The data-collection phase of Visions Quest (VQ) Round 3 - the North American Limousin Foundation's (NALF's) cattle-feeding and carcass-discovery project with Colorado State University (CSU) - concluded July 23 at the JBS Swift and Co. packing plant in Greeley, Colo. With data analysis continuing, the final chapter of the three-year VQ endeavor promises to provide critical lessons for the breed's long-term success in providing the most profitable genetics and crossbreeding solutions for commercial cattle producers.
The third round's 158 head (including a "control group” of 20 Angus steers) gained, on average, 3.5 pounds. per day. On an "as fed” basis, they converted 8.6 pounds of feed to a pound of liveweight. The average dry-matter (DM) conversion stood at 6.5-to-1. From a feed-only perspective, they posted a 72-cent cost of gain.
The Limousin steers finished the heaviest at 1,360 pounds, followed by the Lim-Flex steers (1,338 pounds), then the Limousin heifers (1,270 pounds) and the Lim-Flex heifers (1,248 pounds).
Overall, the cattle averaged 1,388 pounds of liveweight at harvest, with an 876-pound average carcass that dressed at about 66 percent. With backfat and ribeye area (REA) averaging 0.5 inch and 15.5 square inches, respectively, the typical Yield Grade (YG) was 2.5.
NALF created VQ as follow-up to the Limousin Visions Symposium, which it conducted in December 2004. The project's primary purpose was to provide an educational experience in retained ownership. Meanwhile, it also generated critical performance and carcass data for genetic evaluation and ongoing breed improvement. For more information, go to NALF's Web site: www.nalf.org
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