Past Projects

Economic Research

A Comparison of Cattle Health, Cost of Production and Carcass Characteristics of "Natural" and Conventionally Produced Beef

Research Lead: Paul and Robert Bechtel , Advanced Agricultural Testing Inc.

Executive Summary

“Natural Beef” (raised without production enhancement such as ionophores, implants, beta-agonists or antibiotics) has become quite popular with consumers concerned with food safety.   However, the majority of beef producers have been reluctant to change their production practices to meet this market demand due to concerns with the perceived additional costs related to: animal health issues (coccidiosis, rumen acidosis); increased production costs; and changes in carcass characteristics. This project will assess and quantify these costs.  Therefore, the main purpose of this project is to determine the full costs associated with producing Natural Beef including determining what the actual cost of eliminating ionophores, implants, beta-agonists or all three is. 


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