Precise, timely research data with real value to the cattle feeding industry is the mission of the Research Feedlot at the University of Nebraska Panhandle Research and Extension Center north of Scottsbluff.
105 total pens: A $1-million-plus expansion and improvement project, dedicated in 2007, added 61 new pens, bringing the total to 105. For researchers, more pens means more replications of a particular treatment - ultimately more precise data. The new pens are uniform in size, shape, orientation, bunk space and availability, and slope. This eliminates pen variance and helps ensure precision. UNL's Panhandle Research Feedlot is the nation's largest research feedlot with capabilities for individual pen water intake measurements. This uniformity will provide greater precision.
State of the Art Cattle Handling: The cattle handling area includes a state-of-the-art squeeze chute and scale. The processing facilities use Individual Electronic Identification. Each animal has an electronic ear tag that is scanned directly to a database. The electronic scale weighs animals and a sophisticated computer system records the data. This way, performance data for each animal is tracked electronically. Researchers can monitor each animal's performance and, when necessary, trace back individual animals.
Still to come: Further improvements are planned at the research feedlot, including a machine to add micro-nutrients to the cattle rations, as well as additional grain bins.
Benefits to the industry: The feedlot has been designed and built to allow UNL specialists to carry out research that is as precise and accurate as possible, free from factors that could skew results, and always on the cutting edge of the cattle feeding industry. The goal is to make research conditions as similar as possible to commercial feedlot conditions, so UNL's results will be applicable and significant to the High Plains and Intermountain area.
Elevation 4320 ft (1317 m)
Avg. precipitation 16.5 in (419 mm)
Avg. temperature 48.2 F (9.0 C)
Administration and Staff:
Feedlot Management/Nutrition Specialist: Dr. Pablo Loza
Josh Buttle, Research Technician
Panhandle Research & Extension Center:
Director: Dr. John Westra
Address: 4502 Avenue I, Scottsbluff, NE 69361