A livestock economist says his new study shows the structure of the cattle industry is changing.
Don Close with Rabo AgriFinance says grow yards are playing an increasingly more important role in cattle feeding operations.
He says the driver behind the switch is more efficiency. “We have cattle that are not having to be processed multiple times and not knowing how they’ve been handled,” he says. “We have cattle that are on a consistent development ration or early starter ration at the grow-yard level that continues at the feed yards.”
He tells Brownfield this transition will have ripples through the industry and will provide the most benefit to cow/calf producers. “Not only do they have a larger pool of buyers in the market for their calves,” he says, “but it is also a more versatile buyer.” “That cow/calf producer is not locked into that situation of selling his calves the same day as every one of his neighbors.”
Close says there will be more competition for the traditional stocker operations, but he doesn’t think it will put them out of business.