The University of Arizona

Feasibility analysis for development of northern China's beef industry and grazing lands.

J.R. Simpson, O. Li


China, with one of the largest grassland and pastoral areas of the world, is placing major effort on sustainable modernization of its rangeland livestock industry. One widely discussed structural change involves development of a cattle feedlot industry with grazing lands oriented to a cow/calf system. However, economic analyses of alternatives have not been carried out. The objective in this article is to evaluate the economic feasibility and benefits to sustainability from shifting from fattening cattle on rangelands in Inner Mongolia to fattening in feedlots in the Beijing area. The method is economic budgeting of costs and returns for both systems combined with comparison of protein and energy requirements for each of them. It is concluded that grazing land producers would obtain more net income from selling weaned calves rather than fattened animals. Furthermore although 14,230 Mcal of metabolizable energy and 738 kg of crude protein are required per 4-year old male sold at slaughter weight by grazing land fattening, a feedlot fattened male would require only 5,670 Mcal of energy and 371 kg of protein Additional evaluations of improved cow/calf systems indicate that considerable advances can be made by improving the efficiency of China's cattle industry.


profitability;metabolizable energy;beef production;finishing;feedlots;China;protein intake;energy intake;feeds;crude protein;cattle feeding;grazing;beef cattle

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