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Beef Feed Efficiency Programme Update

Please find the latest update for the Beef Feed Efficiency Programme.

This four-year research project began in 2015, to become a landmark for the knowledge and understanding of beef feed efficiency. The Defra and AHDB-funded programme aims to develop standard recording approaches and create a network of industry embedded recording units.
Recording the levels of dry matter intake to determine the Residual feed intake (RFI) or net feed efficiency (NFE), measures the level of the animal’s dry matter intake in relation to its predicted intake. Whilst taking account of its live weight, growth rate and carcase composition. It is independent of mature weight and growth rate. The results will then be used to create Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) that will be combined within existing selection indices. Including this data within genetic evaluations is estimated to improve farm profit by around 39% and reduction in Greenhouse Gases (GHG) by around 22%.

The data gathered during this project will help generate knowledge and tools to drive forward the genetic selection of beef cattle for feed use efficiency.

Beef Feed Efficiency Programme May 2017

About the author

Samuel Boon

Samuel Boon

I am the Manager of Signet Breeding Services, within the AHDB.

Enthusiast on all things genetics to do with sheep and cattle and currently also supporting Bridget Lloyd in running the @RamCompare progeny test with ~18,000 lambs/annum.

I am also involved with the:-

  • Relaunch of Terminal Sire Breeding Programmes (Sheep)
  • AHDB lead for the Welsh Sheep Breeding Project run by HCC - working with Innovis, HCC and Janet Roden
  • Database design and development for this website
  • National Sheep Breeds Survey
  • Development of Carcase Trait EBVs in Beef Cattle
  • Formerly involved with the delivery of the Welsh Sheep Strategy, Northern Upland Sheep Strategy, Suckler Cow Project, Highlands and Islands Sheep Strategy

I can be followed on Twitter @SamBoonBreeding