Finishing time and weights of grass-fed beef animals

Finishing time and weights of grass-fed beef animals

Finishing time and weights of grass-fed beef animals A Farmer-Rancher Grant Project supported by North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE) Project #FNC12-860 Jane Grimsbo Jewett, [email protected] 4/30/2015 Finishing time and weights of

grass-fed beef animals Jane Grimsbo Jewett, [email protected] Acknowledgements: Edgar Brown, Willow River, MN Jake and Lindsay Grass, Pine City, MN Bill McMillin, Plainview, MN Troy Salzer, Carlton County Extension Wayne Martin, University of MN Extension Joe Jewett The Jewett and Grimsbo Families

Kate Clancy, Senior Fellow, Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (MISA) Helene Murray, Executive Director, MISA Kris Johnson, MISA Board of Directors Kate Seager, Minnesota SARE Co-Coordinator Betsy Wieland, Minnesota SARE Co-Coordinator Midwest Perennial Forage Working Group Rich Pirog, C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems, Michigan State University Laura Paine, Southwest Badger RC & D Council Reduction in soil loss % due to cropping system

100 90 80 70 60 50 40 % reduction 30

20 10 0 r Co n an be y

o /S in ra la l g Sm Co rn

in ra g all -sm - yha y ha

2 s ar ye rn co -4

s ar ye y ha re stu a p y/

ha re stu a p nt e an rm e p

Cropping System Control of Soil Erosion Fact Sheet. Robert P. Stone and Neil Moore. Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food. http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/facts/95-089.htm Perennial Grasses have a phenomenal root system Jerry Glover and Wes Jackson The Land Institute

Salina, KS Comparative life cycle environmental impacts of three beef production strategies in the Upper Midwestern United States Nathan Pelletier, Rich Pirog, Rebecca Rasmussen July 2010. Agricultural Systems 103(6):380-389. Impacts per live-weight kg of beef produced were

highest for pasturefinished beef for all impact categories and lowest for feedlot-finished beef Materials & Methods: Calves weaned to pasture in Iowa finish at 505 kg in 450 days on a ration of forage and hay.

Grass-fed beef finish time: 1,111 lbs. live wt. 450 days = 1 year + 3 mo. Compare to: Feedlot beef finish time 1,400 lbs. live wt. 303 days = 10 mos. Age @ Weaning, 7 months + Finishing Time = Age @ Slaughter Grass-fed: Total of 22 months to get a 1,100-lb. animal

Feedlot beef: Total of 17 months to get a 1,400-lb. animal Calves weaned to pasture in Iowa finish at 505 kg in 450 days on a ration of forage and hay. Where did these figures come from? Where did these figures come from? Rich Pirog: Iowa State U. Extension beef experts

estimate, personal communication to authors Grass-fed Beef Production Method CONFOUNDED Heritage Beef Breeds Poor Pasture Quality/ Management

What if the Life Cycle Analysis used input numbers obtained through use of modern beef genetics and good pasture with good management? What if the Life Cycle Analysis used input numbers obtained through use of modern beef genetics and good pasture with good management?

That question is where this project starts. Collaborators: Edgar Brown Jake & Lindsay Grass Jane Jewett Bill McMillin All using managed rotational grazing on improved pastures.

Livestock Breeds: Edgar Brown - Shorthorn Jake & Lindsay Grass 2 Groups: *Black Angus, British White, Ayrshire *Scottish Highlander Jane Jewett Black Angus Bill McMillin Black Angus, British White Feedlot Grass-fed

Feedlot Grass-fed Feedlot Grass-fed Feedlot Grass-fed

Feedlot Grass-fed Feedlot Grass-fed Feedlot Grass-fed

Feedlot Grass-fed Estimate of Age-Weight index of the feedlot beef and grass-fed beef in the Pelletier, et al. study. Age at slaughter (months) Carcass weight (estimate) Age-weight index

Feedlot beef 16.9 Grass-fed beef 21.8 840 lbs. 577 lbs. 49.7

26.5 Assuming a carcass yield of 60% for feedlot beef and 52% for grass-fed beef LCA Feedlot: 49.7 LCA Grassfed 26.5

LCA Grass-fed: 26.5 What do we know, now? Livestock breed matters when you are comparing grass-fed systems to feedlot systems. A grass-fed system has the potential to approach the feedlot system in productivity, as measured by carcass weight produced in a given time frame. There is room for improvement of grass-fed beef production systems, within farms and across farms.

Birth to Wean Wean to Pasture Pasture to Finish

Pasture to Finish What happened on the Jewett farm? 0.09 ADG for the Pasture-toSlaughter period Hay and haylage average RFV and winter feeding system on the four farms

Brown Grass Meadows Jewett McMillin RFV = 90 RFV = 105

RFV = 108 RFV = 138 Round bales Several types Round bales of hay and Animals haylage Bale rings

allowed to used sort for Animals fed preferred 3 forage portions (No types at a bale rings) time Hay and haylage

Bunk feeding Some bale ring use Comparative Economics of four farms Brown Grass Meadows Jewett

McMillin Feed $/steer $ 947 $ 1,135 $ 968 $ 1,346

Avg. lbs. carcass wt. 617 571 528 675

$ /steer gross $ 1,990 $ 1,841 $ 1,703 $ 2,177 $ /steer net

$ 1,043 $ 707 $ 735 $ 831 $ /acre net $ 124

$ 212 $ 73 $ 332 Finishing time and weights of grass-fed beef animals Thank you! Jane Grimsbo Jewett [email protected]

[email protected] www.northcentralsare.org www.misa.umn.edu www.greenlandsbluewaters.net

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