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Studies Show Selecting Performance Traits Hurts Reproduction

Studies on cows and bulls suggest traditional performance traits are antagonistic to reproductivity.

Evidence keeps growing that decades of selection for production traits have damaged the reproduction performance of the nation's beef animals.

Two studies, one on cows and the other on bulls, bear out this hypothesis.

Researchers in Ireland used records from 156,056 beef cows to estimate genetic parameters for reproductive performance in beef herds. They also calculated genetic correlations between reproductive traits and performance traits and published their study this year.

All of the cows were of Bos taurus breeding, and the majority were crossbreds.

To read Newport's complete column, click here.


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