Grass-Fed Beef Production Guidelines

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Hyatt Farm sign

Amazing Grazing

NC State has prepared some new guidelines for production of local grass-fed beef. Some of the guidelines at a glance include:

  1. Animals remain on pastures their entire lives.
  2. No hormone implants are used.
  3. No growth-promoting antibiotics are fed.
  4. Animals are of known age and origin.
  5. Individual identification is maintained throughout the life of the animal.
  6. Producer is certified in the North Carolina Beef Quality Assurance Program.
  7. Production system emphasizes use of high-quality pasture and stored forages with minimal use of concentrate supplements. More than 95 percent of the animal’s diet between weaning and finish is from grazed or harvested forages. This means the average animal would receive no more than 500 pounds of concentrate supplement (as described here) during growing and finishing (subject to the daily feeding restrictions given below).
  8. Supplementation is allowable at up to 0.5 percent of body weight from weaning to yearling, and at up to 1.0 percent of body weight from yearling to finish, but the number of days fed is restricted by the total feeding limit.
  9. When supplements are used, they primarily include low-starch ingredients that are balanced to meet the nutrient requirements of the cattle.
  10. Ingredients containing significant amounts of starch or sugar are used only as a limited portion of the concentrate supplement.
  11. No animal byproducts are fed.

If you are interested in learning more about raising grass-fed beef or would like to schedule an onsite visit for recommendations contact Keith Wood or Silas Brown. Also ask about the Amazing Grazing program that can improve profitability, improve animal health and improve environmental sustainability.