Left side

Technical Keynote Session 3

Determining Producers’ Knowledge of Feed Efficiency

Jason Ahola, University of Idaho

Jason Ahola, University of Idaho

What do producers know about feed efficiency and what is the best way to educate them about it? A survey by the University of Idaho and the Red Angus Association of America (RAAA) sought to answer those questions, and Jason Ahola, animal and veterinary science department at the University of Idaho, shared the results May 2 at the 2009 Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) symposium in Sacramento, Calif.

Specifically, the survey aimed to determine awareness of feed:gain (F:G) ratio and residual feed intake (RFI), evaluate willingness to pay for RFI data, and predict willingness to adopt RFI as a production practice.

The survey was conducted January-February 2008 using a stratified random sample of 1,888 names from the Idaho Cattle Association, the RAAA and Red Angus bull buyers. The response rate was 49.9%, consisting of 13% seedstock producers, 59% commercial cow-calf producers and 28% that identified themselves as both commercial and seedstock.

The survey asked what genetic prediction information is currently used and asked respondents to compare it to the information they would like to use. Results showed that producers still use and seek raw data, ratios, and expected progeny difference (EPD) data; however, the demand for genetic marker data is substantially larger than for other types of data.

Producers indicated they’re making efforts now to select for feed efficiency by evaluating mature body size, growth rate and body condition score (BCS). However, more than 60% of respondents said they had “no knowledge” or “limited knowledge” of F:G ratio. Only about one-third of respondents said they were aware of the term “residual feed intake,” with 55% of them citing breed association magazine as the source. Nearly 80% of respondents indicated that those magazines were their preferred source of information about beef cattle management.

The survey also asked how much more respondents would be willing to pay for bulls that had been evaluated for RFI via a 70-day postweaning test. About 28% said they would not be willing to pay anything extra, 24% would pay $1-$100 extra, 19% would pay $101-$200 extra and about 29% said they would pay more than $200 extra. About 51% of the seedstock respondents said they would pay $1-$100 per head to have a bull evaluated for RFI.

The next step is to develop outreach materials based off the survey results, including field days and symposia, train-the-trainer events, popular press and peer-reviewed fact sheets, and internet-based outreach through www.eXtension.org.

Editor’s Note: This summary was written under contract or by staff of Angus Productions Inc. (API). To request reprint rights contact Shauna Rose Hermel, editor, at 816-383-5270. PowerPoints are posted with permission of the presenter and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express permission of the presenter.

The 41st BIF Research Symposium and Annual Meeting was hosted by the California Beef Cattle Improvement Association and the California Cattlemen's Association. For more information, visit www.bifconference.com or www.calcattlemen.org/bif2009.html.

BIF Conference

Site sponsored by

Liveauctions.tv     LiveAuctions.tv

Other Angus Journal
event sites …

Visit the
Angus Journal
topic library …

The topic sites in our library offer gateways to information on body condition scoring, beef cow efficiency, country-of-origin labeling, targeting the Certified Angus Beef® brand and more.

Sign up for…

Angus Journal.
Angus Journal
Copyright © 2014

Right side