New strains of livestock will have different nutritional requirements that must be determined to maximize genetic improvements. The use of production- and efficiency -enhancing compounds will also result in altered nutritional requirements. An increased lysine concentration in the diet of swine whose growth rate and leanness has been improved through the use of recombinant porcine growth hormone or other repartitioning agents is but one example.

Genetically engineered microorganisms that will predigest feed materials, better preserve ensiled crops, or enhance feed utilization in the rumen or large intestine of animals could have a major impact in livestock feeding. Genetically engineered organisms may also be effective in decreasing gastrointestinal problems and diseases.

The science of feeding livestock has an exciting future, but acceptance of scientific findings by producers and consumers will depend on a better understanding and appreciation of science in general. The current public backlash to the introduction of scientific improvements in general poses a major threat to the competitive position of the United States and to the competitive position of livestock in the human food chain.

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