Grow Yard Concept Finding Its Footing in Beef Industry - Analyst Don Close Says Opportunity AboundsTue, 24 Sep 2019 10:30:51 CDT
Don Close is vice president for food and agribusiness research with Rabo Agrifinance. Over the past year, he has been discussing with the beef industry a relatively new concept which he refers to as the "grow yard." Close defines a grow yard as a niche segment in the beef pipeline situated between the stocker operator and the feedlot which provides residual housing for cattle that for one reason or another are delayed on their way to market.
"If feedyards got backed up- if we had other problems with natural forage and forced us to find a home for cattle or in the event calves just got too cheap - grow yards are available to provide residual housing just when economic incentive drove them to that point," Close explained, adding that such operations are becoming a bigger part of the landscape. "I think things are changing radically and I think it is changing very quickly in that grow yards are being utilized more and more on a full year-round rotation and that as labor constraints have become more and more difficult for commercial feeders, their ability to handle light cattle or stressed or high-risk cattle has just become increasingly inefficient and they are turning more and more to the grow yard to background those cattle."
Close holds the belief that as the demand for high quality cattle and beef continues to grow, the necessity of the grow yard will grow too as an opportunity to add value to cattle that might otherwise have been marginalized if marketed directly. While this concept has been around for a while, Close says the segment is still emerging and growing, not yet fully mature and believes there to be some significant opportunity for those businessmen with expertise in handling low-end cattle.
"I think it's very early in that context. I think there is still really good opportunities for entry into that marketplace," he said, "providing an opportunity to get those cattle stable, healthy and get them ready so once they do arrive at the feedyard, they are ready to eat and go to work from day one."
Listen to Close offer more insights into the grow yard concept and how its role is developing in today's beef industry, on today's Beef Buzz with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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