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farmland economics, feed cattle markets


In summary, compared to the U.S. 's major cattle feeding states in the Central and Southern Plains and the West, South Dakota's concentration of fed cattle per acre of cropland and per feedlot is limited. Iowa, Illinois, and Minnesota--along with South Dakota--are way at the other end of the U.S. fed cattle concentration continuum. Compared to these three Midwestheartland states, however, developments in South Dakota's fed cattle industry over the past two decades have been greatly different. In 1993, compared to 1973, the average number of fed cattle marketed per feedlot in South Dakota has doubled, whereas in the three Midwest-heartland states it has decreased by 2-18%. In 1993, over 70% of total fed cattle in Iowa, Illinois, and Minnesota were from feedlots which marketed under 1,000 head each. In South Dakota, on the other hand, 61 % of fed cattle were from feedlots marketing 2,000 head or more. Since the mid- 1980s, the number of fed cattle marketings in South Dakota from feedlots with 4,000 head or more has decreased by one-third, whereas it has increased rather steadily in feedlots marketing from 1,000 to 4,000 fed cattle per year. Thus, compared to the U.S. 's other major cattle feeding states in the Plains and West, the concentration of cattle in South Dakota is far less. However, in contrast with the three major cattle feeding states in the Midwest-heartland whose fed cattle marketings per feedlot have trended down since 1973, South Dakota's fed cattle marketings per feedlot have doubled. These increases are primarily limited to feedlots marketing between 1,000 and 4,000 fed cattle per year, rather than to mega-feedlots marketing several tens of thousands of head per year each, as is occurring with the vast majority of cattle marketed from the other major cattle feeding states in the Plains and West.


Economics Research Report No. 94-4