UF/IFAS researchers are asking Florida ranchers with Brahman cattle to participate in a project aimed at identifying the best genes and improving the breed.
The beef cattle sector is a major part of Florida’s ag industry. The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences (UF/IFAS) is working on a project that would improve the Brahman cattle breed, and they’re looking for beef cattle operators with Brahman cattle to participate, according to a UF/IFAS press release. Read the details of the project and how to apply, below.
Improving the Brahman Cattle Breed
UF/IFAS researchers are looking to improve the Brahman cattle breed through identifying blood lines with superior genes. Brahman cattle do well in Florida’s unique environment—the high temperatures and humidity of The Sunshine State’s subtropical climate—but their meat and their production can be less than stellar. According to the article, Brahmans tend to be not as tender, marble less and have fewer calves than their Angus brethren, a breed that offers a superior end product and higher reproduction but doesn’t do as well in the Florida heat. Accordingly, most Florida cattle are a cross between Angus and Brahman, called Brangus, to try to get the best of both breeds.
The UF/IFAS project aims to improve Brahman cattle to improve production through breeding programs that select for the desirable traits. “Continued evaluation and selection of superior animals will lead to a genetically improved Florida Brahman population over the coming years,” said Raluca Mateescu, a UF/IFAS animal sciences associate professor. “The goal is to genetically improve the purebred Brahman population in Florida so when these animals are used in crossbreeding programs, they produce superior offspring.”
The program aims include developing Brahman cattle that can:
- Tolerate heat better
- Produce more tender meat with more marbling
- Improve the breed’s fertility
How Cattle Producers Can Participate
UF/IFAS researchers are looking for information like pedigree data and records from producers to help identify blood lines with superior traits for marbling, tenderness, hardiness and fertility. Researchers can then breed superior animals using those Brahmans expressing desirable genes.
“The next generation will be superior to the old one if the genetic evaluation is accurate,” shared Mateescu, highlighting the important role Florida cattle producers can play. “This is what we’ve done in the UF/IFAS herds for more than 30 years; we were able to show genetic improvement in meat tenderness, marbling and productive ability,” Mateescu said.
Cattle producers wanting to participate should contact Mateescu at email@example.com or 352-392-2367.
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