Prime vs bull: making more cents out of the beef industry
The New Zealand (NZ) beef industry traces its origins back to the first European arrivals to NZ. While cattle were initially used as draught oxen to provide food and for the purpose of improving pastures, they are now a major source of export income for NZ farmers. Today NZ exports chilled and frozen table and manufacturing beef to the major world markets, with the majority of production going to either the manufacturing market of the United States (US) or high value markets in Asia and Europe. On-farm, farmers make a decision every year as to what class of livestock they will finish over the following 12 months. The traditional beef system has been to retain castrated male and female calves from beef breeding herds, with stock then finished and sold as ‘Prime’ beef. Since the 1970’s, farmers have developed and maintained the bull beef industry, with male calves retained from the dairy industry for finishing and export, predominantly to the US market. Given that the product from both types of animal are exported to similar markets, the report findings indicate that it is the same external market forces which impact the returns to NZ farmers. This report explores the major challenges in supplying beef to the world market and the external forces at play. It also investigates the future market outlook for NZ beef, the challenges and opportunities that the beef market faces, and how farmers can best take advantage of these.... [Show full abstract]
Fields of Research070106 Farm Management, Rural Management and Agribusiness; 150501 Consumer-Oriented Product or Service Development
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