How many pounds of grain does it take to produce 1 pound of beef?

In the 1960s, information from the USDA was misinterpreted, leading people to believe it took 16 pounds of grain to produce 1 pound of beef. In reality, it takes 2.5 pounds of grain to produce 1 pound of beef we eat in the United States. For the first six to eight months of a calf ’s life it is primarily consuming mother’s milk with a nibble of grass and hay to stimulate their rumen development. An average calf is 600 pounds before it begins to eat grain. 50-70% of a beef animal’s feedlot diet is forages and feed that humans can’t eat. These factors all contribute to the fact that it takes on average a mere 2.5 pounds of grain to produce 1 pound of delicious beef!

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