Local December 23, 2019 | 8:44 am

Meat from the DR is organic, although it has not been certified

95% of Dominican Republic beef is organic because it feeds on pastures and fodder produced on farms, which indicates that it is organic meat, although it has not been certified.

This is stated by the livestock consultant Marcelino Vargas, who recognizes that Dominican beef is less soft than imported cuts. “However, we must take some measures with the purpose of largely replacing imported cuts.”
He said that puts the Dominican Republic at an advantage over other countries that export beef to the United States and other nations.

He considered that “here the cattlemen must cross our zebu (Brahman) cattle with Angus bulls of high quality, to obtain a half-blood. This F1, if the father and the mother are of good quality, can obtain a weight at weaning at 8 months, of 230 kilos average.”

“If we subject these animals to intensive daily or inter-day grazing, with high-quality pastures, a daily gain of 700 grams can be obtained, in order to obtain a steer of 500 kilos at 21 months, which is very possible in livestock that is well organized.” He said another alternative is to obtain Brangus cattle, “this crossing can wean a calf at 8 months with 240 kilos.”

Vargas added that if these males are subjected to quality grazing, similar to the previous case, with one or two fertilizations per year, a gain of 800 grams per day could be obtained. “So at 19 months we could get a 500 kg steer. If we fortify this steer with an economic concentrate and good quality grasses for 45 days before slaughter, it is possible to obtain a steer of 500 kilos at 18 months.”

He explained that this treatment is carried out with the purpose of producing soft and good-tasting meat. “In both cases, we would obtain good profitability, especially that we can achieve a higher price for cuts that are in great demand in our country.”

He added that the ideal would be to establish an intensive silvopastoral system (SSPI), “although it is expensive to reach this system on an established farm. This motivates each farm to have a protein bank, for the purpose of supplying cows or steers, once a day. It would be interesting to add corn, sorghum or sugarcane to complete the ration.”

“We remember that legumes have the power, not only to supply proteins to animals but also to reduce the production of methane in feces to more than two-third, especially in the tropics where there is photosynthesis 365 days a year.

“The farmers who try to develop environmentally friendly livestock are responsible for reversing the false demonization attributed to ruminants, that meat produces cholesterol and feces from these produce pollutant methane. This can be a reality in temperate countries, because there is dramatically decreased photosynthesis during the year, which does not happen in tropical countries, such as ours,” explained Vargas.

He said that this was one of the topics discussed at the Climate Summit in Madrid, Spain, on the 2nd of this month.

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