BLOG.RANCHMANAGEMENT.COM: Making Grass Finishing Profitable

October 10, 2012

My crystal ball isn’t better than anybody else’s, but in mine I see the cost of energy increasing and the economics of feeding irrigated corn to cattle crashing. I see serious externalized ecological costs (the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, nitrates in ground water, etc.). Feedlots are a creation of the 50’s and 60’s. They followed the introduction of hybrid varieties of corn and nitrogen fertilizer. Today it is almost impossible to imagine the cattle industry without feedlots. Perhaps it is as hard as it would be to imagine Australia or Argentina with feed lots. My guess is that by 2040, the livestock industry will undergo a transformation again. After all, it is pretty hard to find a successful industry that doesn’t a require radical transformation at least once a century to remain successful.


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