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Modelling growth, body composition, optimum endpoint and feed efficiency of beef cattle

Grant number: 13/13674-0
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): September 03, 2013
Effective date (End): September 02, 2014
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Animal Husbandry
Principal Investigator:Dante Pazzanese Duarte Lanna
Grantee:Dante Pazzanese Duarte Lanna
Host: James W. Oltjen
Home Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : University of California, Davis (UC Davis), United States  

Abstract

Brazil is the second largest beef producer and the largest exporter in the world. It represents the largest sector of Brazilian agriculture. Increasing feed efficiency can bring significant economic, social and environmental benefits to the country. Mathematical models are efficient tools to predict performance and optimum endpoints (age, weigh and composition at slaughter). These models can also predict nutrient requirements and help formulate better diets. My group at ESALQ/USP has for 18 years developed models and software’s that have had significant impact in the industry. In addition we have developed analytical data, particularly of body composition. Over these years we have had a lot of international interaction but it is now time to spend some time in another laboratory and institution to acquire new knowledge. We are also actively involved in studies of feed efficiency, meta quality and associations of these traits with the genome. We have experiments under way studying the physiology of feed efficiency and oxygen utilization and genome association (2011/00175-0); development of model to predict growth and body composition (2012/14948-3); and studies of growth, body composition and final endpoint of animals during compensatory growth (FAPESP 2012/03296-5 e 2012/03911-1; 2013/04733-2). The objective of this sabbatical period is to analyze the data from this work with a leader in the area (Professor Oltjen) in a top ranked institution (University of California at Davis). Besides the supervisor, the Department of Animal Science at UCD has several other faculty who are leaders in correlated areas. This period will not only be important for the grants listed above, and the papers that will come from it, but will be important for the next decade of our work at ESALQ in the areas of research, extension and specially the teaching of graduate and undergraduate courses. (AU)