EBLEX Beef R&D Mary Vickers Priority areas 2013 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Genetic improvement of beef and sheep Health and welfare Beef & sheep nutrition Climate change mitigation and adaptation Sustainable production systems Meat quality and safety Priority areas 2014-17 • TBC…… • Animal genetics • Beef cattle nutrition Sourcing proposals • Tenders • Calls • Unsolicited Current research • • • • • • Improving liver fluke control in cattle Nutri-beef Nutritional effects on heifer productivity Carcase traits evaluation Lifetime growth pattern and beef eating quality Straw bed corrals Current research • Predicting oestrus and calving • Foetal programming literature review • Bioethanol co-products for livestock feed o RB209 validation o Farmax o Farm scale resource calculator Improving liver fluke control in cattle • Herd level diagnostic tests, to identify farms with fluke infection and to discriminate between Fasciola and paramphistome infection • Field level classification of snail habitats and identification of factors that influence contacts between cows, snails and the parasite. Liver fluke control cont…. • Identification of on farm risk factors for F. hepatica infection and development of models to predict benefits of implementing changes on farm • An economic analysis to define costs of fluke infection at herd and national level • Evaluation of on-farm intervention programme on reducing prevalence of fluke infection on dairy and beef farms. Nutribeef • 2 x feed additives, 2 x breeds, 2 x basal rations • effect on interaction with methane emissions, performance and efficiency in different breeds of beef cattle. • changes in rumen function by characterising the rumen microbial population differences and by repeated rumen sampling to determine the long-term effects. • carcass, meat quality and shelf life effects • nutritional and economic modelling to identify the best nutritional strategy Nutritional effects on heifer productivity • effect of nutrient intake during early-gestation on occurrence of dystocia in beef heifers calving at 2 years; • potential of maternal hormones as indicators of foetal wellbeing and of dietary supplementation requirements. • milk intake of the calf and growth rates to 1 yr • effects upon calving to conception interval, reproductive organ development and development of following offspring. Carcase traits evaluation • Phase I = Feasibility of using abattoir data and BCMS records for Carcase Trait Evaluations (EBLEX, DairyCo, HCC) 2012 • Phase II = a) Calculate genetic parameters and EBVs for carcass weight, fat and conformation scores b) The inclusion of full pedigree information from all relevant UK breeds and (if feasible) developing across breed genetic evaluations Lifetime growth pattern and beef eating quality Growth path Age at slaughter (months) Short 12-16 Medium 18-26 Long 28-36 Limx steers and heifers Gristle sheath Straw bed corrals Recently completed • Woodchip pads • Maize silage NIRS • Heifer synchronization • IBERS forage breeding, WUE, NUE and PUE • HAUC – Crimped maize, oats, soya hulls, Thanks for listening Any questions?