Interest in grass-fed beef is increasing, but producers and consumers need to understand that there are constraints and other issues.
Demand for "grass-fed beef," beef from cattle exclusively grazed on pastures and ranges, often qualifying as natural or organic product, is rapidly increasing, and grass-fed beef makes up 3% of the U.S. beef market, according to Kenneth H. Mathews Jr. and Rachel J. Johnson at the USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS).
Consumers who prefer this kind of beef are willing to pay premium prices for it, and the market "survived the challenges of the last two years," Mathews and Johnson noted in a special article of a recent ERS, "Livestock, Dairy & Poultry Outlook," report.
Historically, U.S. beef production has been grass-oriented, with cattle grazed on pasture and rangeland that's not suitable for crops and other harvested forages, they said.
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