Cattle production is a complex operation in that it involves the effects of the physical production environment, cattle, product offtake and the socioeconomic environment. The variability of these effects and the interplay among them creates the potential for many interactions within any climatic zone and across zones the potential for interactions is even greater. The production environment includes feed production (range, pasture and harvested feeds) as one crop and cattle production as another "crop" and, even though management of cattle production systems may be quite unsophisticated, these two "crops" must be simultaneously produced in balance. In addition to a balance between the two "crops", the demands for reproduction, increasing numbers, and production, increasing weight and finish of the cattle, must be balanced. The intended use of herd offtake, marketed and nonmarketed, the skills and objectives of the manager and other elements of the socio-economic environment, such as financial resources and land tenure, have real effects on the efficiency of breeding systems. The production constraints that usually prevail in the tropics tend to compound the problems of increasing efficiency of beef cattle production systems through breeding.

T. C Cartwright

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 6. Round tables, , 269–278, 1982
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