The four-year Defra and AHDB-funded project aims to demonstrate how feed efficiency traits can be measured and selected for in beef cattle, illustrating how the most efficient cattle will eat less than others but grow at the same rate.
Driving greater on-farm uptake of superior genetics is a key activity in AHDB Beef & Lamb’s 2017-2020 strategy which sets out priorities for the organisation over the next three years.
Natalie Cormack, Beef Feed Efficiency programme manager, said: “The ability to select cattle which eat less than the breed average to achieve the same rate of daily liveweight gain provides significant opportunities to cut the cost of production across the industry.”
A range of suckler-bred and dairy-cross beef cattle will come on to the farm for periods of around three months at a time. During this period they will be group housed, fed a defined ration and weighed regularly.
The farm must have a good handling system, be equipped to feed a total mixed ration and be able to install specific feeding equipment to enable the recording of individual cattle feed intake. Feed intake recording equipment will be provided. The project will contribute to feed and bedding costs and provide a management fee to cover all other aspects for the successful delivery of the project.
Natalie said: “The unit manager must be able to demonstrate high management standards as they will be required to coordinate transport, meet project deadlines, keep accurate records and purchase cattle required for measurement.
“We will be promoting the project through on-farm events, so someone who is a good communicator, who is willing to spend time showing visitors around the unit and promoting the project is essential.”
Farms should be located in England (north of the M4) or in Wales.
More information and an application form can be found at beefandlamb.ahdb.org.uk/research. Alternatively, contact Natalie Cormack on 07866 934563 or email [email protected]
The closing date for receipt of applications is 5pm, 15 July 2017.