Start Date

23-2-2008 12:00 AM

Description

Profit from cattle enterprises is influenced by the value of sale animals, less the costs of their production. Ever-changing production and economic circumstances provide both threats and opportunities to cow-calf producers, bull breeders and feedlotters. Feeding strategies and other aspects of management typically require continuous between- and within-year modification in order to optimize margins. Responses to such management changes typically occur immediately. In contrast, genetic improvement is a long-term exercise with within-breed changes from selection seldom exceeding 1-2% per year. During favorable periods in the cow-calf economy, producers may feel that there is little need for genetic improvement. Then, during economic downturns, producers may feel they can’t afford to invest in genetic improvement. Both these behaviors lead to suboptimal rates of genetic improvement.

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Feb 23rd, 12:00 AM

Recent Developments in Beef Cattle Improvement

Profit from cattle enterprises is influenced by the value of sale animals, less the costs of their production. Ever-changing production and economic circumstances provide both threats and opportunities to cow-calf producers, bull breeders and feedlotters. Feeding strategies and other aspects of management typically require continuous between- and within-year modification in order to optimize margins. Responses to such management changes typically occur immediately. In contrast, genetic improvement is a long-term exercise with within-breed changes from selection seldom exceeding 1-2% per year. During favorable periods in the cow-calf economy, producers may feel that there is little need for genetic improvement. Then, during economic downturns, producers may feel they can’t afford to invest in genetic improvement. Both these behaviors lead to suboptimal rates of genetic improvement.