The current competitiveness in the beef market alongside with the lower profit margin associated with its production has increased the concern of producers about the management and profitability of their business. The need to maximize efficiency of the production system, which needs to be constantly adjusted to the socioeconomic changes that are occurring in the world, forces an incessant search for the increase of the production and productivity.
The production and/or productive performance of an animal basically depends on 3 factors: 1) genetics; 2) the environment (includes not only food but also sanity, management, adaptability of the breed, etc.); and 3) the interaction genotype vs.environment.
The improvement of the environment can produce results more spectacular in a short period of time. Unfortunately it has a higher cost and is not permanent. However with genetic improvement, the gain isn't as expressive in a short period of time as the improvement of the environment, but the gains are constant and cumulative. When the producer improves his animals genetically the increase in productivity is permanent. A genetically improved herd is a heritage for the producer and can be formed without excessively high costs.
With the development of beef cattle production and the need to increasingly improve the characteristics of economic interest, genetic improvement becomes an essential tool for the producer to obtain greater production efficiency with better quality products and consequently greater economic profitability. For this study, 3 farms of Limousine cattle were involved. Not only they resorted to the use of natural breeding, as well as the use of Artificial Insemination (AI), always in conjunction with the selection of the best males and also the best females. The heifers were then weighted at day 120 and 210 post-partum.
Some benefits can be highlighted. The Limousine farmers have the opportunity to compare not only the productivity between genetic improved animals and the one's that weren't, but also between doing natural breeding and AI with genetic improvement. The main challenge is to show farms that the investment that is necessary for genetic improvement, although it has risks, the benefits that result from it are key for improving the farm's profit.
The investment that is necessary for genetic improvement, like any investment, presents risks, risks that could diminish the final profit of the producer in case of failure, but these are risks worth taking because the improvement genetic brings to the producer is a possibility of increasing the profit of the farm.
Some aspects are worth mentioning:
1- Genetic improvement is key for raising the bar on productivity.
2- Now-a-days more and more farms are implementing genetic improvement and the results show that productivity is getting higher, so is the competition of beef production.
3- It is important to show the results of genetic improvement and how it will change the production of beef in a more profitable way.
This research innovation can also impact on production efficiency. The weight increases at weaning and the improved quality of replacement heifers, particularly in the case of industrial crossings farms. In pure breeds, we will get animals with greater quality and with a higher genetic value.