Beef is the most consumed red meat in the United States, and it is continuing to increase every year. There are about 913,246 total cattle and calf operations in the United States beef community. These operations range from farm and ranches, cattle feedlots production, and milk cow operations. Of these operations, farms and ranches have the most operations with 727,906 are beef. There are commercial and federal inspected slaughters which between the two there is only a difference of 0.4 billion lbs. in the U.S. Beef Production (“Industry Statistics”).
A feedlot is about 80 to 85 percent of the market. Cattle on feeds main diet consists of grain, silage, hay, and/or protein supplements. (United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, 2019). With feedlots being our main resource for the market totaling over 14.7 million head on January 1, 2020, and an overall total of 94.4 million head of cattle and calves on January 1, 2020 (National Agricultural Statistics Service, 2020). Texas has over 2.94 million head of cattle on feed for the slaughter market compared to the 370 thousand head in commercial feedlots and 380 thousand head in Texas commercial feedlots. Farms and ranches are the main resources of the feedlots but these farmers are under the 2014 Farm Act due to risks of natural disasters and made funding for these disasters programs making the permanent and only modifying them by their terms (United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, 2018).
With commercial slaughters being the main producer in the beef industry with over 33 million head per year and federal inspected slaughters being 1 million headless, the different cattle types that are processed like steers, heifers, calf, beef cows, milk cows, and bulls. Since there are so many things that affect the slaughter market ranging from natural disasters to the distinct types for processed cattle.
Given that beef is a major component in the economy, identifying the optimal level of inputs used in beef production is critical to producers; it is, however, often
difficult to calculate. Using the appropriate amount of grain, silage, hay, and/or protein supplements used by farmers. Optimal levels are found by using a production function. Constructing a production function is typically complex given the number of variables, fluctuating costs and prices, and uncontrollable factors such as weather and disease. Despite these challenges, this study constructed a mathematical model to identify the optimum rate of grain, silage, hay, and/or protein supplements per acre using predicted price levels. This model coupled with price ratio analysis of cattle on feed and the price of feed can predict optimal levels for the current production season. The data forecasted generates a model that can also aid in the forecasting of total revenue in the beef industry.