Research Collaboration Aims to Improve Efficiency in Cattle Ranching Operations
ARDMORE, Okla. — Noble Research Institute, LLC and GrowSafe Systems Ltd. have entered into a new research agreement that aims to improve efficiency in cattle production and aid ranchers in making management decisions.
The new research collaboration extends a partnership between Noble and GrowSafe that dates back to 2010.
The five-year research commitment embarks on three sequential studies to standardize methods of measurement, demonstrate selection for residual feed intake (RFI) in both dry lots and pastures, and integrate databases spanning from land stewardship to producer profitability.
The three studies include:
1. Validate the use of GrowSafe Beef Units on‐pasture for weighing both cow/calf pairs and stockers: Noble Research Institute will solidify the use of GrowSafe Beef for measuring partial body weight and conversion to full body weight with cattle in various stages of physiological production in pasture settings.
2. Identify measurable and predictive selection traits for forage efficiency in beef cattle: Using GrowSafe Beef, this study will demonstrate feed efficiency in beef cow-calf pairs, spring-calving cows and replacement heifers consuming grass hay diets and grazing in two different forage systems subject to grazing management to improve pasture soils.
3. Develop and integrate automated plant‐animal‐soil data streams to support decision tools: This study will develop decision-support tools to enhance optimal forage management practices and marketing of stocker cattle. Additionally, the study will broaden understanding of the economic relationships between forage biomass, nutrient fluctuation/soil health and animal weight.
The research will focus on the use of GrowSafe Beef. These in-pen weighing units non-invasively measure individual animal partial body weights and watering behavior while animals drink at a water trough. The technology weighs every second an animal is standing at the trough, which can mean an average of 45 weights, 8-10 times per day.
GrowSafe Systems Ltd. (growsafe.com) builds advanced animal agriculture systems to help producers optimize their operations. GrowSafe’s advanced data acquisition platform features integrated hardware and software analytics that provide producers with data to make better decisions for their operations. Today, GrowSafe is helping to raise more efficient, environmentally friendly and healthier animals in 22 U.S. states, seven Canadian provinces and on farms in Mexico, Panama, Australia, Brazil, Uruguay, Namibia, South Africa, New Zealand, Russia and across Europe.
Noble Research Institute, LLC (www.noble.org) is an independent nonprofit agricultural research organization dedicated to delivering solutions to great agricultural challenges. Headquartered in Ardmore, Oklahoma, the Noble Research Institute conducts fundamental, translational and applied research; offers no-cost consultation and education to farmers, ranchers and land managers; operates seven research and demonstration farms; and educates students of all ages about science and agriculture. The Noble Research Institute was founded by Lloyd Noble, an Oklahoma oilman and philanthropist, in 1945 as The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation to advance agriculture and land stewardship.
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