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TheBeefSite Newsletter - 25 January 2012

TheBeefSite Weekly Newsletter
Wednesday 25th January 2012
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Welcome to this week's newsletter

Editorial: Increasing Genetic Improvement in Beef Herds

It is well known that the beef industry is far behind its competitors, pork and poultry, when it comes to genetic improvement. But why is this the case?

Speaking yesterday at the British Cattle Breeders Conference (BCBC), Dr Maurice Bichard, from the University of Reading, looked at why progress in genetic improvement is slower in beef cattle and suggested how selection could become more effective.

Genetic improvement changes performance. There are three ways to achieve this:

  • Breed replacement
  • Breed combination (crosses)
  • Within-breed selection

Crossbreeding in commercial herds does play a huge part in today's beef industry and all industries have benefitted from breed replacement.

Breed replacement and crossing can give rapid and sometimes spectacular gains. But, Dr Bichard said, the only method of creating continuous cumulative improvement is recurrent selection within-breed or line.

He highlighted the fact that there had been few successful efforts to develop models for within-breed improvement in beef cattle.

A number of reasons for this include low female reproductivity rates, long generation intervals, and large, often valuable animals, explained Dr Bichard.

Rearing environments vary greatly and inputs/ outputs are hard to measures as the rearing environment is nowhere near as controlled as of that in poultry and pig production.

As well as this there is still a lot of reluctance in the industry to record detailed performance from commercial herds.

Dr Bichard said that the beef industry lacks the organisational structures needed to fully exploit both the old breeding tools, and the new DNA genomic additions.

He believes that a solution to this is a beef chain approach. By incorporating a supply chain, quality can be improved whilst resource use and environmental impacts can be reduced.

A beef chain approach would ensure consistent carcase and eating quality, as well as potentially lead to faster growth rates etc.

It would also have the potential to coordinate the collection of data through from farms, abattoirs, processing plants to retail shops and help redefine selection goals, carcase data and calculate chain-specific breeding indexes.

Concluding, Dr Bichard said that while some parts of this model are being tried or planned, there is still a lot more work to do for the beef industry to catch up with other species.

Charlotte Johnston

* This Week's Feature Articles

We have 4 new features this week:

Continued Strength for Cattle Prices in 2012
2012 will be another year of record high cattle and beef prices with diverging impacts for various segments of the industry. Again, Brazil is the only country expected to increase beef production, reports Rabobank in their Beef Quarterly.
Pasture and Grazing Management Under Drought Conditions
Drought is a fact of life in the Southeast, whether it occurs once every five years or for five consecutive years. While little can be done during drought conditions to increase forage pasture growth in the short term, careful management could minimize long-term stand loss and help maintain forage yields until the drought ends, writes Dr Rocky Lemus, Assistant Extension/Research Professor, Plant and Soil Sciences and Dr Daniel Rivera, Assistant Research/Extension Professor, South Mississippi Experiment Station.
What do Feedyards Want?
Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator at the University of Ohio shares information from the Cattleman's Roundup meeting and Five Rivers Feeding.
Scientists Rally 'Round the Range
Rangelands in the western United States provide essential grazingland for hundreds of thousands of cattle and other livestock as well as a home for a vast array of native plants and animals. With this in mind Agricultural Research Service scientists across the West are collaborating to make sure the money used to sustain and repair these arid ecosystems is spent on programmes that work.
Animax Veterinary Health
* Global Beef Cattle Industry News

   Korea, South

 » FMD NEWS: Company to Offer FMD Prevention Service
 » Retailers Make Huge Profits From Beef Sales
 » Minister Urges Greater Efforts to Boost Farm Exports
 » S.Korea Company to Offer FMD Prevention Service


 » Live Cattle Exports Down 20 Per Cent
 » Beef and Veal Production Surges in November
 » Weekly Australian Cattle Summary
 » Hesitant Start to 2012 from Korean Buyers
 » Hyssop Lossestrife a Continued Risk to Stock
 » Favourable Outlook for Australian Cattle Industry
 » Improving Welfare of Exported Animals
 » Australian Beef Exports to Russia Down in 2011

Cow Signals Training Books

 » Japanese Domestic Beef Stocks Rise in November

   United States

 » Electric Shock Treatment for E. coli
 » Decisions Associated with Booming Calf Markets
 » CME: 2012 Beef Production Forecast Lower Than 2011
 » Broadening Feedstocks Eligible For RFS
 » Hay Disappearance Up in 2011/12
 » NFU Urges EPA to Use Existing Data for CAFOs
 » CME: Cattle on Feed Expected to be 3.3% up on 2011
 » Cattle on Feed - No Major Surprises
 » Seeding Strategies Aid Rangeland Fire Recovery
 » UNL Awarded Grant for E. coli Research
 » CME: Concern over Beef Supplies this Summer
 » Corn Price Swings to Continue?
 » NCBA: Egg Mandate means Government Interference
 » CME: Price-Quantity Relationship shows Export Impact
 » Weekly Roberts Market Report

Pfizer Animal Health

 » Beef Prices Increase As Shortages Continue
 » Irish Agriculture Set To Continue Growth

   European Union

 » Animal Protein Feed For Fish Only, Says FEFAC
 » Does the Animal Welfare Strategy go Far Enough?
 » EC Considers Lactic Acid Carcase Treatments
 » CAP Celebrates 50th Birthday
 » Measures to Manage Markets Needs Strengthening
 » Launch of 50th Anniversary of CAP Campaign
 » Reforms & Health on Agenda at Ag Council Meeting

   United Kingdom

 » Badger Cull Locations Confirmed
 » Threat from Cheap Imports Falling
 » Farmers Lack Confidence In Badger Vaccination
 » Schmallenberg Virus Confirmed in UK
 » LMC: Beef Under Pressure but Spending Holding
 » Streptococcus Pluranimalium Causes Abortion

Genus - Value through science and genomics

 » Positive Outlook for Beef in 2012
 » Lactic Acid Carcase Treatment will Ease Trade Concerns
 » Drought and Floods Hitting Agricultural Production
 » S. Korea gives Canadian Beef Final Stamp of Approval


 » Official Programme to Combat Bluetongue in Spain


 » 2011 Brazilian Beef Exports Down 10 Per Cent


 » IIlegal Movement Causes FMD in Caprivi


 » US Beef Imports Increase from Mexico


 » Seven Bluetongue Cases in Greece


 » FMD Breaks Out in Feeder Pigs


 » OIE: New Schmallenberg Virus Outbreak in Belgium


 » Canadian Live Cattle Access to Philippine's Market

That's all for this week!

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