Integrated Approach to Enhance Efficiency of Feed Utilization in Beef Production Systems
The overall goal of this cooperative, multi-state, multidisciplinary, research and outreach project is to improve feed efficiency and profitability of meat production in beef cattle. The scope of this project will include measures of feed efficiency (FE) that utilize individual animal to animal variation in feed intake. One of the best characterized of these is known by several terms: net feed efficiency (NFE), residual feed intake (RFI), and net feed intake. This measure of feed efficiency is independent of many other traits and lends itself to effective use in generation of multi-trait selection. The underlying physiology that drives variation in RFI is not well understood. Thus, it is very important to conduct studies that will reveal these mechanisms. This knowledge will enable us to more effectively understand RFI and to be more effective
in generating animals that are superior for feed efficiency and other desirable traits. Effective outreach is also an important component of the project and much of the approach to the science also incorporates simultaneous, integrated outreach events.