Beefmaster Commits to Sustainability with Efficiency EPDs

Published on Fri, 09/24/2021 - 11:18am

Beefmaster Commits to Sustainability with Efficiency EPDs.

 By Jeralyn Novak, Beefmaster Breeders United.

 Beefmaster Breeders United (BBU) is pleased to announce the development and release of their Residual Feed Intake (RFI) Expected Progeny Difference (EPD) and Feed Efficiency Index ($FE). Beefmaster breeders and commercial cattlemen now have the most powerful Beefmaster selection tools at their fingertips.

“Both of these efficiency EPDs will assist producers to select animals that are feed efficient and fit into the ever-increasing demand for sustainability in the beef industry,” said Lance Bauer, BBU Director of Breed Improvement.

Residual feed intake is a measure of feed efficiency. RFI is the difference between an animal’s actual intake and expected intake based on size and growth of an animal on a feed test. The new Beefmaster RFI EPD utilizes ultrasound measured rib fat in the calculation to help select for animals that will grow and maintain optimal condition. When examining this EPD it is important to notate that an animal with a lower RFI EPD is expected to eat less and be more efficient, when compared to an animal with a higher RFI EPD.

The new Feed Efficiency Index is referred to as $FE and balances post weaning growth (the growth from weaning to yearling) with the RFI EPD. This index is designed to select for animals that excel in feed efficiency and post weaning growth.

The new RFI EPD and $FE Index will join an already extensive and powerful group of EPDs and indices that are available to the progressive cattlemen who utilize Beefmaster genetics in their seedstock and commercial cattle operations.

Not only do these tools improve feed efficiency, but also global beef sustainability. Beefmaster Breeders United is committed to producing beef that is socially responsible, environmentally sound, and economically viable. We are devoted to supplying a beef product that prioritizes planet, people, and progress.

“Through implementing these new genetic tools, we are announcing our commitment to support our membership and cattle producers in growing and harvesting sustainable beef products around the globe,” said Collin Osbourn, BBU Executive Vice President.

These are tools that have been in the works for several years now and we as an association are excited to introduce them and give both commercial and seedstock producers a couple more selection tools. A popular topic in the industry is how do we become more sustainable, and one part of sustainability is feed efficiency. These two tools allow producers to place selection pressure on feed efficiency and balance that with other EPDs that are available. There are over 2,800 phenotypic records from across the breed that have gone into the calculation of the RFI EPD. These phenotypic records come from animals that have been on a feed test that can capture individual intake data on animals.

“These new EPDs help highlight the strength of the Beefmaster breed and the direction the industry is headed,” said Derek Thompson, owner of Nextgen Cattle Company. “We need to strive to make animals that are sustainable, and these tools will help producers select for efficiency which ties directly into sustainability for the future. There is not another more efficient breed than the Beefmaster breed and we are excited to continue to prove it thru data.”

For more information about BBU and Beefmaster genetics please contact the office at 210-732-3132 or visit www.beefmasters.org.

Beefmaster Breeders United (www.beefmasters.org), located in Boerne, Texas, is a not-for-profit breed registration organization that provides programs and services for its members. Beefmaster, Beefmaster Advancer and E6 cattle are selected on the “Six Essentials” of disposition, fertility, weight, conformation, milk production and hardiness.