Sustainable Food Production

2013 Edition
| Editors: Paul Christou, Roxana Savin, Barry A. Costa-Pierce, Ignacy Misztal, C. Bruce A. Whitelaw

Breeding in Beef Cattle

  • Matthew L. Spangler
Reference work entry

Definition of the Subject

The beef cattle industry represents a diverse and unique sector of animal agriculture with varying breeds, production climates, and marketing objectives. The industry is not vertically integrated and thus breeding and selection decisions are controlled by individual farmers and ranchers. In the United States, the average herd size is less than 30 cows. However, there exists sound tools from which to make genetic selection decisions to ultimately make genetic change and improve profitability. These tools, some of which have been utilized for decades, are available to all beef cattle producers. The utilization of current genetic selection tools can aid in the profitability and ultimately the sustainability of beef enterprises.


The beef cattle industry is comprised of seedstock and commercial producers. In general, genetic improvement, or accumulation of breeding value, occurs in the seedstock sector and flows to the commercial industry via the...

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Primary Literature

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Books and Reviews

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Animal ScienceUniversity of NebraskaLincolnUSA