Lean beef production systems for a growing world

  • Susan K. Duckett Clemson University
  • B. M. Koch Clemson University
  • John G. Andrae Clemson University


Anabolic implants are used routinely in U.S. beef finishing systems with over 95% of all cattle finished for beef meat production being implanted at least once during the finishing period. Anabolic implants increase average daily gain (ADG) by 16 to 20% over the non-implanted control for an¬abolic implants. This translates to 0.21 to 0.26 kg/d increase in gain over non-implanted controls. Feed efficiency, reported as feed to gain, is also improved with implanting by 9 to 14% over non-implanted controls. These improve¬ments in feed efficiency translate to a reduction in the amount of feed required per unit gain of 0.19-0.42 kg. Anabolic implants are one of the most cost ef¬fective technologies that can be utilized in beef cattle finishing systems. Estimates are that the use of anabolic implants, on average, returns $143 (US dollars) per steer depending on beef and grain prices. Utilization of two combination implants during the finishing phase can return up to $233 per steer. The elimination of growth-promoting technologies would significant¬ly reduce beef production and increase the number of cattle required to produce equivalent amounts of beef. This would equate to greater feedstuffs and land mass required to feed an increased number of cattle with greater methane output and reduced efficiency.


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Author Biographies

Susan K. Duckett, Clemson University
Animal and Veterinary Sciences Department Ph.D. Animal Science, Oklahoma State University, 1994 M.S. Animal Science, Oklahoma State University, 1991 B. S. Animal Science, Iowa State University, 1989
John G. Andrae, Clemson University
Ph.D., University of Idaho M.S., Oklahoma State University B.S., Texas A&M University
How to Cite
Duckett, Susan K., B. M. Koch, and John G. Andrae. 2016. “Lean Beef Production Systems for a Growing World”. Archivos Latinoamericanos De Producción Animal 24 (2). https://ojs.alpa.uy/index.php/ojs_files/article/view/2525.
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