Source: UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA submitted to
FEED EFFICIENCY IN CATTLE
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
TERMINATED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0203867
Grant No.
2005-34502-15914
Project No.
FLA-QUN-04265
Proposal No.
2005-06067
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
UY
Project Start Date
Jul 1, 2005
Project End Date
Jun 30, 2007
Grant Year
2005
Project Director
Hansen, G. R.
Recipient Organization
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
BOX 100494, JHMHC
GAINESVILLE,FL 32610
Performing Department
NORTH FLA RESEARCH & EDUCATION CENTER, QUINCY
Non Technical Summary
Feed cost are the single largest cost for beef cattle producers usually determining whether or not beef cattle enterprises are profitable. Recent conerns with nutrient waste management as well as greenhouse gas emission have placed environmental stewardship on cattle producers to reduce both of these potenial pollutants. The purpose of this project is to begin research on exploiting feed efficiency in beef cattle that will enhance profitability and increase environmental sustainability. This project will allow for cattle producers to reduce feed cost in their herds while decreasing nutrient waste production and greenhouse gas emissions.
Animal Health Component
70%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
20%
Applied
70%
Developmental
10%
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
3013310102015%
3023310101010%
3033310108025%
3043399104010%
3063310102010%
3083310102010%
3113310109010%
3153310106010%
Goals / Objectives
The objective is to establish a research and education program with the goal of developing and delivering technologies to reduce consumption of feed and forage by improving feed efficiency in beef cattle. Futhermore, germplasm that will thrive in subtropical and tropical environments will be selected for using the technology provide by the feed efficieny facility. Improved feed efficiency will help agriculture enterprises remain and/or return to economic viability through reduced production costs while decreasing potential environment disruption through reduced animal nutrient waste production. This project will integrate animal, forage, and environmental sciences.
Project Methods
Compared to growth and more recently carcass traits, the underlying genetic variation that controls feed/forage utilization has remained unexploited in beef cattle selection programs. This is surprising since providing feed/forage to cattle is the single largest expense for most beef cattle production systems. Approximately 55 to 75% of the total costs associated with beef cattle production are feed costs (NRC, 2000; Arthur et.al, 2001; Basarab et al., 2002). A 5% decrease in feed efficiency could have on economic impact four times greater than a 5% improvement in average daily weight gain (Basarab et al., 2002). Thus efforts at improving the efficiency of feed/forage use will have a large impact on reducing input costs of beef production. For example, in Florida with approximately 1.83 million cattle on inventory, a 10% in feed/forage efficiency could reduce production costs by at least $36 million. An added benefit of improved feed/forage efficiency would be a decrease in the volume and nutrient composition of manure, and reduction of methane emissions, a greenhouse gas (Basarab et al., 2002). Little research has been done in the area of improving efficiency, primarily due to the fact of enormous costs associated with measuring individual animal feed forage consumption. Controlled measurements are needed from large, structural cattle herds to develop and deliver any technologies to improve efficiency.

Progress 07/01/05 to 06/30/07

Outputs
Feed efficiency research began on December 6, 2005 when 160 head of Brangus and Brangus cross cattle entered the facility The feed efficiency building structure (120' X 300') has been completed. Concrete work under the first third of the building as well as the center feed alley have been completed. Electrical and plumbing service has been installed in the building. The GrowSafe feeding system has been installed and is operational. Pens for the infrastructure under the building as well as working facilities with the necessary equipment to conduct research have been installed. Work has been completed on the feed commodity barn. Research papers are currently been written on the data that has been collected in the facility. Starting on May 31, 2006, was collected on 132 registered Angus bulls from private industry and currently 466 head of tropically adapted cattle from the University of Florida cow herds are in the feed efficiency facility. Research cattle have been and will continue to be produced through embryo transfer and artificial insemination at the North Florida Research and Education Center-Marianna (NFREC-Marianna) as well as on other cooperating research centers. The NFREC-Marianna currently has 200 recipient cows with approximately 150 cows committed to be donated to this research project from Florida cattle producers. Cooperating research centers have up to 400 head of cattle that will be used in the feed efficiency project.

Impacts
Feed efficiency research conducted at the NFREC-Marianna Feed Efficiency Facility will have a large impact on cattle production across the Southeastern United States as genetic selection in cattle adapted to this area will be the primary focus of the research. This research will result in tropically adapted cattle that are highly efficient reducing production cost for cattle producers while at the same time decreasing animal nutrient waste load as well as reducing methane gas emissions.

Publications

  • Hansen, G. R., G. E. Carstens and D. G. Riley. 2007. Relationship between residual feed intake, water intake and ultrasound body composition traits in Angus bulls. J. Anim. Sci. 85 (Suppl. 1).
  • Elzo, M. A., G. R. Hansen, J. G. Wasdin, J. D. Driver and D. G. Jones. 2007. Evaluation of post-weaning phenotypic residual feed intake in an Angus-Brahman multibreed herd of beef cattle. J. Anim. Sci. 85 (Suppl. 1).
  • Hansen, G. R. 2007. Feed Efficiency And Water Intake in Florida Beef Cattle. Proceedings 2007 Beef Cattle Field day, NFREC Marianna Extension Report 2007-1. Marianna, Florida. p.19-34.
  • Hansen, G. R., M. A. Elzo, D. G. Riley, S. W. Coleman & J. C. Paschal. 2007. Growth and Feed Efficiency: Utilization of Bos indicus Cattle in Florida Beef Enterprises. Proceeding 56th Annual Beef Cattle Short Course. Gainesville, Florida. 56:41-64.
  • Riley, D. G., G.R. Hansen, S.W. Coleman and C.C. Chase, Jr. 2007. Residual feed intake and temperament breed differences among Florida heifers. J. Anim. Sci. 85 (Suppl 1).
  • Riley, D. G., Hansen, G. R., Crockett, J. R., Olson, T. A., Chase, C. C. & Franke, D. E. 2005. Florida Crossbreeding Research. In: Symposium on Tropically Adapted Breeds. Regional Project S1013. ASAS Southern Section. Little Rock, AR, February 8, 2005. p. 14-23.
  • Hansen, G. R. 2005. Feed Efficiency in Beef Cattle. Proceedings 2005 Beef Cattle Field day, NFREC Marianna Extension Report 2005. Marianna, Florida. p.15-24.


Progress 07/01/05 to 06/30/06

Outputs
Feed efficiency research began on December 6, 2005 when 160 head of Brangus and Brangus cross cattle entered the facility. The data on these animals is currently being analyzed. Currently 130 Angus bulls are in the facility. This project will terminate on August 23, 2006. Approximately 400 to 450 head will enter the facility in September, 2006. The feed efficiency building structure (120 ft by 300 ft) has been completed. Electrical and plumbing service has been installed in the building. The GrowSafe feeding system has been installed and is operational. Pens for the infrastructure under the building as well as working facilities with the necessary equipment to conduct research have been installed. Work has been completed on the feed commodity barn. Research cattle have been and will continue to be produced through embryo transfer and artificial insemination at the North Florida Research and Education Center-Marianna (NFREC-Marianna) as well as on other cooperating research centers. The NFREC-Marianna currently has 200 recipient cows with approximately 150 cows committed to be donated to this research project from Florida cattle producers. Cooperating research centers have up to 400 head of cattle that will be used in the feed efficiency project.

Impacts
Feed efficiency research conducted at the NFREC-Marianna Feed Efficiency Facility will have a large impact on cattle production across the Southeastern United States as genetic selection in cattle adapted to this area will be the primary focus of the research. This research will result in tropically adapted cattle that are highly efficient reducing production cost for cattle producers while at the same time decreasing animal nutrient waste load as well as reducing methane gas emissions.

Publications

  • Hansen, G. R. 2005. Feed Efficiency in Beef Cattle. Proceedings 2005 Beef Cattle Field day, NFREC Marianna Extension Report 2005. Marianna, Florida. p.15-24.