Size and location factors affecting California’s beef slaughtering plants
AuthorsS. H. Logan
G. A. King
Authors AffiliationsS. H. Logan was Assistant Professor of Agricultural Economics and Assistant Agricultural Economist in the Experiment Station and on the Giannini Foundation, Davis; G. A. King was Associate Professor of Agricultural Economics and Associate Agricultural Economist in the Experiment Station and on the Giannini Foundation, Davis.
Hilgardia 36(4):139-188. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v36n04p139. December 1964.
Abstract does not appear. First page follows.
California ranks second among the states in number of cattle slaughtered. In 1962, California registered a total cattle slaughter of 2,565,000 head, as against Iowa’s 2,907,000 (U. S. Dept. of Agr., 1963).2
The number of slaughtering plants in California has declined over recent years; on March 1, 1960, there were 118 commercial slaughter plants in the state, but there were 131 in 1955. Despite the over-all decrease, the number of establishments slaughtering only cattle and calves increased from 22 to 26 during the same time period. Diversified plants slaughtering cattle, in addition to other species such as hogs or sheep, dropped from 109 to 91 (D. S. Agr. Mktg. Serv., 1960).
California has been a “deficit” state with regard to shipment of cattle and calves for some time. Total inshipments of cattle and calves in 1960 amounted to 1,885,000 head, of which 450,000 were for immediate slaughter. Some 56.2 per cent of the inshipments of slaughter cattle originated in Arizona, with the rest generally scattered among other western and Great Plains states. Texas is the largest single shipper of stocker and feeder cattle to California, with 496,000 head of the total 1,435,000 shipped in 1960 (Calif. Crop and Lvstk. Rptg. Serv., 1961).
The growth of specialized cattle slaughtering while over-all number of plants has decreased, plus the strong dependence on inshipments of live animals, makes the problems of optimum size and optimum location of slaughter plants particularly relevant to California. At present, the size and location of cattle slaughtering plants is highly varied. Daily kill rates vary from less than 25 to 450 head.
Approximately 50 per cent of the state’s slaughter is centered in the Vernon area of Los Angeles County, but plants are scattered throughout the state. The present location pattern reflects decisions made over many years, and reasons for particular plant locations may no longer be valid. For example, plants were located near terminal markets receiving animal inshipments by rail. The increased use of truck transportation for live animals and for meat has contributed to the decline of central markets in California and elsewhere. Another change is the growth of concentrated feedlot areas. Thus, decisions as to new plant location would now
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