24 Sep 2021
Key research by NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) livestock scientists has been heralded in a special online virtual issue of Animal Production Science to celebrate its 60th year of circulation.
First published in 1961 under the banner Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, the journal has covered all aspects of agricultural science, both plant and animal.
DPI Senior Principal Research Scientist, Dr Hutton Oddy’s highlighted work on frameworks to predict growth, production and body composition in sheep will have real world benefits for industry.
Dr Oddy said his paper wrapped together the work of many others over the past 40 years and will lead to better ways to predict future effects of diet on yield and quality of meat from sheep and cattle.
“Our research is intended to make people think differently about the effects of diet and animal development on energy use by animals,” he said.
“The implications are that we may be able to simplify and improve the accuracy of the current systems used to predict performance of animals from what they eat and their genetics.”
Veteran livestock researcher Paul Greenwood’s review highlights the role of maternal nutrition on postnatal growth, development and productivity including efficiency and meat quality.
Greenwood found that while there was convincing evidence that prenatal effects play a role in postnatal performance, outcomes were often compounded or offset by postnatal nutrition and environment, with consequences for the amount of product produced relative to cost of feed and greenhouse gas emissions.
DPI Livestock Research Officers, Dr Hannah Salvin and Dr Linda Cafe, are represented with their review of animal welfare risks and measures for feedlot cattle, a joint work with CSIRO colleagues.
Lead author Dr Hannah Salvin said properly monitoring and managing the welfare of cattle in the feedlot environment is an important focus for industry and research.
“It is important that future research develops practical tools to accurately assess animal welfare so that continuous improvement can be achieved and demonstrated,” she said.
Recognition of this work highlights the benefits of NSW DPI’s research on important future industry issues and the contribution of NSW DPI scientists to foster new ideas within national and international science networks.
This virtual issue of Animal Production Science will be free to access online until 30 November 2021 https://www.publish.csiro.au/an/virtualissue/3082.
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