ABS Pecplan and Agropecuaria Fazenda Brasil (AFB) to evaluate feed efficiency in crossbred animals

ABS Pecplan, a subsidiary of ABS Global, a world leader in bovine genetics, recently partnered with Agropecuaria Fazenda Brasil (AFB), Barra do Garças, Mato Grosso, one of the most progressive ranches in Brazil and a leader in the production of quality crossbred calves from Nellore cows. Under the agreement, individual feed intake data will be collected on crossbred animals utilizing cutting edge equipment, the first time this has been done in a commercial environment.

“ABS Global is deeply committed to accelerating the development of advanced genetics that will improve the efficiency, profitability and sustainability of the global beef industry,” said Jerry Thompson, Chief Operating Officer-Global Beef, ABS Global. “Our partnership with such a highly progressive organization as AFB is another important step toward this goal.”

Work is expected to start this year with plans to test a number of large pens of cattle. Feed intake and growth performance data will be generated using Intergado equipment and, not only will first generation crossbred (F1) animals be evaluated, but also Nellore steers and tri-cross animals.

"AFB is a very well regarded producer in the market. They are well known for reliable, high-volume data and a good systematic approach to keep collecting more data,” said Marcelo Selistre, European Beef Product Manager, ABS Pecplan. “It’s not an easy task to find a ranch like that! This partnership will allow us to get a deeper understanding of the animal’s genetic value by using Real World DataTM. Ultimately, it will help us make much better selection decisions that, in turn, will contribute enormously to the cattle industry as a whole.”

The commitment to selecting highly feed efficient sires has been a part of the ABS philosophy for some time. For example, such an initiative took place in 1996 when ABS partnered with the Circle A ranch in the United States, and began collecting individual progeny intake data in 1998.

This pioneering vision has been in Brazil since 2012 when ABS Pecplan and Rancho da Matinha developed a partnership to collect individual feed intake data of the Nellore breed.

“Having a sophisticated system to measure individual feed intake in a real world crossbreeding environment is pioneering and unique. Additionally, being able to have AFB partner with us is even more valuable because they are well-known in the cattle industry for husbandry management and economic data,” said Frederico D. Glaser, Marketing Manager, ABS Pecplan. “This partnership was formalized through a 10-year cooperation agreement between ABS Pecplan and AFB, which demonstrates the long-term commitment between both parties in this project.”

At AFB, various types of production data are collected, but they also realize that using Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs) typically generated in purebred herds will not always work in crossbreeding systems.

“Nutrition today is a major bottleneck,” says Rogério Fonseca Guimarães Peres, AFB General Manager. “Efficiency is something that everyone is looking for. Finding the most efficient genetics will help us increase the profit in our system. This will also reflect in more production by using less input.”

Of note, AFB is celebrating its 10 year anniversary, and, since 2008, 100 percent of the herd is bred using artificial insemination. Currently, there are 18,000 breeding cows at the ranch and all of them have their own individual ID and record.

“We are truly excited about the partnership agreement with AFB,” said Matt Cleveland, Global Product Development Director, ABS Global. “Our findings from this relationship will provide an opportunity for us to improve the efficiency and profitability of crossbred cattle in Brazil and elsewhere.”