CULIACAN, Mexico – Sukarne, a leading beef exporter based in Mexico, expects its cattle-on-feed numbers to reach 515,000 head of cattle, nearly double the 292,000 head of cattle the company tallied in 2010. In an effort to lessen the environmental impact of so many animals, the company plans to convert manure into compost and sell the product to other agricultural operations.

“Obviously, every company wants to be financially successful,” said Jesus Vizcarra Calderon, president of Sukarne. “Recycling the manure into fertilizer has a cost benefit, but the benefit to the environment is equally important.”

Sukarne built four processing plants to convert manure into compost. The company said it sells about 250,000 tons of fertilizer annually, and expects to sell more in 2014 thanks to a larger cattle herd. Some of the fertilizer is sold to farmers who grow grain for Sukarne's cattle. The company also produces 1.4 million tons of feed for its cattle. Additionally, three company owned rendering plants process bones, fat and blood from Sukarne's processing plants, according to Jorge Siller, vice president of sustainability for Sukarne.