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Livestock Farming

How the meat industry marks the land -- in pictures

How the meat industry marks the land -- in pictures

I first came across these feedlots on Google Earth and had no idea what I was seeing. The mass and density of the black and white dots seemed almost microbial. To understand what they were I had to learn about the meat industry and its methods for maximizing yield in the minimum amount of time for the highest profit.

It used to take five years for a cow to reach its mature weight, ready for slaughter and processing. Today, since the structures and processes of feed yards have been perfected, that has been reduced to less than 18 months.

Such speed requires growth hormones and antibiotics in cows' diets, and efficient feedlot architecture. Farmers can turn to reports to help...

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