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ARS Home » Northeast Area » University Park, Pennsylvania » Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #326952

Title: Characteristics of beef cattle operations in the Northern Plains (Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota)

item Asem-Hiablie, Senorpe
item Rotz, Clarence - Al
item Stout, Robert
item STACKHOUSE-LAWSON, KIM - National Cattlemen'S Beef Association (NCBA)

Submitted to: National Cattlemens Beef Association Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/5/2016
Publication Date: 7/1/2016
Citation: Asem-Hiablie, S., Rotz, C.A., Stout, R.C., Stackhouse-Lawson, K. 2016. Characteristics of beef cattle operations in the Northern Plains (Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota). National Cattlemens Beef Association Annual Meeting. P. 1.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Following the U.S. Beef Industry Sustainability Assessment launched by the Beef Checkoff Program in 2011, region-specific collection of beef production and associated feed and manure management data is on-going to provide the basis for a benchmark national life cycle assessment. This factsheet summarizes management information obtained through beef producer online surveys and on-site visits in the Northern Plains (Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota). A total of 275 ranch responses were received from the region representing 2.5% of the 4.5 million beef cows maintained in the three states while 46 feedlot responses represented 9.5% of cattle finished. Brood cow numbers reported per ranch ranged from 1 to 12,500 and stockers ranged from 1 - 9,500. Ranch sizes increased moving from the east to the west while cow stocking rates decreased from the wetter east to the drier west of the region. Mean brood cow body weights increased from south to north continuing a trend reported in the Southern Plains. The majority of the cattle (73%) were finished in Nebraska where the largest feedlots (> 5,000 cattle) were also located. In addition to pure beef breeds, Holstein cattle, made up 5% of feeder cattle finished. Most of the feedlots (90%) produced their cattle feed consisting mainly of corn grain, corn silage, and alfalfa. Land used to produce feed averaged 0.74 ac/animal fed. Most operations applied the manure produced on cropland, but a few large operations composted and sold 49% of the manure produced in the region. Generally, operations that backgrounded cattle required more labor per animal fed.