Beef Buzz News
Donnell Brown Proclaims Efficiency the Next Great Frontier, Genomic Enhancement will Get Us ThereThu, 06 Jun 2019 09:52:44 CDT
Donnell Brown and his wife operate the seedstock end of the RA Brown Ranch out of Throckmorton, Texas. According to Brown, this is an exciting time to be in the business given the advancements in genomics over the years. In a recent interview with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays, he shared what he is most excited about when it comes to the application of new technology and improved genomic traits.
“The DNA technology we have is remarkable. We can know more about a young breeding heifer before we ever breed her the first time. We can know as much about her as if she had produced up to 20 calves for most traits,” Brown said. “With that, we can more specifically target and produce those ideal animals. That includes traits like calving ease, growth, carcass merit, reproductive traits and efficiency - and efficiency, I believe, is the next great frontier.”
As technology and genomics continues to advance and promote increase efficiency in cattle, Brown says we will be able to productively use limited resources to feed an ever-growing population. He breaks down his idea of efficiency as essentially, doing more with less natural resources. This includes reproductive efficiency to harness the benefits of hybrid vigor and feed efficiency to grow cattle in a more cost-effective way that reduces the amount of resources being used without compromising quality or productivity. This all funnels back to that idea of continuous improvement to our industry’s level of sustainability.
“We’ve got to be more efficient at producing and utilizing the food that we raise because we’ve got to feed a growing global population with fewer resources. With 70 percent of the rangeland being non-tillable farmland, cattle can be used to graze that land,” he said. “And, feed efficiency is more heritable than weaning weight, which means we can make faster progress improving this trait than others.”
Listen to Hays’ full conversation with Brown as they discuss the advancements in genomic technology and how they can be applied to promote increase efficiency and sustainability in the beef industry, on today’s Beef Buzz.
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