Commercial livestock systems

Abstract

The purpose of this project is to aevelop an architectural statement for agriculture; in particular for the livestock industry. In concept, this involves investigating the predominant livestock industry of an· area and all the factors affecting that industry; integrating all into an ·architectural statement Which reflects the nature of the livestock industry and its potential as an element in the environment of a specified area. The developer of this project is an individual who sees this project as a speculative investment with a great potential. In its broadest scope, this project requires the investigation of all geographical-agricultural areas of the world and designing for each area, an architectural statement unique to the livestock industry of the specified area. In the end an integrated system of such statements, related by such invariables as the need to supply feed to· animals, would be established. As a peginning point in the developme~t of such a system, the producer of this project. has selected Lubbock, Texas as the site for the initial statement, the major livestock industry of Lubbock being the feedlot production of beef cattle. Lubbock was chosen because it is the home of the developer who desires to have a strong, symbolic architectural statement created for this area. The development of this architectural statement has begun with a program of the area and the industry in terms of: • The feedlot industry of Lubbock, Texas • The total environment of Lubbock,. Texas as it .influences the feedlot indust ry . • R~search developments .in the feedlot industry • The feedlot syst em · • The potential of this project as an architectural statement for the feedlot industry in Lubbock, Texas Lubbock, Texas--Hub City of the South Plains--is the center of the vast agriculturally oriented South Plains . of Texas: Cotton, cotton by-p~oducts , grain, vegetables, livestock, poultry and dairy products play a large role in the agricultural indust ry of Lubbock . Although cotton and cotton seed oil (Lubbock is the world's largest producer of this connnodity) play very important roles in Lubbock's agriculture, farming is the key t o the agricultural business of the area, wit h the average farm area being 1,000 acres compared to the nat ional average of 360 acres. Grain sorghum production is another important aspect of the Lubbock agriculture; over one-third 9f the nation's output is from this area.2 Of most importance to this project, however, is the livestock indust ry · in Lubbock . Beef cattle constitute the major commodity in the 11Hub City" livestock industry and the cattle feedlot is the major ~eans of producing cattle. The feedlot industry is a relative~ new one {n Lubbock; the first commercial lot was established in 19~8. Feedlots·.take cattle from the pasture, concentrate them in fenced pens, feed them prepared rations, and generally upgrade the. cattle as to market value over a period of 90-180 days) 'When people think of fattening livestock, ·they generally think about feedlot operations. While fattening in feedlots is only one phase of livestock production, it is an important one . In this operation animals not only increase in weight but also in grade, thus producing a more desirable and higher priced product. ·This is more desirable to the consumer because fattening makes meat more tender and generally better tasting and is, of cou~se, desirable to livest ock producers because i t increases the selling price. "Some l ivestock men will fatten cattle in feedlots •• Thus, this operation of feedlot fattening performs a service in that it enables growers to get livestock off their farms when they desire to do so for management reasons . Producers may sell cattle ••• to feedlots as feeders or. may retain ownership in some fashion while the feedlots take care of the fattening process. Regardless of where this operation takes place, there is opportunity for increased profits through correct feeding and a knowledge of how animals utilize feed. An mcreasingzy large share of the cattle fattened for market in the United States are fat tened in feedlots and are fed harvested feeds, Since 1949, the number of cattle on feed has increased twice as rapidly as total cattle numbers. (Appendix A-1)~ The 1969 slaught er will include 25 million fed cattle and only 10 million non-fed cattle.5 In the past, feedlot production of cattle has centered in the Corn Belt of the United St ates; however, wit h the spread of feed grain production in recent years, feedlots have become common ill many other parts of the country. The increased production of feed grains has particularly increased feedlot operations in the Plains area,6 and included it in the 11B~ef Belt, 11 a 150-200 mile wide strip from Amarillo to South Dakota. (Appendix A-2)_. This is where the beef feeding area will be located in the next decade. ~the mid-1970's, 3,000 feeders in this area will produce 70% of the fed beef .? 11The fed cattle industry has shown a remarkable rate of growth in Texas over the last few years . Fed cattle inventories for the state recorded as of January 1st each year increased 66 percent between 1965 and 1968. The Texas High Plain~which has become the center of this rapidzy expanding industry, experienced a 146 percent increase in cattle inventories in the same three~ear period. The exceptiqnal growth of the fed cattle industry on the High Plains can be attributed to a favorable climate, availability of feed grains, adequate supplies of feeder cattle· and an adequate transportation network. u8 Figures for 1969 show that production has cont::!.nued to grow during the last year. The number of cattle being fed during October, 1969 totaled 920,000 head, up from 911,000 in September and compares with 605,000 head on feed during October, 1968. rhis phenomenal growth of the feedlot industry, however, has not been without its problems; problems which indicate a slowdown in expans1on of the Southwest cattle feeding industry in months ahead . "Tight. money~ 11 rising operating costs and declining profits are among the _factors that will influence this slowdown. · Members of the Texas Cattle Feeders Association feel, however, that "the slowdown would be beneficial in that it would ihave a stabilizing influence. 1 ulO . The explosive expan~ion of the inP.ustry has resulted in an increasingly competitive situation with r egard to resources required to operate a successful lot . Increasing labor, feed and other raw product costs are lessening the competiti.v e advantage of this r egion. However, 11 . . . the dynamic growth of the packing industry in the region and the increasing preference for Texas grain-fed beef throughout the markets of the nation will be of major importance in keeping cattle feeding a significant factor . in the total ecoiJ.omy of the Great Plains. ull Other problems have also developed in .connection with feedlots. Unplanned land use, unchecked air and water pollution, and overall lack of concern for the human environment have resulted in or will soon grow to be problems of a serious nature.

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Keywords

Architecture, Livestock, Texas Tech University

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