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New Beef-on-Dairy Feedlot Set to be One of the Largest in Country


Despite the smallest U.S. cowherd in 73 years and corresponding tight feeder cattle supplies, the largest cattle feedyard north of the Rio Grande is under construction in Nebraska. When complete, Blackshirt Feeders near Haigler in the far southwest corner of the state, will have a capacity of 150,000 head, all standing on a concrete pad covering a full square mile, replete with an accompanying biodigester.


None of that previous paragraph defies logic, provided you know the track record of the principals involved and understand the growing beef-on-dairy (BxD) phenomenon that has captured the attention of stakeholders throughout the chain — feedyards, dairies, backgrounders, seedstock providers, feed companies and packers. In short, the BxD segment has provided a new profit opportunity for cattle feeders and seedstock suppliers, a lifeline for some dairies, and promises to revolutionize the way the beef industry accepts, captures and uses animal ID and the data it provides.


CLOSED LOOP

The BxD production model offers a unique opportunity for innovators to utilize every available tool and management practice to foster improvement. Specifically, this new model links the semen provider to the dairy to the feedyard in what is called a closed-loop system.

By GREG HENDERSON

July 3, 2024

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