Beef Cattle Production and Trade

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Raising cattle for beef is related to the cultural, social, and economic history of Argentina. Early grazing practices were conducted by indigenous groups. European cattle and sheep were first introduced and released in the Pampeana region by the Spanish colonizer Juan de Garay in the 16th century. After cattle were introduced, they reproduced there and spread freely.

At that time, leather, rather than beef, added value to cattle, increasing demand and establishing a particular, although not necessarily friendly, commercial relationship among all social parties involved: natives, the legendary gaucho , and Spanish descendents. The struggle for free commerce was born, and cattle trading influenced the economics of the region.

Although many other factors contributed, the development of the contemporary beef cattle production system in Argentina is the result of historic events. Many aspects that influenced livestock development in Argentina are described by Giberti , who reviewed and discussed the growth of the economy, the culture, and the parallel development of Argentinean society and beef cattle production. Changes in beef production in Argentina within the last 30 years are the result of cattle competing with other agriculture commodities for land resources, severe climatic constraints, natural resource deterioration, dramatic changes in the production systems, the slow adoption of technology, changes in the interests and profitability of producers, and the inability to generate a set of useful policies to sustain and improve productivity, as well as a healthy development of the industry.

This paper describes some of the particularities of beef cattle production in Argentina, despite its diversity by region and the dynamic processes changing production conditions. In addition, valuable information has been reported by several sources, which have emphasized different aspects of the industry, and have made predictions and offered proposals to stimulate productivity and sustainability e.

International resources were consulted when the required information was not found or when making comparisons with other countries; otherwise, Argentinean authors and domestic sources for statistics were preferred. Official records for different aspects of the industry sometimes appear to disagree in absolute values, but not in trends.

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Globally, the consumption of various products of animal origin continues to grow, and this pattern is expected to continue for the immediate future. Despite a decrease in total animal numbers, some countries, such as the United States, produce approximately the same amount of beef, probably because of an increase in production efficiency. Global exports total amounts have remained at similar levels over the past 5 years.

These figures may indicate that consumption is expandable and that an unsatisfied international demand for beef remains Arelovich, The main effect has been on the cow-calf sector by reducing the availability of breeding females. This decrease in inventory can be attributed to multiple circumstances, such as an intense drought affecting cow-calf-producing areas, low cattle prices through November , misleading political decisions affecting exports as well as domestic trade, and strong stimuli to cultivate high-priced grain and oilseed crops, which have allowed less grazing land to be available for cattle.

Continental Argentina is 2,, km 2 , with large areas recognized as naturally suitable for extensive beef production. The biogeographical regions are so diverse that they include subtropical rain forests; central temperate, fertile mollisol soils in the Humid Pampas; extensive western arid and semi-arid regions bordering the Ande; and cold sub-Antarctic zones in the south of the country. These different environments determine production objectives, breed choices, stocking rates, management procedures, and management styles for the different regions.

The five agroecological regions of Argentina, depicted together with the boundaries of different provinces, are shown in parallel with a map including the more complex biogeographical features of the country Figure 1. Still, within each region great variability in the climate, soil, and topography can be observed. Rainfall is shown in millimeters per year. In general, precipitation decreases from east to west and from north to south along the country, with the highest temperatures occurring in the northern regions and the lowest occurring in the south.

However, the pre—Cordillera and Cordillera de los Andes across the Semiarid and Arid regions could be very cold from north to south.

Beef cattle

Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, inappropriate land use e. Argentina also faces the challenge of recovering large deforested subtropical regions, but these areas have been mainly assigned to oilseeds and grain crops. Beef cattle could play a very important role in the recovery of these areas, if they are progressively transformed into pasture lands. From a historic perspective, the Criollo should be mentioned as one of the most antique breeds in the Americas and in the world.

They were brought to the New World by Spanish colonizers. Natural selection allowed for the development of aptitudes such as an extraordinary reproductive efficiency under intense nutritional constraints. Other characteristics of Criollos are their meekness, docility, hardiness, and longevity. Studies on Criollo crosses with British cattle have shown improvements in growth rate and beef attributes, although they are not one of the most popular breeds.

The goal of this association is both to disseminate information on the attributes of this breed, as well as to incorporate them through crossbreeding, which is presently being considered by some producers in the central-northern areas. However, British breeds began to be imported as early as , with the arrival of the first Shorthorn bull. Aberdeen Angus and Hereford were brought in the late s and quickly expanded throughout the entire country.

Introduction

By the beginning of the 20th century, other breeds introduced were Polled Hereford, Charolais, Limousin, and Fleckvieh Simmental, which have exhibited good performance in the Pampeana region. Others, such as the Limangus, Piedmontese, and Brahman crosses, are more recent. As discussed previously, beef production covers a range of climatic zones, from subtropical through Mediterranean to temperate to very cold areas, which affect animal health and the productive response.

Overlapping this climatic variability are differences in pasture quality and quantity. Because there is a large variety of breeds from which to choose, they are present in each region according to the preference of the producer and the background of the farm, but with the rationale that the chosen breed will be the most suitable for the conditions in the area. Crossbreeding with Bos indicus is now extensively used to increase the productivity of cattle in subtropical areas as well as in some temperate areas. Bos indicus crosses have been largely integrated into the North West, North East, and northern Pampeana regions because they have adapted better than the pure British crosses to those particular environments.

Currently, most breeds are represented by their respective breed associations. A total of 57 breeds of beef and dairy cattle and buffalo are registered in the Offi cial Genealogical Records of the SRA Annually at a major event, SRA awards prizes to the winners of competing breeds. Generally, livestock exhibitions, as well as the SRA Annual Exhibit in Argentina, are very important for identifying elite seedstock and establishing genetic trends for beef cattle.


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These shows are replicated at many sites in the country, but on a smaller scale. Many producers and companies are involved in the business of cattle exhibits in Argentina, and these exhibits continue to be important for different reasons e. Although the economic value of animals prepared for exhibits is very high, they should not be the main tool or a unique tool considered for genetic progress. Modern beef cattle enterprises in Argentina compete for land with grain and oilseed crops. Compared with the United States or Canada, beef production in Argentina has never been such a highly specialized industry.

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In many cases, beef in Argentina is produced as a by-product of the cash crop business. Traditionally, beef production was divided into cow-calf, stocker, and finishing segments. Until a few years ago, different areas of the country were easily associated with one of these activities. A detailed description of typical beef cattle production systems can be found in Rearte However, all three segments might be found integrated in one farm, particularly in areas where the soil and climate were suitable for a large availability of forage.

Because of the constraints of marginal regions and rangelands, mostly cow-calf operations were developed in these areas, excluding the Patagonia region, which was mainly sheep country. In marginal areas, the major problem is the poor reproductive performance and small calf crop, technically because of overstocking, inappropriate pasture planting and use, poor replacement feeding practices, and rangeland degradation.

Nevertheless, beef production peaked when sound supplementation programs were included. Regarding the availability of scientific knowledge and technology developed in the country for use in cattle production, it would be possible to have a positive influence on productivity in the cow-calf segment and in ecologically marginal areas.

There were no restrictions on slaughtering weights, and tender beef supplies from very young animals were available for domestic consumption. Toward the end of the s, confined cattle operations became more frequent in the beef cattle industry. Today, the future of feedlots is a matter of discussion by the different stakeholders involved in production, packing, trade, and, to a lesser extent, domestic consumption.

The number of confined cattle operations began to grow during those years, driven by the increase in soybean planting, which substantially reduced the use of grazing land for beef as well as dairy cattle. A few enterprises were commercial feedlots receiving animals from third parties, most of which were and still remain differently sized operations integrated within farms. Many farmers include the feedlot as an alternative step in their agricultural programs. Nonetheless, extensive beef cattle production is a distinctive feature in Argentina. Beef production is generally based on grazing native and cultivated pastures.

Brizuela and Cangiano recently published a review of the evolution of cultivated forage species. An estimate of the surface area with cultivated pastures mainly in the temperate areas of the country was estimated at more than 15 million ha; however, to maximize profitability, the yield and use efficiency of cultivated pastures must be improved by integrating grain and oilseed crop agriculture within farms Bertin, A summary of the main cultivated forage species used by region in Argentina adapted from Brizuela and Cangiano, is presented in Table 2.

An indicator of the evolution in forage use is the pasture seed market in Argentina. This market exhibited a large increase from the period — to the period —, reaching a total of 51, metric tons. Preference was given to a larger proportion of perennial temperate grasses and legumes, small grains, and summer pastures Cuestas Acosta and Lotti, Annual summer pastures, particularly of corn and sorghum, contributed the most to this growth, likely related to the increase in silage feeding in the country. Hay, silages, coarse and small grains as concentrates , and, to a much lesser extent, industrial feeds or by-products are provided for short periods, particularly when pasture availability, quality, or both do not meet animal consumption needs or nutrient requirements.

The degree to which this general description fits into production systems varies among regions and from farm to farm. Complementary feeding from fiber sources and programs supplementing grazed pastures have progressively increased in use in the last few years. This stratification is for production units PU that range from small farms to the largest estancias. At least theoretically, there is a critical PU size within each ecological region; below this threshold, beef cattle production would become unprofitable in the long term under average year economic circumstances.

The main factors interacting with critical PU size are likely carrying capacity, strategic planning, technological approaches and decisions, environmental constraints for the area, and back-and-forth freights to the site. A general distribution of cattle in PU of different sizes is presented in Figure 2. Only The vast majority of PU In some areas of Argentina, production systems are undergoing a process of intensification involving changes in the production and utilization of seeded and native pastures; eventually, grazed forage will remain a key component of the cattle diet Rearte, Production units and beef cattle inventory are shown as percentages for each size level.

In other sites, such as the semi-arid south, where a desertification process is underway, the technological input and conversion of old systems into new ones presents a real challenge. Add to Basket. It is an international text with an emphasis on Australian beef production, written by exper. Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. Condition: Very Good. Seller Inventory mon Book Description Condition: New.

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Beef Cattle Production and Trade

Book is in Used-Good condition. Pages and cover are clean and intact. Used items may not include supplementary materials such as CDs or access codes. Content Types cartographic image still image text Carrier Types volume online resource Physical Description viii, pages : colour illustrations, maps ; 29 cm.

Subjects Cattle trade -- Northern Territory. Beef cattle.

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Beef industry. Cattle trade. Meat industry and trade. Beef industry -- Australia. Beef cattle -- Australia. Cattle trade -- Australia.

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Meat industry and trade -- Australia. Exports -- Australia. Australia -- Commerce. Summary Beef Cattle Production and Trade covers all aspects of the beef industry from paddock to plate. It is an international text with an emphasis on Australian beef production, written by experts in the field. The book begins with an overview of the historical evolution of world beef consumption and introductory chapters on carcass and meat quality, market preparation and world beef production.

North America, Brazil, China, South-East Asia and Japan are discussed in separate chapters, followed by Australian beef production, including feed lotting and live export. Contents Machine generated contents note: 1. Santich 2. Hopkins 3. Wright 4. Holman 5. Herring 6. Duarte 7. Brown 8. Malau-Aduli 9. Burrow Allworth Sullivan Poppi Laurence McGowan Earl Contents note continued: Hynd Pitchford Stafford Smith Jackson Beef consumption : Historical overview, recent trends and contemporary attitudes Beef processing and carcass and meat quality Market preparation World beef production North American beef production Brazilian beef production Chinese and South-east Asian cattle production Japanese beef production Northern Australian beef production The southern Australian beef industry Australian feedlot industry Live cattle export industry Biosecurity and beef cattle health, husbandry and welfare Reproductive management of beef cattle Grazing and pasture management and utilisation in Australia Growing and finishing beef cattle at pasture and in feedlots Genetics and breeding Production efficiency Environmental management Beef business management Australian beef cattle : Case studies.

Notes Includes statistics. Description based upon print version of record. Includes bibliographical references and index. Electronic reproduction. Access Conditions Online full text access is restricted to licenced institutions. System requirements: Internet connectivity, World Wide Web browser.


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