Economic resources and incentives drive feeding models.
For those who have paid the feed bills for any class of cattle, feed efficiency makes sense, even if sense really means “cents.” If something measurable can reduce costs, and at the same time generate income, why not use it? Such is the case with feed efficiency in beef cattle. A recently published article by scientists from the University of Idaho and the Red Angus Association of America examined why the adoption of this technology was so slow among beef cattle producers in the U.S.
Residual feed intake (RFI) is a metric of feed efficiency that allows producers to estimate an expected cost savings because of reduced feed inputs. Studies have confirmed that potential benefits to the beef industry from adoption of technologies to improve genetic merit for feed efficiency as measured by RFI appear to be substantial. In a recent computerized model, by basing bull selection alone on the genetic differences in feed efficiency for use in the breeding herd, profits ranged from 9% to 33% when optimal numbers of bulls were selected for intake measurement.
To read the entire article, link here.