The UK beef industry is in danger of stagnating because of a long-term lack of funding for practical research and knowledge transfer, according to Richard Fuller, chairman of NBA‘s technical committee.
“Too little has been spent on research in recent years and even less has been allocated for spending in the future, meaning the industry is failing to keep up with its counterparts worldwide.”
In the USA bull breeders are now assessing bulls for feed conversion efficiency and those sires with high feed conversion figures are making up to four times as much as poorer ones. “This is the sort of work we need to be doing; US breeders are finding some bulls are weighing up to 70kg more than others at 400 days, despite them having been fed identically.
“We need to be looking five to 10 years ahead and identifying what research needs to be done so we can remain competitive in the world market. If the UK doesn’t put funding into research now we will lose the good scientists we have to overseas research centres and the industry will fall even further behind,” he added.