U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


Date of this Version


Document Type



Published in Beef Research Program Progress Report, No. 4, Part 2 (May 1993)


The full report of this work was published in Agricultural Systems 35:401-432 and 36:17-41, 1991.


Leaner, high quality beef can be produced by making good management and genetic decisions. The problem is knowing what is a good decision. Computer models can be used to predict the outcomes of different ways of producing beef. Managers can choose their best system using these predictions combined with their financial and feed resource information. Several computer models predict growth and body composition as part of an overall evaluation of beef production. Other models predict only growth and body composition. These models predict one or more of the following biological processes: the amount of feed consumed, the partition of consumed feed into nutrients for maintenance and growth, and the partition of nutrients used for growth into fat, lean, and bone. This research compared growth and body composition prediction from four computer models. Standard situations and experimental results were used for the comparison. The goal was to decide whether any of the models were accurate enough to aid cattle producers who want to increase the leanness of beef. Another goal was to find ways to improve predictions.