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ARS Home » Northeast Area » University Park, Pennsylvania » Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #340262

Research Project: Mitigating Emissions and Adapting Farm Systems to Climate Variability

Location: Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research

Title: Identifying consumer preference for beef produced with different levels of growth promotant technology

Author
item Webb, Megan - South Dakota State University
item Pendell, Dustin - Kansas State University
item Harty, Adele - North Dakota State University
item Salverson, Robin - South Dakota State University
item Rotz, Clarence - Al
item Underwood, Keith - South Dakota State University
item Olson, Ken - South Dakota State University
item Blair, Amanda - South Dakota State University

Submitted to: American Meat Science Association Conference Reciprocal Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/15/2017
Publication Date: 6/18/2017
Citation: Webb, M.J., Pendell, D.L., Harty, A.A., Salverson, R.R., Rotz, C.A., Underwood, K.R., Olson, K.C., Blair, A.D. 2017. Identifying consumer preference for beef produced with different levels of growth promotant technology. American Meat Science Association Conference,June 18,2017,College Station,Texas. P.1.

Interpretive Summary: No Interpretive Summary is required. JLB.

Technical Abstract: Objectives: Objectives of this study were to 1) evaluate growth performance and carcass characteristics, and 2) determine environmental and economic impacts of cattle raised with different levels of growth promoting technology. Materials and Methods: Angus' Simmental,and crossbred steer calves (n = 120) of a single source were stratified by dam age, birth date, birth weight, and randomly assigned to four treatments with increasing levels of growth promoting technology: 1) no technology (NA); 2) non-hormone treated (NHTC; NA plus therapeutic antibiotics, tylosin and monensin during finishing); 3) implant (IMPL; NHTC plus 3 implants [suckling, initial finishing, and mid-finishing]); and 4) beta-agonist (IMBA; IMPL plus ractopamine-HCl for 31 d before harvest). At weaning, steers were transported to a backgrounding lot and blocked by initial feedyard body weight to 3 pen replicates per treatment resulting in a randomized complete block design. Following backgrounding, steers were finished in a GrowSafe® feeding system and individual performance data (ADG, DMI, and G:F) were recorded. At harvest, hot carcass weight (HCW) and standard carcass measures were used to obtain USDA Yield Grade (YG) and Quality Grade (QG). To evaluate environmental impact of each treatment, parameters recorded from the three production stages (cow-calf, backgrounding, and finishing) were represented in a Life Cycle Assessment using the USDA-ARS Integrated Farm System Model to determine greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, water use, and reactive nitrogen loss. Production costs and carcass values were used to determine the economic impact of each treatment. Results: Steers in the IMPL and IMBA treatment had heavier (P < 0.0001) final calculated body weight and HCW than NA and NHTC steers. Steers in IMPL and IMBA had greater (P < 0.0001) DMI than NA, which was greater (P < 0.0001) than NHTC. Steers in the IMPL treatment had the greatest overall ADG, followed by IMBA, and NA and NHTC had the lowest ADG (2.11, 1.79, 1.54 and 1.45 kg/d respectively; P < 0.0001). Gain to feed was greatest (P < 0.0001) for IMPL while IMBA, NHTC, and NA were similar (P > 0.05). There were no differences (P > 0.05) among treatments for YG. Treatments with the lowest levels of technology (NA and NHTC) had greater (P < 0.01) marbling scores than IMPL and IMBA, however this did not result in a difference (P > 0.05) in the distribution of carcasses in each QG category. Compared to NA, IMPL reduced carbon footprint (CO2e/kg HCW) by 8%, energy use (MJ/kg HCW) by 6%, water use (kg H2O/kg HCW) by 4%, and reactive nitrogen loss (g N/kg HCW) by 8%. Compared to NA, IMBA reduced carbon footprint by 1%, energy use by 3%, and reactive nitrogen loss by 2%. The NA and NHTC treatments were similar in environmental outputs and resource utilization. Total cost of gain ($/kg) was greater (P < 0.0001) for NA and NHTC than IMPL and IMBA. When branded carcass premiums were applied, NA and IMPL carcasses had a higher value than NHTC and IMBA (P < 0.0001). Net return was greatest (P < 0.0001) for NA. Steers in the IMPL treatment had a greater (P < 0.0001) net return than NHTC, which was greater (P < 0.0001) than IMBA. Conclusion: Treatments using growth promotants produced heavier and more environmentally sustainable carcasses. Economic data suggests that carcass premiums associated with NA and NHTC may offer producers greater profitability.