Use of phenotypic target objectives in beef cattle crossbreeding strategies to increase uniformity in production and product
The objective of this study was to compare a temporal 3-breed rotational crossbreeding strategy to a novel crossbreeding strategy. The novel uniformity crossbreeding strategy was devised to address phenotypic uniformity, targeted production, retained heterosis and a female replacement system. Data were simulated for 14 phenotypic traits and 16 additive genetic traits. Matings were selected and performed over a 10-year production cycle for 100 herds, with each herd containing 100 cows, and being randomly assigned to one of the two strategies. The female replacement system, for the uniformity strategy, successfully produced targeted replacement females at an economically optimum replacement rate. Maternal and individual heterosis was equivalent between strategies. The uniformity strategy produced significantly lower phenotypic variation for most traits studied. Phenotypic performance objectives were achieved in most traits throughout the 10 production years in the uniformity strategy. Composite bulls contributed to uniformity, retained heterosis, and target achievement in the uniformity strategy.