Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #237643

Title: INFLUENCE OF FORAGE SPECIES ON PASTURE PERFORMANCE, CARCASS QUALITY, AND CONSUMER ACCEPTABILITY

Author
item Neel, James - Jim
item Duckett, Susan

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/4/2009
Publication Date: 4/22/2009
Citation: Neel, J.P., Duckett, S. 2009. INFLUENCE OF FORAGE SPECIES ON PASTURE PERFORMANCE, CARCASS QUALITY, AND CONSUMER ACCEPTABILITY (abstract). In: Proceedings of the 3rd Appalachian Grazing Conference, March 6-7, 2009, Morgantown, West Virginia. 2009 CDROM.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: British-type steers of predominantly Angus breeding were used to determine the influence of forage species fed during the final 30 to 45 days of finishing on performance, carcass characteristics, and meat quality. Finishing treatments included: 1) Mixed cool season pasture [bluegrass, orchardgrass, fescue and white clover] 2) Alfalfa and 3) Pearl millet. Finishing treatment did not influence final weight or quality grade, while carcasses from pearl millet tended to be heavier and had larger ribeye areas. Finishing treatment responses interacted with year in terms of average daily gain (ADG). Mixed pasture and pearl millet produced consistent gains each year, while alfalfa did not. Pearl millet provided superior ADG compared to mixed pasture during both years. Warner-Bratzler shear force and tenderness scores were not influenced by finishing treatment; however, mixed pasture produced higher off flavor scores (liver-like), in taste panel surveys. Ongoing research into pasture-based beef production systems is being conducted as a cooperative project among USDA-ARS, West Virginia University, Virginia Tech, and Clemson University. We summarize findings from completed and ongoing research efforts to learn how forage and animal management influence pasture-fed beef production and quality.