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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Management and Genetic Options for Production of Beef to Meet Consumer Demand

Authors
item Short, Robert
item Grings, Elaine
item Macneil, Michael

Submitted to: Bovine Connection Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: December 1, 1999
Publication Date: December 1, 1999
Citation: SHORT, R., GRINGS, E.E., MACNEIL, M.D. MANAGEMENT AND GENETIC OPTIONS FOR PRODUCTION OF BEEF TO MEET CONSUMER DEMAND. BOVINE CONNECTION PROCEEDINGS. 1999. p. 42-49.

Interpretive Summary: Each beef production system (ranch, group of ranches, feedlot, etc.) must define the product and market their system is targeting. Without this focus, it is difficult to manage the system to optimize production and maximize profit. This focus starts first and foremost with the breeding and management decisions made by the cow/calf producer and continues all the way through the system to the marketing of high quality beef products to consumers. In the two experiments reported here, we have illustrated how genetic and management decisions can dramatically alter the final product and the effects these decisions have on all aspects of the production system. These experiments do not cover all possibilities but are intended as an example of how breeding and management decisions can be used to accomplish the production objectives of a beef production system where changing fat composition is one of the objectives. Amount of fat in the final product can be easily reduced through breeding and management, but a decision to go in that direction must be accompanied by a management and marketing plan that will maintain profitability. The main problem with lowering fat is that the current USDA quality grading system and the marketing system utilizing that grading system places a premium on increased fat (although there is a premium for lower fat through yield grade). In general, as carcass fat decreases, so does marbling and USDA quality grade. Systems that decrease fat must either be sufficiently efficient to overcome that obstacle or must capture markets that are not dependent on USDA quality grades.

Technical Abstract: Each beef production system (ranch, group of ranches, feedlot, etc.) must define the product and market their system is targeting. Without this focus, it is difficult to manage the system to optimize production and maximize profit. This focus starts first and foremost with the breeding and management decisions made by the cow/calf producer and continues all the way through the system to the marketing of high quality beef products to consumers. In the two experiments reported here, we have illustrated how genetic and management decisions can dramatically alter the final product and the effects these decisions have on all aspects of the production system. These experiments do not cover all possibilities but are intended as an example of how breeding and management decisions can be used to accomplish the production objectives of a beef production system where changing fat composition is one of the objectives. Amount of fat in the final product can be easily reduced through breeding and management, but a decision to go in that direction must be accompanied by a management and marketing plan that will maintain profitability. The main problem with lowering fat is that the current USDA quality grading system and the marketing system utilizing that grading system places a premium on increased fat (although there is a premium for lower fat through yield grade). In general, as carcass fat decreases, so does marbling and USDA quality grade. Systems that decrease fat must either be sufficiently efficient to overcome that obstacle or must capture markets that are not dependent on USDA quality grades.

Last Modified: 4/18/2014
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