Costs of producing organic beef pinpointed
March 20, 2006
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In the first study of its kind in California, the University of California has examined an organic beef cattle operation in depth, identifying management practices, revenues, costs and marketing.
The study outlines the cost of a 50 head cow-calf operation that produces 40 cattle for processing, describing the assumed practices used to raise the herd and returns having the rancher selling the finished product direct to consumers.
The cost study details when most major operations occur as well as when the cattle are sold. Pasture and winter feeding, normal veterinary care, fencing, processing, and life cycles are represented in text, table and chart formats to show how an organic cow-calf operation works.
Actual costs and returns are highlighted in tables in the text and at the end of the study. Laws, ordinances, and Internet sites relating to an organic production and certification, organic labeling claims, and marketing are discussed and locations for finding them are given.
A separate marketing section explores possible avenues for ranchers to sell organic beef products. Considerations about potential marketing decisions are discussed and Internet references for other more in-depth marketing scenarios are given.