Environmental and Economic Benefits of Selecting Beef Cattle for Feed Efficiency (AN276/AN276)

Effect of feed efficiency measured as Residual Feed Intake (RFI) on nutrient excretion by suckled Angus beef cows. A positive RFI indicates a less efficient cow, while a negative RFI indicates a more efficient cow. Both cows are evaluated under the same diet and environmental conditions. (ADG = Average Daily Gain; DMI = Dry Matter Intake).Selecting for feed efficiency based on residual food intake can significantly impact the amount of nutrients consumed and excreted per cow without compromising animal performance. Fresh manure output and excretions of phosphorous and nitrogen could be reduced by 29%, while methane emissions can be reduced by as much as 28% when selecting more feed-efficient animals. This 4-page fact sheet was written by Nicolas DiLorenzo and G. Cliff Lamb, and published by the UF Department of Animal Science, February 2012.