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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: REDUCING COST OF EFFICIENT BEEF PRODUCTION Title: Opitmizing a Beef Production System Using Specialized Sire and Dam Lines

Authors
item Tang, G -
item Stewart-Smith, J -
item Plastow, G -
item Moore, S -
item Basarab, J -
item Macneil, Michael
item Wang, Z -

Submitted to: Canadian Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 4, 2011
Publication Date: June 30, 2011
Citation: Tang, G., Stewart-Smith, J., Plastow, G., Moore, S., Basarab, J., MacNeil, M.D., Wang, Z. 2011. Opitmizing a Beef Production System Using Specialized Sire and Dam Lines. Canadian Journal of Animal Science. 91:353-361.

Interpretive Summary: Crossbreeding is known to be an effective method for improving efficiency of production in commercial cow-calf operations. This study 1) compared profitability of two alternative crossbreeding systems based on Beefbooster beef cattle breeding strains through computer simulation; and 2) updated relative economic values used in within strain selection to identify replacement breeding stock. System 1 uses a rotation cross between two specialized maternal lines (M1 and M4) with yearling heifers bred to a specialized sire line (M3) to facilitate ease of calving. System 2 is based on a three-strain rotation of specialized maternal strains (M1, M2 and M4) with yearling crossbred heifers again bred to M3, and mature cows bred to a classical terminal sire strain (TX). Simulated base profit from system 2 was $ 31.19 greater ($212.00 vs. $ 180.81yr*-1 per cow) than from system 1. Updating breeding objectives for the specialized maternal strains, while not markedly changing overall selection goals, appeared to have some merit. In contrast, old and new breeding objectives for the specialized paternal strains were remarkably similar. Consistently, economic importance of fitness traits (fertility and survival) was, in aggregate, greatest; followed by direct effects on weaning weight, and then other carcass and growth traits.

Technical Abstract: Crossbreeding is an effective method for improving efficiency of production in commercial cow-calf operations. It exploits available heterosis (hybrid vigor) and complementarity between different breeds or populations (lines). Before adopting a crossbreeding system, commercial cattle producers should evaluate available genetic resources and feasible crossbreeding systems and choose one that is most beneficial for their own environment, resources, and management. This study compared profitability of alternative crossbreeding systems based on Beefbooster beef cattle breeding strains through computer simulation. Biological and economic data were collected from commercial customers of Beefbooster in Montana and western Canada, and breeding records from the database of Beefbooster Inc. Three maternal strains (M1, M2 and M4) and two specialized paternal strains (M3 and TX), were evaluated with two simulated crossbreeding systems. System 1 uses a rotation cross between M1 and M4 with yearling crossbred heifers bred to M3 sires. System 2 is based on a three-strain rotation of M1, M2 and M4 with yearling crossbred heifers bred to M3 to facilitate ease of calving and crossbred cows bred to a classical terminal sire strain TX. Simulated base profit from system 2 was $ 31.19 greater ($212.00 vs. $ 180.81yr*-1 per cow) than from system 1. Updating breeding objectives for the specialized maternal strains, while not markedly changing overall selection goals, appeared to have some merit. In contrast, old and new breeding objectives for the specialized paternal strains were remarkably similar. Consistently, economic importance of fitness traits (fertility and survival) was, in aggregate, greatest; followed by direct effects on weaning weight, and then other carcass and growth traits.

Last Modified: 11/27/2014
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