A great WSJ video on the mad economics of cow farming
This wonderful little video by Wall Street Journal Multimedia originally came out in July, but the newspaper embedded it today in an article on feed prices. It contains two highly interesting bits of information.
1) With corn prices hovering at historically high levels, industrial-scale meat producers are turning to junk food as a feed supplement to cling to razor-thin profit margins. A feedlot operator calmly tells the Journal that he’s cutting corn rations with potato chips and a “byproduct from Hershey’s and M.M. Mars” featuring cocoa shells and M&Ms(!).
2) Producers of grass-fed beef are doing even worse than their industrial peers. They’re not exposed to high corn prices; but because their profit margins are so slim, any rise in their cost of doing business wipes out profits. According to the Journal reporter, the cost of gas to harvest hay (winter feed) and move finished cows to slaughter has erased profits.