USDA’S monthly Dairy, Livestock and Poultry report released Friday analyzes the similarities and differences between grain-fed and forage-based production systems and the beef they produce.
The report notes that grass-finished cattle produce leaner beef than grain-fed animals. Meat from grass-finished animals has more Omega-3 fatty acids
Continued growth in “niche-market” demand for forage-based beef could lead to higher production costs and reduced beef supplies. The report says some cows may need to be culled to create room for more forage land.
“As in most cases, consumers drive production decisions, and as consumer preferences continue to shift toward products from more forage-based production systems, solutions will need to be found to many actual or anticipated short-term constraints on producing the desired final beef products,” according to the report.