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ARS Home » Northeast Area » University Park, Pennsylvania » Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #323951

Title: A survey of grass-finished beef producers in the northeastern U.S.

item DILLON, JASMINE - Pennsylvania State University
item Rotz, Clarence - Al

Submitted to: American Forage and Grassland Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/15/2015
Publication Date: 1/10/2016
Citation: Dillon, J., Rotz, C.A. 2016. A survey of grass-finished beef producers in the northeastern U.S.[Abstract]. Proceeding American Forage and Grassland Conference Proceedings. p. 1. Available:

Interpretive Summary: An interpretive summary is not required.

Technical Abstract: Sixty-nine self-identified grass-finished beef producers responded to an online survey implemented via email listservs in the Northeast. Fifty-four records from producers in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and West Virginia were included in the analysis after excluding incomplete entries and entries from producers who were not selling grass-finished beef or cattle destined for the grass-finished beef market. The average farm managed 25 cows and 18 finishing animals on 113 acres. The average grass-finished animal was finished and marketed for beef at 23 months of age and 1,021 lb. Seventy-three percent of the total land represented by the survey was grazed and 27% was cropped. Of the producers producing hay from pasture on the farm, 57% reported replanting at some interval and 71% reported using no-till management practices. Eighty-seven percent of farms raised calves from birth to finish, while 13% of farms were finishing operations only. Fifty-two percent of producers reported purchasing feed for the herd, and dry hay was the most commonly purchased feed. Beef products were most commonly marketed directly to the consumer (94% of producers), although 23% of producers marketed their beef through multiple outlets. Sixty-three percent of producers reported marketing additional species from the farm. Production information provides a basis to evaluate and improve the sustainability of grass-finished beef.