Lab Canada

$10M for project researching feed efficiency in dairy industry

Calgary, AB – A new $10.3 million project led by Genome Alberta and the Ontario Genomics Institute will help industry growth by using genomics-based approaches to select for dairy cattle with the genetic traits needed for more efficient feed conversion and lower methane emissions.

The project is receiving a $10.3 million funding package that includes $3.9 million from the Genome Canada Large Scale Applied Research Project competition, and the balance from a diverse collection of funders, including Genome Alberta, Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency, Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, Canadian Dairy Network, GrowSafe, Alberta, US Department of Agriculture, Australia Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport, and Resources, Scottish Rural College, UK, and Qualitas, Switzerland.

The research team led by Dr. Filippo Miglior of the University of Guelph and Dr. Paul Stothard from Livestock Gentec at the University of Alberta will use the latest genomic approaches and an award-winning phenotyping platform developed by Growsafe, to collect and assess the required data to carry out the selection for more efficient feed conversion and lower methane emissions.

The results of the project will assist dairy farmers and the dairy industry to breed cattle that will carry these two important traits. This, in turn, will increase farming efficiency and lower the environmental footprint of the dairy industry.

Genome Alberta’s Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Gijs van Rooijen said the research team was successful in its application because “of the strong connection between the industry needs and the academic capacity underpinned by excellent science at a national and international level”.