Making More With Less - Beef Geneticist Jerry Taylor Discusses the Importance of Feed Efficiency ResearchMon, 04 Jul 2016 22:53:32 CDT
Feed efficiency is an important factor in the profitability and sustainability of the beef cattle industry, and Dr. Jerry Taylor, professor of genetics and animal sciences at the University of Missouri, is leading a project that looks at producing more beef with fewer feed inputs.
The National Program for Genetic Improvement of Feed Efficiency in Beef Cattle is funded by the USDA and looks at genetic improvement, nutritional manipulation of the diet and metagenomics in cattle. Metagenomics specifically looks at the efficiencies and inefficiencies of the different microbes in an animal’s rumen.
Taylor, who grew up in Australia, says his country began working on similar research and found there was significant value in even small decreases in feed intake. He says that kind of efficiency could have a big impact on the U.S. cattle feeding industry.
“Of course for the U.S., where at the time we were looking at over 30 million feedlot cattle, you look at making 1 to 2 percent changes in the intake of cattle to get them to the same essential endpoint, and it has a phenomenal economic value,” he says.
Taylor says his team’s research is also looking at the relationship between increased feed efficiency and decreased greenhouse gas emissions in cattle.
“There was less output from these animals and so less impact on global warming and the environment,” he says. “So from everywhere you want to look at feed efficiency, it’s important.
“It’s important to the cost of production, the profitability of producers and it’s also important to us as a community because of the impact on greenhouse gases on the environment.”
Visit the program's website by clicking here to learn more about the National Program for Genetic Improvement of Feed Efficiency.
Listen to Taylor talk more about his team’s research on feed efficiency during the latest Beef Buzz.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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