to say BUT, not all grasses are of equal digestibility, energy, protein etc., most having a very low TDN. Regardless of how efficient the cow is she can still only utilize what is available. At least you were awake in ruminant nutrition Day 1-- Tex --very impressive
Tex --a goat has a different digestive system than cattle do --back to school youngster and look up caecum. If you plan on nitpicking first get your facts straight. Dont you have a few Ostrich to feed?
How did you genetically modify your cattle to become so effecient 4C...read us your textbook.
 

options

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options":27ptd0p9 said:
Ed
I'm sure you have already posted it but I don't know where to look, so could you tell us again how many pounds of beef are you able to produce per acre per year using your grassfed method?
ED you forgot to answer me.
 

john250

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edrsimms said:
You raise goats and deer Texasbred? And here I thought you and John250 were crossing Ostrich an Limmis. i guess he fibbed huh.

The meat is a little stringy-- I'm pretty sure that comes from the ostrich genetics. :) But they are very protective mothers and they are fast as greased snot! Don't go in the pasture when the eggs are hatching.

ed, around here we have corn and we have deer. The deer graze happily in the corn fields unless they get taken with a "crops damage permit." Venison touts a lot of the same health benefits as grass fed beef, but what do we say about a doe who spent the last 4 weeks of her life chowing down on corn? Can I eat that venison or is it going to kill me just as dead as corn fed beef?
The notion that corn is some poison being shoved into an animal is nonsense. Nonsense. Cattle and deer eat corn when it is available. They will break down a poor fence to get at it. They love it. And the more they eat the faster they grow and the better they taste.
 

grannysoo

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options":t850f48w said:
options":t850f48w said:
Ed
I'm sure you have already posted it but I don't know where to look, so could you tell us again how many pounds of beef are you able to produce per acre per year using your grassfed method?
ED you forgot to answer me.

No, he didn't forget, he will just not answer. Don't hold your breath waiting on this one...
 

edrsimms

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The meat is a little stringy-- I'm pretty sure that comes from the ostrich genetics. :) But they are very protective mothers and they are fast as greased snot! Don't go in the pasture when the eggs are hatching.

ed, around here we have corn and we have deer. The deer graze happily in the corn fields unless they get taken with a "crops damage permit." Venison touts a lot of the same health benefits as grass fed beef, but what do we say about a doe who spent the last 4 weeks of her life chowing down on corn? Can I eat that venison or is it going to kill me just as dead as corn fed beef?
The notion that corn is some poison being shoved into an animal is nonsense. Nonsense. Cattle and deer eat corn when it is available. They will break down a poor fence to get at it. They love it. And the more they eat the faster they grow and the better they taste.[/quote]

John -- we need people like you that are grainers -- the masses entering Wal-Mart buy your grainfed beef and that is quite alright-- I don't need the masses -- instead just a few health conscious educated palates, which I already have. And if you don't want the premiums from grass-fed beef that is ok too. Continue on with chasing your cattle with buckets-- doesnt bother me LOL
 

TexasBred

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Goats produce beef?? Deer produce beef??? I know what you're trying to say BUT, not all grasses are of equal digestibility, energy, protein etc., most having a very low TDN. Regardless of how efficient the cow is she can still only utilize what is available. At least you were awake in ruminant nutrition Day 1-- Tex --very impressive
Tex --a goat has a different digestive system than cattle do --back to school youngster and look up caecum. If you plan on nitpicking first get your facts straight. Dont you have a few Ostrich to feed?
How did you genetically modify your cattle to become so effecient 4C...read us your textbook

ed you were the guy who said "ruminants produce more beef". (Go read your post) Now we all know that only cows produce beef....there are other ruminants but all are totally worthless for beef production. And yes i was awake in all nutrition classes. Now.. explain to me the difference between the digestive system of a goat, deer and a cow and why certain things very nutritious to some or toxic to the other...I know you're eager to teach down to us and we're all anxiously awaiting the professor.

Ostrich??? ate part of a roast off one but particularly care for it. Too much grass I expect. :lol2: :lol2:
 

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