1000 ASU Drive, Lorman, Mississippi 39096-7500The current trend for the production of bio-fuel from agricultural products has reduced agricultural land availability for the production of food and feed. A large portion of the land previously devoted for the production of grains for feeding cattle is now dedicated to crops for ethanol production. Therefore, it is imperative to make changes and adjustments to improve production efficiency in the cattle industry through innovative research. Relevant biological factors to advance production in the livestock industry deal with reproduction efficiency and genetic improvement on traits associated with production. Researchers at Alcorn State University are currently working on manipulating follicular dynamics to enhance reproduction efficiency in beef cattle. Additionally, an embryo transfer research project has been established since 2003 as a means to improve the genetics of the beef herd. This project has a second objective to improve retention rates of transferred embryos with the use of hormonal protocols. It is believed that improving retention rates would make small and medium sized farmers more receptive to the use of the embryo transfer technique. Embryonic retention remains as one of the main concerns limiting the application of embryo transfer within cattle producers. This concern is based on data reporting embryo losses of more than 40% during the first 18 days of gestation in cattle and sheep, and even higher during the summer months.
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