Integrated data-collection system tracks beef cattle from conception to carcass

Van Eenennaam, Alison L.; Weber, Kristina L.; Cooprider, Krista; Drake, Daniel J.
April 2010
California Agriculture;Apr-Jun2010, Vol. 64 Issue 2, p94
Academic Journal
Data on the performance of individual beef cattle from birth to processing can be used to improve herd management and genetic characteristics such as fertility, weaning weight and tenderness. Likewise, tracing the origins and whereabouts of cattle that may have been exposed to infectious disease agents is necessary to protect the health of the national beef herd. Such information is rarely available, in part because cattle often change ownership during the beef production process. A system developed to support the lifetime tracking of individual cattle in the UC Davis beef herd seamlessly transfers information between the UC Sierra Foothill Research and Extension Center, UC Davis campus feedlot and a commercial beef-cattle processing plant, and provides a repository for performance data collected at all production stages. The system provides real-time data sharing, as well as integrated analysis and management evaluation options, and will be a valuable resource for beef-cattle research. UC livestock farm advisors are now implementing a similar system with cooperating commercial ranches.


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