Rich Hines Summit Livestock Facilities

(Rich) Feeding cattle indoors is becoming a very popular and prudent business decision and here’s why. Feeding cattle indoors is a way that producers can really be proactive in assuring the sustainability of animal agriculture in America. Feeding cattle indoors with the producers who we work with is both environmentally sustainable, good for the environment, financially sustainable, profitable for the consumer and socially sustainable because we all care where our food comes from. You’re looking at a monoslope feed barn, a Summit Livestock Facilities monoslope feed barn. It’s approximately 267 feet long and about 67 feet wide and it’s designed and permitted for around 480 steers. (Ryan Jargo) I mean your efficiency is so much better in this barn. You’re not going to get it on every group. I mean they’re not all gonna do great in here, but for the most part, your efficiency is there. Your per pound a day gain is so much easier to put on I’d say, than outside, because you don’t have the fluctuation in the heats. You know in the winter they get more sun coming in from the south, keeps the cattle more comfortable. And having the north end open gives you more airflow in the summer. (Rich) The pit is 10 feet deep, it’s covered with cement slats and over the top of that is easy fix rubber mats. Easy fix rubber mats provide extremely good cattle comfort, so the cattle get traction. They’re comfortable. And they acclimate very quickly to being in this facility. (Ryan) Yea in the confinement building with the rubber mats being down on top of the slats there is no cleaning. The cattle work the manure through. The rubber has a slatted hole that fits the slat, so they work it right down into the pit. That’s why we chose this over a deep bedded, because you’ve got to make so much more bedding and it’s a lot more manpower to do all that. I’ve got pump outs on the outside of the pits, one on each end, two in the middle and we put pumps down in, stir ’em for about three hours and then we apply it to the ground. Manure has given us savings on chemicals, fertilizer. We’ve got it figured so much per head, to make it pay for. It’s coming out between probably 15-1,600 dollars a head space. More than I wanted to spend, but with what we had to do, but I am hoping to gain that back in efficiencies and the manure management. (Rich) Cattle feeding is growing as we watch the herds transcend out of the southwest United States because of the drought that’s been going on and out of California we’re seeing more and more herd expansion in areas like Iowa. But we’re also seeing it a little bit in South Dakota and Nebraska and Missouri and states like Indiana and Illinois. And we’re doing business now in Missouri and Kentucky and maybe a little bit in Tennessee as well. So we’re seeing just a renewed interest in animal agriculture and especially feeding cattle indoors.

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