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Wisconsin bankers' farm bulletin
(1913-1919)

Tormey, John L.
Wisconsin bankers' farm bulletin. Bulletin no. 19: profitable beef production PDF (1.0 MB)



          Profitable Beef Production
    Where can beef be raised? In the past beef production has been
profitable to a large extent only on cheap land where grazing was prac-
tised. The cattle were grass-fattened and shipped to market, where
some of the best were kept for slaughter, and the thinner animals or
the "feeders" were reshipped to the country for grain feeding.
    Wisconsin farmers found the finishing of carload lots profitable so
long as there was a wide margin (the difference between the buying
and selling price). Recently, however, the western ranges have been
cut up, the cost of production has increased, and the supply of beef
cut down with a consequent rise in price. In turn feeders have in-
creased in price to such an extent that beef men are being forced to
produce their animals at home, or go out of the business. Beef pro-
duction is now a paying proposition on $200 an acre land.
    Is Wisconsin suited for beef production? Wisconsin is naturally
suited for beef production. Southern Wisconsin pastures are equal to
those of the blue grass section of Kentucky. Upper Wisconsin is the
clover land of America, and includes a vast amount of choice grazing
land. This state is famed for its abundance of pure water. Corn for
silage (the beef-man's salvation) and for other feeding purposes
matures in nearly all sections of the state, and yields profitably. Clover
hay, the choicest roughage for fattening cattle, can be raised,.through-
out the state. Certain of the root crops nearly equal to corn silage in
feeding value, and scarcely excelled as a succulence can be profitably
grown throughout the northern section of the state. Four of the chief
live stock markets are located at our very doors.
     What are the advantages of raising beef? Beef farming requires
 little labor, needs little or no expensive equipment, is the best means
 of using large areas of untillable land, and returns to the soil practi-
 cally all of the fertilizing value of the feeds used.
     What are the beef breeds? The beef breeds are Shorthorn, Here-
 ford, Aberdeen Angus, and Galloway. The Red Poll is the leading dual
 purpose breed. Which one to choose will depend upon personal choice
 and local conditions. As the Herefords and Shorthorns are recognized
 as the best grazers many Wisconsin farmers likely will prefer one of
 these breeds.
     What is a good beef type? In general a good beef animal is blocky
 in form. A short broad head (all that the experienced feeder needs
 to see in order to pick out a good feeder) a short thick neck coupled
 to a short, broad, deep, low set body, with a straight underline. The
 butcher wants an animal that will furnish the largest percentage of
 choice cuts with the least waste. Hence, he wants a short, broad back,
 with 'a wide thick loin, broad thick thighs, and a deep full twist.
 Excess offal '(bone, horns, hide, paunch, etc.) is-objectionable from his
 Mtindpoint. 'The feed'er will want the same type, but with a large heart


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