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beef cattle

Flavorful crossbreed

A new variety of beef cattle that is obtained by crossing bulls of the Brazilian taurine breed known as curraleiro pé-duro (Bos taurus taurus), of European origin, with Nelore cows (Bos taurus indicus), of Indian origin, produces tender, flavorful meat, according to tests conducted at the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation, Livestock Raising Division–Southeast, in São Carlos, state of São Paulo. Scheduled for release to producers in the coming months, the new animal is the result of six years of genetic improvement efforts, coordinated by Geraldo Magela Côrtes Carvalho, of Embrapa, in collaboration with specialists from the Federal University of Piauí (UFPI). The basis for this work was a phenomenon known as heterosis, which is the tendency for crossbred animals to display better performance than the average achieved by their parents. According to an Embrapa press release, the new variety of beef cattle might be able to go to slaughter when it is only two years old – younger than the Nelore – and produce 20 kilograms of tender meat per 100 kilograms of muscle on the carcass – four more than the Nelore. Bulls of the newly developed crossbreed are expected to be used this year for the first time to inseminate Brazilian breeds of cows, like the Caracu and Crioulo Lageano longhorn.