24 April 2020

Beefing Up Production

HNFAS Extension agent improves pregnancy rates for Wagyu cattle

Beefing Up Production

Wagyu, a Japanese breed of cattle, produces high-quality meat prized by chefs the world over. Unfortunately for steak lovers, Wagyu are also known for having poor reproductive rates. But Kyle Caires is on a mission to change that.

Kyle, an Extension agent in CTAHR’s Department of Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences, just took the next step forward in his long-term quest to improve the reproductive technologies of cattle with his latest paper, “The outcome and economic viability of production using IVF and SOV techniques in the Wagyu breed of cattle.”

Along with collaborators from Brazil and Washington State, Kyle is combining econometrics (the application of statistical methods to economic data) with scientific outcomes. The goal is to implement the advanced reproductive technologies that are necessary for cattle producers to make rapid genetic improvements in a cost-effective manner.

“For Maui ranchers raising Wagyu, our research team developed a framework to nearly double pregnancy rates, at nearly 70% less cost than typical genetic improvement strategies—a true game changer for high-quality beef in Hawai‘i!” says Kyle.

He adds, “There is a plethora of reproductive management programs out there to choose from, and it can get complicated and costly for ranchers, even overwhelming at times. Our team conducts applied research to help take the guesswork out of the process for beef producers. This will lead to improvements in cattle fertility and lower costs for genetic improvement. I’m excited to help our Hawai‘i ranchers remain competitive in a dynamic, ever-changing global beef industry.”

Kyle’s paper will appear in an upcoming issue of Veterinary Sciences.

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