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2016-189: The Economics of Forage-Based Backgrounding Programs in Conventional and Non-Conventional Beef Production Systems
Researcher: John McKinnon
Changes in consumer demands as well as labour availability on beef farms have led to producers pondering alternate farming practices. However, these changes are often filled with risk which could cause more strain on the farm. In order to provide a clearer outlook, steers in this trial will be separated into three different feeding trials, and further separated into conventionally treated cattle and “naturally” treated cattle without antibiotics, hormones, or Ionophores. Dr. John McKinnon and his team will compare direct finishing, short-backgrounding, and long-background (which rely more heavily on hay and pasture diets) and each groups’ status as “natural” or “conventional” to its death loss, cost of feed, equipment, health treatments, and labour, as well as the revenue from each of the six production systems. The researchers hope to provide beef producers with more information to choose from alternative production and feeding systems.
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