Grass Fed Beef Model

There are opportunities for Manitoba forage/livestock producers to grow and finish beef animals on a “forage only” diet to a niche market in Manitoba. There is also a potential for future export of this product which has additional health benefits.

The production technology information has recently been produced for Manitoba farmers and the potential market opportunities have also been explored. At this time, a Value Chain system is being developed and a producer Grass Fed Beef Association of producers formed. However, even if the opportunities may be there, if the producer finds it difficult to determine the profitability to the farm and family, then adoption of the technology and markets may be slow.

This past year an Excel spreadsheet has been developed consisting of up to ten worksheets which are connected to a summary page. These include:
1) Forage seeding: a) for perennial pasture b) perennial stored forage c) annual forage for finishing and for extended grazing
2} Pasture facilities including: fencing supplies, water and handling facilities
3) Cow herd: includes production expenses for the calf from birth to weaning
4) Feeder/stocker animal: weaning to the final finishing period
5) Grass fed marketing process: processing, product development and marketing
6) Summary: to include cost of gain, cost of salable product, potential market value and return to family and land base

These worksheets allow for individual costs to be included, however there are ten individual worksheets that need to be reviewed and completed by the producer. Results from each one are appropriately linked to other relevant worksheets and to the summary sheet.

The project will have a software specialist take this information and develop a very user friendly program that is relatively easy to use but will allow for individual adaptation.

Project Objective:
To develop a user friendly software program from the existing Excel based grass fed beef program.
Project Result: An interactive model has been developed to help one determine the costs and return for the production of grass fed beef within their operation. Data specific to the land base and cattle herd is inputted and will determine a net return per head. This model has been developed with 2008 statistics. Go here to download the model.

Project Contact: Glenn Friesen, MAFRI
Ph: (204) 745-5672
Start Date: April 2006
Completion Date: March 31, 2009
Funding Partner: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Greencover Canada Program Technical Assistance Component, MAFRI, MFC
Project Results: Project is ongoing.