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


Date of this Version


Document Type



Published in Beef Research Program Progress Report (1988) No. 3: 73-76


Careful selection of a breed or breeds and emphasis upon selection pressure within a breed can increase productivity of a beef cattle herd. Furthermore, productivity within a herd may be effectively increased by utilizing crossbreeding programs. Crossing genetically diverse breeds permits combination of important traits and taking advantage of hybrid vigor. Many crossbreeding programs currently in use involve crosses between Bos indicus and Bos taurus cattle. One of the more commonly used Bos indicus breeds is the American Brahman. Use of the American Brahman in crossbreeding programs throughout the U.S. would increase demand for bulls of this breed.

Brahman cattle and their crosses have been shown to be adapted to the southern regions of the U.S. along the Gulf Coast,while many Bos taurus breeds do not perform well in these areas. A growing interest in Brahman cattle will increase demand for Brahman crossbred cattle in areas of the country that do not have environmental conditions to which the Brahman is adapted. It is desirable to know if Brahman cattle can function in areas with colder temperatures and shorter day lengths during the winter. Learning whether Brahman cattle can function in northern areas will be the first step in establishing crossbreeding programs involving Brahman cattle in these areas.