|Rotz, Clarence - Al|
|STACKHOUSE-LAWSON, KIM - National Cattlemen'S Beef Association (NCBA)|
Submitted to: Professional Animal Scientist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/27/2016
Publication Date: 12/20/2016
Citation: Asem-Hiablie, S., Rotz, C.A., Stout, R.C., Stackhouse-Lawson, K. 2016. Management characteristics of cow-calf, stocker, and finishing operations in the Northern Plains and Midwest Regions of the United States. Professional Animal Scientist.32:736-749. http://dx.doi.org/10.15232/pas.2016-01539.
Interpretive Summary: A national assessment is being conducted to support the sustainability of beef, and this assessment requires information on cattle production practices throughout the U.S. Region-specific beef cattle management data are being collected in seven demarcated regions through voluntary surveys and visits. This study presents results from two regions: the Northern Plains (Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota) and Midwest (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin). Differences in climate between the wetter climate in the Midwest and the semiarid climate on the west side of the Northern Plains affected stocking rates, crop and pasture yields and irrigation, fertilizer and energy use. The number of cows and finished animals reported from the ten states of the two regions reflected national agricultural statistics rankings and can be considered as representative of the cow calf, stocker, backgrounding and finishing operations in these regions. The information collected from the seven regions provides the basis for a comprehensive life cycle assessment of beef in the U.S.
Technical Abstract: Comprehensive region-specific data that accurately characterize cattle production practices are being collected to support a national life cycle assessment (LCA) of U.S. beef. The present study reports production information obtained via voluntary surveys and visits in two of seven demarcated regions: the Northern Plains (Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota) and Midwest (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin). Ranch responses (n = 514) represented 1.4% of beef cows maintained across both regions with operation sizes varying between 1 and 12,500 cows. Feedlot responses (n = 120) represented 9.5 and 5.0% of cattle finished in the Northern Plains and the Midwest, respectively. Herd size on ranches increased and stocking rate decreased from east to west, and average animal BW increased from south to north. Other characteristics recorded included bull use, replacement heifer production, housing facilities, feed production and use, machinery and energy use and labor. Feedlot characteristics including entering and final BW, backgrounding and finishing periods, crop area/finished animal and labor were similar across the regions, but larger feedlots were found in the Northern Plains. Diets were similar except that slightly more distillers’ grain and less corn were fed in the Northern Plains. Many feedlots produced most of their cattle feed with the major crops being corn grain, corn silage and alfalfa. Cropland producing feed received most of the manure produced, but manure composting and export was found on a few large feedlots. The information gathered provides the basis for a comprehensive LCA of beef cattle production in these regions.