The National Program for Genetic Improvement of Feed Efficiency in Beef Cattle is a multiyear USDA funded project to develop selection tools and better understanding of feed efficiency in beef production. Because feed intake is a technologically challenging and expensive trait to record on large numbers of animals we expect most of the selection for increased feed efficiency to occur through selection on genetic marker information. Our goal is to identify the genetic markers associated across multiple breeds with feed intake in the beef production system.
This project will utilize genomic DNA tests in combination with feed intake and end product quality information from 8,000 animals representing 8 breeds:
Beyond developing genetic marker tests for use in multiple breeds of cattle, we will also conduct research to help us better understand feed efficiency:
We are also working with selected seed stock producers in multiple breeds to help them understand genetic marker technology and how to utilize it within their selection goals. As marker tests become available for feed intake in their breeds we will work with this group of producers to incorporate selection for feed intake as part of their multiple trait selection strategy.
Overview of the National Program for Genetic Improvement of Feed Efficiency in Beef Cattle -- updated February 2013
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