Monday, July 9, 2012

The Road to Grass Fed Beef 2012

Where do you get your grass fed beef, when the country is all out of grass?

The Road We Will Be Going Down Soon

The more I have delved into "agvocating" for the beef industry the more I have spent my time thinking about what people want from beef producers.  Apparently there are a growing number of people that want grass fed beef.  The more I listen to these conversations it is for a variety of different reasons they want to eat grass fed beef.  This year it is going to be a challenge for beef farmers to fill the orders of grass fed beef for some circles.

If you would like a calf that has been in a pasture eating nothing but grass for it's entire life, that may be impossible this year.  The hay bales are going to start rolling, if they haven't already.

I know some people are alright with cows eating hay, because hay was grass before it was clipped, then dried and baled. After all when the cows are supplemented hay in a pasture setting they are still in their natural environments.

However corn is considered grass, as I was taught in Agriculture Education freshman year by my teacher. So, I am wondering is corn alright to feed, if it is fed in the pasture, so that cows were able to stay in a natural environment? If cows were to graze corn, would that be alright? What if corn was cut and hauled to cows, is that meet requirements for grass fed beef?  If my facilities are better suited for cows to come into a barn to eat corn and then leave back to the pasture as they choose. Would that be ok?

Just needing some answers for some soon to be hungry cows!!


  1. There's much to be concerned about when it comes to feeding corn to cows. Here's a quick article on the subject:

    And there's many more online. Cows have a hard time digesting corn. It causes ulcers which can lead to liver issues. There are reports that cattle can be 'trained' to eat grain, but it must be done slowly over a period of weeks if not months.

    Considering the impact of the weather on corn production this year, isn't hay or grass the better option? In any case, this will prove a tough year for every aspect of the beef industry thanks to the drought conditions.

    Good luck and be aware of the potential effect on the health of your herd if trying out corn-based feed.

  2. Good info. There's more on the La Cense Beef website. I only eat grass fed beef. I order it online from them. After I found out the difference between grass fed and corn fed, it was a no brainer to me. La Cense Beef just came out with a new catalog. If you haven't tried their meat yet, you should.

  3. Nancy - my husband and I raise our own beef (grain fed). I am really interested in what consumers of grass fed beef will tolerate when feeding their cattle. My questions were more related to, what to do in a drought for grass fed beef customers. I would really be interested in hearing your thoughts on this. Thanks for eating beef.