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ARS Home » Plains Area » El Reno, Oklahoma » Oklahoma and Central Plains Agricultural Research Center » Livestock, Forage and Pasture Management Research Unit » Research » Research Project #438143

Research Project: Concentrate Finishing of Beef Cattle Due to a Lack of Grazinglands Research Laboratory Cattle Finishing Infrastructure

Location: Livestock, Forage and Pasture Management Research Unit

Project Number: 3070-31630-008-004-A
Project Type: Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Apr 24, 2020
End Date: Apr 23, 2023

The Grazinglands Research Laboratory, Forage and Livestock Production Research Unit is currently a participant in a National Beef Grand Challenge (BGC), which is a multi-location national project. This team research effort provides genetic and management knowledge and tools to optimize Genetic X Environment X Management X Product (GxExMxP) interactions. The GRL's responsibility involves a stockering phase, where calves are grown on wheat pasture from Fall through early- to mid-Spring. Calves enter the stockering phase weighing ~500 lb, and weigh ~850 lb upon completion. Prior to collection of product samples for GxExMxP evaluation, cattle must be finished on a concentrate diet. The GRL does not have the infrastructure to conduct the feeding of a finishing diet to these cattle. Oklahoma State University has feedlot facilities and available capacity to finish the cattle on a feedlot diet. We will therefore loan the BGC cattle to OSU for the conduction of the finishing phase and pay them for facilities usage and feed.

Since the ARS BGC is a birth to plate research project, all cattle must be finished on a concentrate diet. Due to ARS lacking the infrastructure to complete the final phase of the cycle, ARS will loan the BGC cattle to the collaborator for the finishing phase. Under their own institutionally approved IACUC protocol, the cooperator will provide infrastructure, cattle finishing expertise, all feed ingredients, all vaccinations and medicines, and all veterinarian care (if required, by their own institutional attending Veterinarians). The finishing diet nutritional specifications, and the specification for when the finishing period will end will be provided by ARS. Upon completion of the finishing phase, ARS will coordinate shipment of the cattle to a designated harvest facility.