Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version


Document Type

News Article


Farm and Ranch Management (October 3, 2020).

This article was first published by the Nebraska Cattleman.

Also available at:, posted November 2, 2020.

DOI: 10.32873/unl.dc.frm00029


Copyright 2020, the author. Used by permission.


First paragraph:

There has been a growing global trend towards automating data collection and using captured data to inform decision-making. This has spilled over into the beef complex where packers, feedlots, and cow-calf producers seek to leverage information on animal performance, health, and welfare. The technology to automate data collection, commonly advocated as a way to manage and identify cattle, diverges from the traditional means of identifying cattle through brands. This article reviews how common different animal identification practices are for feedlots and cow-calf producers in the United States and the public and private (dis)incentives for animal identification.