Date of this Version
Farm and Ranch Management (October 3, 2020).
This article was first published by the Nebraska Cattleman.
Also available at: https://farm.unl.edu/public-and-private-disincentives-animal-identification, posted November 2, 2020.
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.