Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version


Document Type



Dennis, E. “The Changing Cost of Cattle Transportation.” CAP Series 23-0601, Center for Agricultural Profitability, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, June 5, 2023. DOI: 10.32873/unl.dc.cap004.


Diesel is one of the primary inputs in the transportation of goods throughout the United States. Livestock hauling is no exception. Feeder cattle are generally transported long distances in the fall as they move from summer grazing to placement in backgrounding operations or directly into feedlots. Cattle, and other livestock in general, can handle transportation stress fairly well – to a point. Trucking feeder cattle long distances can impact animal health outcomes, and improper animal handling can lead to bruised or injured cattle. These negative impacts can generally be offset by appropriate stocking densities, proper trailer ventilation, correct animal handling techniques during loading and unloading, and truck and trailer sanitation.