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TheBeefSite Newsletter - 12 February 2014

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Wednesday 7th May 2014.
Michael Priestley - Editor

Michael Priestley

MSD Animal Health

Novus International

Tapping into the Benefits of Net Feed Efficiency 

Net feed efficiency identifies steers that can save over £100 at finishing compared to less efficient animals, a Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) study has found.

By benchmarking cattle for a given level of performance, Net Feed Efficiency (NFE) is allowing researchers on a northern England study farm to identify cattle calculated to save £28 (at present feed prices) over a 12 week period.

Savings come from steers eating less. The study showed that steers with good NFE ate 15 per cent less feed and had 16 per cent better Feed Conversion Ratio.

For SAC Beef and Sheep expert and study leader Dr Jimmy Hyslop this means ‘substantial’ savings.

Speaking at the British Society of Animal Science Annual Meeting last week, he told TheBeefSite that cattle with the best NFE ratings have the lowest NFE figures.

“Net feed efficiency is expressed in kilograms of dry matter intake per day,” said Dr Hyslop. “Animals that eat less for the same level of performance cost less to feed and therefore make more money.”

“Farmers should want animals that perform the same overall for less feed and for this reason it is negative values NFE farmers should want – it’s similar to calving ease values in that regard.”

With a heritability rate of 35-40 per cent, the next step is to incorporate NFE within Estimated Breeding Values so effects can be felt at herd level.

Ultimately, the goal is to arrive at a more efficient herd of breeding cows, as well as a feedlot which maximises rations.

Dr Hyslop told TheBeefSite that, as a biological measure, NFE is beginning to grow in popularity and application around the world.

“The original paper on NFE was back in 1963 but it is only in the last ten to 15 years that the global cattle industry has been applying it,” said Dr Hyslop.

“Here in the UK, it has started to get attention over the last three or so years.”

He added that, while some farmers find NFE difficult to understand, dry matter intake per day and pounds saved per head is easy to grasp.

“This is not about the academic side,” concluded Dr Hyslop. “What counts is the money and the money is substantial.”


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This Week's Articles and Analysis

Brazilian Policy Could Cut Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Brazil may be able to curb up to 26 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation by encouraging the intensification of its cattle production, according to a new study from researchers at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and international collaborators.

How to Prepare Your Bull From 'Storage' to an Athlete at Breeding
Ahead of bulling, look to ease sires into pasture grazing with at least a week on grass, is the advice of Ohio State University specialist, Dr Stephen Boyles.

Lameness in Cattle Part One: Causes Associated with Infections
Classifying cattle lameness can be done along two lines; lameness through bacterial infection and lameness through injury, explains South Dakota State University Associate Professor, Russ Daly.

How Did Cattle Prices Get So High?
Last year cattle averaged $126. This year, analysts are forecasting a record average of $142. Chris Hurt, agricultural economist at Purdue University examines what happened to beef, where the markets are at and where the markets are heading.

Market Reports

USDA Agricultural Prices - 30 April 2014

Global Beef Industry News

   United Kingdom

Feed Adviser Register Goes from Strength to Strength
Livestock Event to Promote Export Opportunities
Campaign to Curb Dog Fouling on Agricultural Land
Focusing on Feed at Cereals 2014
High-yielding Forage Rape Ideal for boosting Grazing Options
Petition Launched to end Non-stun Slaughter


Call for Speedy Implementation of Canada-S Korea Trade Agreement
Maple Leaf Hit by Effects of PEDv


Bluetongue Virus Returns to Southern Italy


Further Lift in Wagyu Registrations
Cattle Prices Lift From Wednesday as Dubbo Prices Drop, Friday
Australian Authorities Clamp Down on Welfare Breaches in Live Exports

   United States

National Climate Assessment Confirms Farmers Fears
Cattle Futures: Bulls Looking to Secure Prices of $140, Tuesday
Cattle Outlook: Could Herd Expansion Be Taking Shape?
World Ag Supply, Demand Estimates Report to Incorporate One Change
Cattle Futures: August Feeders Jump the $3 Limit, Thursday
Farmers Union President Discusses COOL, Competition and RFS at House Livestock Hearing
Chipotle Steak Price Increase Down to Drought
Cattle Futures: Notable Difference Between Live and Feeder Cattle, Wednesday
CME: Dramatic Shortfalls in Red Meat, Poultry Production
Wyckoff's Closing Cattle Report: Live Cattle Closed Higher

   New Zealand

Farmers Relieved at Nitrogen Funding Confirmation
NZ Sheep and Beef Farm Profits to Increase


Trade Mission Opens Doors for US Agriculture in Northeast China
International Grains Council Offers Five-year Global Supply, Demand Projections
Can We Feed the World Using Foley's Five Steps?
Farmers Must Drive Precision Livestock Farming
Tsetse Fly Genome Breakthrough Brings Hope for African Livestock Farmers
Animal Welfare to Take Centre Stage on World Veterinary Day


US Beef Imports to Japan Up


India Pegs $9.20 billion Investment on Agri-Infra Schemes


Germany Adjusts to New Animal Health Regulations

   Czech Republic

Czech Livestock Output Falls in First Quarter


Illegal Cattle Movements End Tunisia's Foot and Mouth Free Run


Mongolian Foot and Mouth Disease Spreads South


Norway and Tanzania Unite in Cattle Project


The Drost Project - A Visual Guide to Porcine, Pig Reproduction.
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