Beef Buzz News
Can Cattle Producers Continue to Pass On Crossbred Advantages?
Mon, 11 Jun 2012 16:19:45 CDT
Dr. Dave Lalman on crossbred efficiency vs. purebred quality.
At the recent Alltech International Symposium on the Future of Agriculture held in Lexington, Kentucky, Dr. Dave Lalman, professor of animal science at Oklahoma State University, gave a presentation on the metamorphosis undergone by beef cattle in the United States over the last century. He covered the spectrum from cattle frame size to crossbred vigor to the right amount of muscle for optimum efficiency.
In his presentation, Lalman focused on the question, "Are our cattle more efficient now than they have been in the past?"
In the second part of a four-part Beef Buzz series, Dr. Lalman, talks about how chasing higher carcass quality through purebred cattle may actually be losing producers dollars in lower efficiency.
He says the two states with the most beef cows, Texas and Oklahoma, are the two fastest growing Angus registration states in the nation.
He says carcass grade has undoubtedly improved because of this trend, but the trend may, in fact, cost more than any perceived gains.
Lalman says that since the 1960s the cattle industry has decided to pass on the efficiency of cross breeding. He says that's a decision the industry might want to revisit.
"Now, if you'll remember from your genetics class, the F1 female, on average according to the data, weans, over her lifetime, about 25 percent more weaning weight. Twenty-five percent more. From increased longevity and from increased reproductive efficiency. So, can we continue to pass on that tremendous advantage that crossbreeding brings?"
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