In many countries, raising cattle has always been an often practiced business. This was possible due to climatic conditions, but also due to a very high demand of beef on the international market. In Romania, the cattle breeding is a traditional activity that is practiced mostly in villages, in hills and mountain areas. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, due to the relatively low feeding cost and energy consumption that this occupation entails, we are talking about a business that is and will always be a sustainable and profitable one. It is also true that the introduction of meat breeds is necessary because their growth is more profitable than that of cows for milk.
Currently, the farmers have reached an agreement to use a large area of ??pastures and alpine meadows. According to the data, in Romania, their total area is of about five million hectares, of which just over two million are in the mountains, the rest being at hill and plain. According to the information from the Ministry of Agriculture, in the country, the cattle for meat are not very popular, a currently they are only a few tens of thousands of specimens, compared to those of milk, which are around 2.5 million.
However, the necessary costs for raising the first category of cattle are much lower than the cost necessary for those from the second category. First, there is no need to build stables for the cows that have given birth, as they can be kept on pasture all over the year, regardless of season. However, it is advisable to keep them in stables when the cows have to give birth. Then one must take into consideration that grazing is excellently controlled in Romania. The cows are moved from one plot to another when vegetation is less than ten cm tall. Usually, in cold seasons this happens every two weeks. During summer, the moving occurs more often, even every day. The basic food for meat cattle is green food – an element that represents over 90% of all existing cattle in the country. Currently, the most widely grown cows in Romania are the Limousins, the Blue, the Blanche and the Caharolaise.
What are the strengths of cattle raising in Romania?
First, the areas of ??pastures and hayfields of almost five million hectares represent a big plus for the farmers who want to grow cattle. Then, the ability to raise and exploit the cattle, but also the grains production capacity for young cattle is very high. Last but not least, in the villages there are a significant number of people who can practice this occupation. Also, if we talk about the experts in the field, who can control the reproduction and the growth of normal specimens of cattle, Romania has a plus.
As in most businesses, in this case there also are some weaknesses. Undoubtedly the biggest minus refers to the massive reduction of meat production. Then, there is not a good enough sector for planning meat production and the consumption is also reduced. One should not overlook the fact that there is no well made system of slaughterhouses and supply. For these reasons, Romanian farmers prefer to export the meat, as they have the chance to sell more merchandise. At present, the Ministry of Agriculture is trying to implement a plan which aims to help raising the herds of beef cattle. The main method used is the genetic improvement of animals through conducted breeding, especially making artificial inseminations.
If you are thinking to start a farm, then you should think very well what kind of breed you want to grow. It is also advisable to make several visits to other farms, where you will learn all the things you need to do. After that, you will need to get a shelter for winter and the land on which you will feed the cattle (including pasture). Last but not least, you need a significant amount of food and, of course, animals. In what concerns the last aspect, the one of purchasing the animals, you should know that young cattle cost less, but you will not get quick profit with their growth. On the other hand, adult cows cost more, but profit will come almost immediately. If you want to buy animals from abroad, you need to get permission for mandatory vaccines release, which costs about a few tens of Euros per cow. Also, the transportation of cows in trucks is very expensive and can reach up to thousands of Euros, if the distance is large and the number of animals is high. The aspect of ensuring the cattle during transportation should not be forgiven. Usually this is done by a specialized company.