2007-2011 ISU Extension Plan of Work -- 140 Iowa Beef Center

Statement of Issues:

The future of the cattle business in Iowa has tremendous potential for profitability and growth. While opportunity for increased profit margins exist with specialized production, good managers can produce beef cheaper in Iowa than any other region in North America because of our inherent advantage of low-cost feed inputs. Commodity beef production is a narrow profit margin business with inherently high risks. Capital requirements are significant and leverage is often substantial. As a result, capital often becomes a limiting factor when one thinks about bringing the next generation or new producers into the business, either to replace retiring producers or to grow the business. To approach the subject of growing the beef production business, these factors must be considered. Either profit margins must be larger or risks must be reduced to draw in new people and new capital into the Iowa beef industry. Iowa is competitive in the commodity beef business, but Iowa’s true strength and brightest future lies beyond the commodity world in the high-quality specification products for the branded beef market.

Performance Goals:

Output Indicators (Activities):

Outcome Indicators (Impact):

141 – Feeding distillers grains:  Number of Iowa feedlots that regularly feed DGS to reduce cost of gain.

142 – Feedlot environmental management:  Number of feedlots over 100 head capacity that utilize solid manure settling structures or alternative technology treatment systems.

143 – Cost control and market access:  Number of producers who adopt management systems to improve cost control and market access.

144 – Cowherd enterprise efficiency:  Number of cowherd producers who utilize technologies to improve enterprise efficiency.

145 – Intergenerational business transition:  Number of intergenerational transfers.

Target Audiences:

Beef feedlot producers and managers
Cowherd producers and managers
Allied industries and service providers
Ethanol plants and managers
State agencies
Beginning farmers

Team Point of Contact:

John Lawrence, Professor




Page last updated: August 25, 2006