Improving feedlot efficiency through feed resource optimization

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2015-01-01
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Kenney-Rambo, N.
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Driftless Region Beef Conference
Agriculture and Natural Resources
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Abstract

Although the U.S. cowherd is at its lowest since the1950s, there remains a focus on increasing the efficiency of production rather than maximizing total output. The feedlot sector benefits greatly from the availability of hormone implants, beta agonists, ionophores as well as products for disease prevention and treatment to improve animal efficiency. The combined impact of beef production technologies on animal efficiency is significant, with estimates of 25% (Wileman et al., 2009) and 45% (Lawrence and Ibarburu, 2007). The realities of the cost and time involved in the development of new technologies, as well as an increasingly vocal portion of the public with negative views on the use of such technology, likely limits the number of new products entering the marketplace for the foreseeable future. Unperceived or previously ignored inefficiencies in basic sub-systems offer an alternative opportunity to improve feedlot efficiency and profitability.

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