"We're looking around to see what alternatives we can use," Tom Basabe, president of Simplot Land and Livestock, said in a telephone interview from company headquarters in Boise.Simplot
has ready access to plenty of potato by-products from its spud processing plants, and could increase its use of the starchy commodity in cattle feeding operations.
But there's a limit to adjustments that can be made in a cattle feeding ration, Basabe
said.The reality is that feeders have to use mostly corn to finish their cattle.
"You can't just take corn out" of the finish ration, Basabe
said."You need the energy to put weight on these cattle."
The Simplot feedlot near Grand View, Idaho, is one of the largest in the region.The company also operates a custom feedlot near Pasco, Wash.
Higher corn prices have substantially increased the cost of fattening cattle for slaughter, Basabe
"It's costing about $50 per head more to finish a steer than it did six months ago," he
Feeder cattle are about $100 per head cheaper than they were six months ago, Basabe