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Beef nutrition in the 21st century

Animal Feed Science & Technology 58(1-2): 29-35
Beef nutrition in the 21st century
Consumer demand for a leaner product will drive to some extent how finishing cattle are fed in the 21st century. A major challenge is to produce a leaner product while maintaining the flavor characteristics desired in quality beef. Several compounds are currently being evaluated that increase lean and reduce fat and if these compounds are approved for use in cattle, requirements of certain nutrients will likely be affected. Environmental pressures to reduce the excretion of nitrogen and phosphorus and decrease the loss of methane from the rumen will also affect how cattle are fed in the future. Requirements for many minerals are poorly defined but hopefully by early in the 21st century our knowledge of requirements and factors that affect requirements for specific minerals will become more complete, allowing nutritionists to better formulate mineral supplements to meet animal requirements. Feedlot diets will likely be formulated for a specific cation-anion balance. The amount of grain used in cattle diets in the future will depend on the cost of cereal grains. Molecular biology techniques offer potential for improving forage quality in the future. Considerable potential also exists for improving the digestibility of low quality fibrous feeds by ruminants via various chemical treatments. It may be possible through genetic engineering technologies to enhance the ability of certain rumen microorganisms to digest fiber by introducing appropriate genes. Finally, the use of nutrients to enhance immunity and thus prevent disease will become increasingly important in the future because of increasing pressure to restrict the use of antibiotics to treat or prevent disease.

Accession: 002763294

DOI: 10.1016/0377-8401(95)00871-3

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