Cattle farming in the USA is big business. But it is also a pretty competitive environment to do well in, even with the help of state and federal subsidies. Not only are commercial farmers competing alongside one another, sometimes even as next door neighbors, they also have to put their prime beef up for sale in countries such as Argentina long famous for producing the best beef in the world. What also helps, and perhaps this is where many American farmers are gaining in advantage, their European counterparts will not be too far behind in some cases, is the keen embracement of modern technologies.
The days of ranging on horseback are fast disappearing. Today, robust trucks with the ability to negotiate uneven terrains over long distances are making mince meat of the cattle ranging business. Herding cattle inwards in preparation for towing to the slaughterhouses, still takes some doing, but this work has become more streamlined and is efficiently handled with the use of automatic cattle gates. Through this medium, the costs of unnecessary labor have been cut by more than half.
The cattle driver is able to power the automatic gates directly from the driving seat of his truck. Yes, in certain instances, direct monitoring will still be required, but the work has been sliced in half. Headcounts are accounted for and cattle are herded in a lot quicker. This is important, given the competitive environment mentioned earlier. Cattle farming is still a seasonal business to all intents and purposes but in order to be able to meet a global demand for beef, the US farmers have to be on their heels to cater for this demand all year round.
Unless, of course, they choose to be left behind.