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The Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding (CDCB) and the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) have announced their commitment to fund research and measurement of feed intake and sensor data at four universities and USDA Animal Genomics Improvement Laboratory.
“There is tremendous potential to improve feed efficiency through genomics and genetic selection,” said João Dürr, Chief Executive Officer of CDCB. “There is great promise for dairy producers to produce milk more efficiently through decreased feed costs. Importantly, genetic selection for feed efficiency is another tool to reduce the carbon footprint of dairy production, helping meet customer and public expectations.”
In 2020, the CDCB plans to provide genomic evaluations for residual feed intake and incorporate the new trait into Net Merit and other CDCB indexes.
This investment by FFAR and CDCB helps overcome one of the leading challenges – collecting enough data on enough cows to develop reliable genomic breeding values for feed intake. Researchers involved will also evaluate whether their genetic predictions can be used to decrease methane emissions from dairy cattle.