[permaculture] Pasture Renovation and Fertility

Mark mpludwig at facstaff.wisc.edu
Tue Aug 13 08:48:15 EDT 2002

At 11:19 PM 8/12/02 -0700, you wrote:
> > This is still how a lot of beef is raised, but this system relys on
> > feed
> > lots to make tender beef.  Better management will allow faster growth
> > on
> > grass/clover pasture alone for good beef quality.
>Huh?  What feed lot?  Grandpa didn't have no feed lot.  Got great beef
>though (if you like that sort of thing ;-). Way better than anything
>from the supermarket.

Meat tenderness in lean animals relys on the animal growing quickly right 
up to slaughter.  LAx grazing tends to lead to slow growth in the fall as 
the forages get rank or run out.  Many animals are kept on pasture until it 
"runs out" and then feed grain to finnish, maybe in a barn instead of a 
feed lot.  Some breeds, Jersey for example, are tender due to genetics and 
are pretty hard to mess up.

>In other words, I don't follow your comment about feedlots, unless you
>mean his sort of casual grazing is too low-density to meet
>mass-marketed beef volumes - so feedlots are what exist to supply the
>mass market...?

Feed lot exist to convert corn into beef (and e coli 0157h7).  It has very 
little to do with feeding people per se and more to do with cheep grain for 
cheep gain.

>To me it's like power generation, 'consumer products', etc. etc. -
>there's way too much of a whole lot of stuff being produced (this goes
>way back in history, it's not a new happening), so why figure out more
>ways to overproduce more stuff (like beef, in this case)?

I look at it from a similar, but not identical view.  We obviously like to 
eat beef in this country (and use electricity).  We should seek better ways 
of making both.

Mark P. Ludwig
Poultry Research Lab
University of Wisconsin -Madison
608-262-1730 WK
608-846-7125 HM

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