Louisiana cattle producers trying to lasso a piece of the grass-fed beef stampede could soon get a hand from LSU AgCenter researchers.
The researchers are using a $479,880 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture grant to figure out which breed is best for Louisiana when it comes to producing grass-fed beef. The scientists are also looking for the most efficient way to get that meat to market. The grant is spread out from 2016-2019.
The meat from grass-fed beef is less fatty and has a different texture than grain-fed cattle, according to Guillermo Scaglia, who conducts beef cattle research at the AgCenter’s Iberia Research Station.
Scaglia will evaluate four breeds – Angus, Brangus, Holstein and Pineywoods – over the next three years.
Each has different qualities, he said in a news release.
Angus is a popular beef breed but can’t always handle the state’s heat (much less make it to the kitchen). Brangus, a Brahman and Angus combo, is well-suited to Louisiana’s climate. Holstein is typically a dairy breed, but Scaglia wants to see its beef production in Louisiana conditions. Pineywoods, a smaller breed introduced to the Gulf Coast many years ago, also does well in hot and humid weather.
Pineywoods may be a good option for smaller cattle operations. A year-old Pineywoods steer weighs around 550 pounds, a little more than half of an Angus steer the same age. So a herd of Pineywoods eat a lot less grass and produce smaller cuts of meat, which some restaurants and grocery stores prefer.
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