Growth in the Background: Changing Cattle Industry Structure Increases Role for Grow Yards

Over the last few years, grow yards have become an increasingly important step in beef production. They have gone from being mainly used as residual housing to having a permanent role in the development of feeding cattle. The emergence of grow yards may seem to mark a subtle change in the cattle supply chain, but it will ultimately impact operations in all sectors of the industry in the medium and long term.

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Report summary

According to Don Close, Senior Analyst – Animal Protein: "A number of influences – mainly from commercial feed yards – have driven this change. And although this brings opportunities in the backgrounding sector, there are challenges that need to be resolved – in how grow yards are managed, and in the working relationships between grow yards and commercial feed yards. The grow yards of the future require skilled managers with cattle health expertise."

The RaboResearch report, Growth in the Background, looks into how grow yards that are successful will become permanent fixtures, providing more opportunities to cow-calf producers, challenging stockers to become more efficient operators, assisting feed yards, and providing a more reliable cattle supply chain for packers.