Today’s Topic: NC working to centralize, increase its beef cattle research herd

by | Jul 21, 2015


Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.”

North Carolina’s beef cattle researchers are centralizing and increasing the size of the state’s herd to accommodate research efforts.

Agricultural research will continue to be important in meeting the world’s demand for food, Troxler says. The NCDA&CS and its partners at N.C. State University want to help producers be competitive and produce high-quality beef. Commissioner Troxler says North Carolina can do that in a couple of ways: by attracting the best and brightest researchers to the state, and by continuing to invest in research projects focused on improving production.

There are eight state-operated research stations and one field lab conducting beef cattle research in North Carolina. The projects are focused on feed conversion and feed alternatives, fescue toxicity, fertility, nutrition and several other topics.

The goal is to produce a herd of registered Angus that is 600 to 700 head in size. The herd is based at the Upper Piedmont Research Station in Reidsville, but cattle will be moved to other research stations as needed.

That herd has known and established genetics. One of the things beef researchers find important is common genetics. But even with a centralized herd of Angus, there will still be opportunities for cross-breeding studies.

Moving to a centralized herd will help researchers be more competitive when they apply for research grants. This effort also helps make the state and its research programs more attractive to faculty.

The transition to the centralized herd is expected to take five or six years, and the process is about half complete now.

Click on the audio player below to listen to Commissioner Troxler and Rhonda discuss this effort and why beef cattle are important to North Carolina farmers.

[Audio:/wp-content/uploads/Troxler_7-21-15.mp3|titles=Today’s Topic for July 21]

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