SDSU Study Focuses On Small Ranch Profitability

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Improving small ranch profitability by evaluating alternatives in beef cattle enterprises is the focus of a major new study at South Dakota State University.
calendar icon 16 October 2007
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New study into beef alternatives

A team of SDSU researchers from different disciplines has won a grant of $499,974 through the National Research Initiative.

Administrators from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service say the grant will fund research through August 2011.

SDSU range scientist Pat Johnson and SDSU Extension beef specialist Ken Olson, both at the West River Ag Center in Rapid City, S.D., are co-directors for the project. It will take place at locations in northwest South Dakota, including the Antelope Range Livestock Research Station and on cooperating producers' ranches.

Collaborators include SDSU Extension range management specialist Roger Gates, SDSU Extension West River agronomist Thandiwe Nleya, SDSU agricultural economist Scott Fausti, SDSU Extension ranch management specialist Marty Beutler, and SDSU Extension beef reproduction management specialist George Perry.

Johnson said the four-year study will evaluate the biological and economic responses to several alternative strategies within beef cattle production systems in the Northern Great Plains.

The project will look at early versus normal weaning; low-input compared to high-input winter feeding of cows; backgrounding calves on crops, including an evaluation of the suitability of warm- versus cool-season crops, compared to shipping directly to the feedlot; retained ownership of calves versus selling at weaning; and development of heifers on rangelands compared to heifer development in drylot during winter.

Source: TriStateNeighbour
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