1. Meat industry: USA
  2. Shifting locations of Meat biz.
  3. Pig rearing
    1. Near market
    2. away from Market
  4. Poultry: India
    1. Factor: infertile land
    2. Factor: Contract farming

Meat industry: USA

Chicago=known for its beef industry.

Often, Animal is reared in three different regions during its lifetime

Observe the following map:

map-meat industry USA

stage Where? location from market(Chicago slaughter houses)
  1. breeding
ranches in Wyoming, Colorado farthest
  1. initial growth
Nebraska, Missouri medium
  1. fattening
  • Iowa or Illinois (corn belt)
  • final 90 day fattening program before slaughter

So, why this peculiar distribution/pattern?

place factor impact
  1. Wyoming, Colorado
not good for agro because of its soil, topography and climate Ranching is the most economic use of land for the farmer. (recall the wool article, why Australians rear sheep)
  1. Nebraska, Missouri
part of US corn belt corn=cheap and used for fattening animal before slaughter.+use of genetic engineering, veterinary science to make the animal gained weight faster
  1. Chicago
port city, urban area, railroad infra. finds market all the way to New York, Canada Europe.

Similar pattern is found in Western Europe where sheep are bred  on rough pastures upland then transferred to lowland farms for fattening before being slaughtered near cities.

Shifting locations of US Meat business

  • from the map, we’ve seen that in beef industry, raw material moves from West (Colorado ranches) towards East (Chicago’s slaughterhouses)
  • But now, the slaughtering business is moved westwards, towards the farms in corn belt. Why?
Moving towards the corn belt
Factor impact
  1. Weight Loss
  1. When Bones, skins etc removed=weightloss upto 25%.
  2. less weight=less transport cost
  1. Transport
  1. live cattle is much more difficult and bulky to transport
  2. Today refrigerated transport facilities more developed. There is no need to transport a live animal all the way to Chicago.
  1. Quality
  1. Nearest to cattle-farm= uniformity of the finished product=better prices (Because specific breed of cattle available)

Pig rearing

Done both near market and away from market. Reasons are following:

  1. Pigs can live in variety of climates from monsoon Asia to temperate regions of Northern and Southern continents.
  2. Can survive on anything: kitchen and farm waste, roots, leaves and rice bran
  3. Can be kept indoors or outdoors. Don’t need large grazing area.
  4. They breed easily and multiply rapidly [compared to sheep/buffalos etc.]
  5. They mature quickly for slaughtering.

Pig rearing: Near market

Example: Pigs reared near and inside every city of China. Why?

Factors affecting Pig rearing?
Raw material Near city areas, pasture land is scare.But pigs can be kept indoor, don’t need large grazing area and can be fed anything.
Demand There is no religious restrictions on pork eating= Chinese cities have large demand.

Pig rearing: away from Market

  • Example: New Zealand, Denmark, corn/dairy belt of US are also leading producer of pork/bacon. Why?
  • Piggery is an important activity in almost all countries where dairy farming is developed because the skimmed milk is available as pig feed.
  • When milk==>butter + skimmed milk.
  • Pigs can survive on skimmed milk.
  • In Corn belt of USA, on abundant fodder supplies, cereal and soya bean. Pigs are raised here and sent to slaughter houses of Chicago.

Poultry: India

Both near & away from market
away from market Chicken reared in village because eggs=cheap source of protein for poor families. Example WB, Assam, Odisha….Almost everywhere.
near market Poultry farms exist near almost every big city: Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi etc. to meet the urban demand (+ eggs being a fragile product and meat being a perishable product)

let’s look @USA , they’re leading country in chicken production, yet most their poultry farming is done far away from cities/market areas. Why?

Factor: bogus agro-land

The Poultry industry can work in remote areas better than animal farming activities because it takes less feed to produce one pound of meat.

1 pound of ___ meat Pounds of ___ cornfeed required
chicken 2
pig 4
cattle 8-10
  • Poultry farmers can take advantage of cheaper, rougher and more isolated land, because soil quality =irrelevant for rearing chicken/turkey.
  • Therefore large scale poultry farming done in the less fertile, less irrigated areas of Arkansas, Virginia etc.

Factor: Contract farming

  • USA = booming fast-food industry (KFC, McDonalds etc)= high demand for broiler chicken throughout the year= has led to contract farming.
  • Major food corporates lineup the farmers and sign contracts. They provide standard equipment, feeding material to farmers (so that final meat product is ‘uniform’ in taste and softness).
  • Economies of scale =lower production cost= offsets the high transportation costs in running poultry business away from urban areas.
  • Hence commercial poultry is done away from the urban market areas.

In the Next article, we’ll see the geographical Factors affecting the location of Vegetables, fruits, wine and viticulture industry across the world.