If you are raising Brahman-type cattle, you may need to feed less protein than would be necessary for other cattle. Texas A&M is doing research on the nutritional requirements of Brahman and non-Brahman cattle breeds. Dr. Tyron Wickersham says that implementing a precision diet formulation can decrease the cost to produce beef and have a smaller environmental impact. It is believed developing feeding systems that account for differences in cattle type and breed will reduce over and under supplementation, which will allow improved feed efficiency and performance with less expense. Brahman-type cattle were selected under different conditions than European type cattle and thrive under different conditions and these differences have not been addressed nutritionally.
Wickersham indicates cattle provide a valuable service to society by converting low quality nutrients into beef, which is a high-quality source of amino acids, minerals and vitamins. It is believed that reducing the amount of protein fed by 10% potentially reduces the nitrogen excretion by 22 pounds per head per year. Wickersham is now doing research supported by a nearly $500,000 grant from the USDA to determine subspecies differences in urea recycling in response to supplementation. Improper supplementation has environmental and economic cost that ultimately decreases affordability of beef for consumers. Supplements are expensive and by developing feeding systems that account for differences in cattle type, we can reduce environmental effects and not affect the nutritional status. The goal is to find the correct amount of protein needed by each breed and decrease over and under supplementation.