Expanding their herd — and their bottom line.
In 2008, after receiving approval to increase production numbers, Max and Jeanette McLean, owners of McLean Beef, began conducting research to help guide an efficient, environmentally friendly expansion. They spent two years touring feedlot operations, analyzing data, and formulating plans.
The culmination of their efforts — two 80 ft. by 400 ft. Accu-Steel Crossover buildings — now house the more than 1,600 head of steers and heifers the McLeans prepare for market on a 150-day continuous cycle.
“Our main objective in adding confinement facilities to our operation was to make the most efficient use of land and resources while continuing to protect our environment,” Max McLean said.
The buildings feature cement floors with deep bedding packs that create a cleaner, drier environment and easier-to-control dust and runoff. Each structure also includes a narrow air opening at the peak of the roof that enhances ventilation, allowing cattle to stay drier and bedding to last longer. The sturdy cover filters natural light to the herd, while also providing protection from harsh outdoor elements.
“Because our herd will no longer be exposed to brutal weather, we anticipate an improved feed conversion rate of at least a half-pound per day,” McLean said. “With 1,600 head, that means significant cost savings in feed alone, not to mention enhanced animal health, less stress and no environmental concerns. The initial cost of installing the buildings is already being offset by healthier cattle, better manure, and more consistent weight gain.”
Selecting the right building to improve quality.
Cooperative Elevator Company (FAC) is the largest member-owned feed mill in Western Iowa, located in Arcadia, Iowa.
FAC provides many services to the farming community, the largest of which is feed storage.
With technological advancements increasing annual yields, and traditional storage methods jeopardizing feed quality, FAC turned to fabric-covered buildings solutions. They needed to build a storage facility on an existing concrete foundation in 2002, so they chose an Accu-Steel Pro-Advantage Fabric Covered Building.
Darrell Henkenius, the operations manager for FAC, says, “Accu-Steel created a custom design to fit our existing pad, with a low profile at an affordable cost.” Since then, the company has invested in two more Pro-Advantage buildings for their operations.
Unlike the steel bins or concrete elevators most feed mills use to store their grain, Accu-Steel buildings can be used for a variety of applications year-round. “Knowing this building would be more useful to us throughout the year was a big selling point,” explains Henkenius. “Once we get the grain out of it, we store motor equipment, lumber and steel to keep them dry and out of the elements.”
Flexible and durable, Accu-Steel products allow FAC to store grain longer without compromising quality. Says Henkenius, “Even in the summer we don’t have grain that’s getting wet or hot.”