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Livestock and their products are of considerable importance to the state’s economy with three-quarters of farm income coming from their sale. Efficient production on rangeland and improved pasture is imperative if they are to remain competitive. Utah beef producers use traditional forage-based production that provides range and feed supplies for the majority of the cattle within the state. Value-added production on cattle operations in Utah is relatively small. As a whole, the USDA has determined that approximately 91 percent of beef operations with herds exceeding 300 cows and 83 percent with herds from 50 to 99 cows sell their calves at weaning in the U.S. (USDA). Utah follows this pattern as most weaned calves are not retained. Calves that leave the state are backgrounded and finished elsewhere adding value to other state’s agricultural sectors through inputs required for these types of production.

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