Tropical Grasslands (1996) Volume 30, 5872
Pastures for prosperity.
Tropical Beef Centre, Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia
The paper reviews the new technologies in animal science which complement the advances made in pasture science. Ways are explored by which the nutritive value of a particular diet can be enhanced through modifying voluntary feed intake, digestion and its end products, the efficiency with which metabolites are utilised, and the physiological process to which the feed is targeted. The importance of the livestock being well adapted to the environment in which they are producing as a prerequisite for efficient feed utilisation is emphasised. The new technologies included in the review are those based on DNA and molecular genetics, immunology, biological receptors, embryo manipulation and other advanced breeding techniques, hormonal therapy and other growth and lactation regulators, and computer applications in breeding programs for livestock populations. The need to consider these new tools as operating in harness with our traditional methods and the need to temper enthusiasm about the potential impact of these new technologies is stressed. Whilst the scientific elegance and novelty of new biotechnologies are to be admired, the need for them to ultimately be effective in complex, multi-variate biological systems has to be recognised.