Changing Cattle Industry in the Midwest

Missouri scientists speculate as the industry faces off against corn and soybeans

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

A changing cattle industry discusses new technologies and options for the future.

Recent shifts in agricultural return values could change the way our country’s farmers do business. The cattle industry is stumbling before lowered prices, while interest in cultivating other crops is growing.

In Missouri, pastures that once held cattle are being cleared to grow soybeans and corn. One Missouri publication cites the rising financial return of corn and soybeans for this change in practice. Farmers producing cattle are putting in much greater input for much less return. In fact, the number of cows in the northern counties of the state has decreased rapidly to make room for more crops.

This investment, however, may not be worth it in the long run. The United States Department of Agriculture has predicted that a high yield of corn due to excessive planting could cause prices for the vegetable to drop again.

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At Missouri University’s Breimyer Seminar, experts in the cattle industry are urging farmers to use new technologies to revitalize the market. Insiders believe that use of new insemination technologies could allow farmers to choose which gender of cow to produce. Animal scientists speculate these changes, along with other genetic study and modifications, could lead to higher quality beef and more satisfied consumers, making cattle king once more.