For Dr. Fernando Eluchans, President of Vetifarma
During the last two decades, decision-making in beef farming has been little programmed. This year is no exception. To the internal factors are added the global ones due to this pandemic that does not give respite and in some way exerts its impact on the indispensable medium-term programming.
Seeking efficiency in this context is the challenge. We have already seen that, in corral fattening, more days of permanence, with good performances, will mean more productive efficiency due to the dilution of fixed costs. The Argentine domestic market continues to be capricious, looking for low-weight and well-finished cattle, underestimating the ability to deliver kilos with meat quality by these individuals. Due, growth cycles are not respected properly and the food ingredients are used without expressing the maximum conversion potential in kg of meat in many cases. If we do not use adequate levels of energy, protein and effective fiber that guarantee ruminal health in longer periods, we will hardly be able to minimize losses.
With adequate rearing and a correct start the first three weeks of the animals in the corral, we can move on to rations of high energy concentration. Guarantee homogeneity in the diet from the fourth week of admission, until the end of fattening, with great consistency and without changes of ingredients in the middle of the cycle, will result in stable production without the presence of digestive disorders, many times subclinical, such as acidosis, which cause an increase in cost and even loss of meat quality. Many of these tables are not perceived by the producer and this is aggravated when there is no good data collection and a history is formed through the years of that establishment that allows early detection of inefficiency.
The production system in Argentina in feedlots is not, in general, an “all in, all out”, this aggravates the real data collection and its reliability. No one can make correct decisions without accurate data.
International research, led by the United States, but also in centers in Argentina, clearly shows us what the loss points are and what to do to prevent this from happening, but in the field and day to day, we repeat mistakes, not giving importance to the most important factor which is the handling.
It is necessary for each establishment to achieve its true point of equilibrium in terms of time in the pens, but the stay in the pen should not be less than 120 days.
At the beginning of the 90’s we thought that the production of “calf bolita” would be temporary, but 25 years later we see that minimum slaughter weight growth is slower than expected. Our genetics tell us that 420 Kg of minimum in males and 380 Kg of Live Weight in females, it should be the minimum at the time of work.
By exploiting the maximum that genetic plans offer us, we would make feeding systems more efficient, better use of nutritional resources and lower production costs in a real way.
The question then arises, if genetic improvement is really valued in our country. The assessment is following the animal response and sometimes we feel that it is not so taken into account, to understand definitively that, between a good and a bad health and nutritional history there may be performance differences of 30% in efficiency, and between adequate genetics and one not so much there is also a lot of difference in production and fundamentally in food costs, which represent more than 60%.
The key is take advantage of synergies in the productive links with stable livestock programs, prioritizing biotype, health, feeding, nutrition and management, imitating what the leading countries do in which researchers are concerned with extracting the maximum kg of meat at the lowest cost and with carcass homogeneity. We lose at least 20% of production by not allowing the maximum weight of work to be expressed.
In Argentina, the time has come to be efficient without waiting for some variable to help us survive, harming part of the production chain, as has happened in recent decades.
#meat #production #efficiency #pending #matter