Acceleration of genetic improvement of Canadian seedstock though increased use of genomic technologies and development of multi-trait indexes that perform in commercial crossbred cattle
Genomic tools can help the beef industry address challenges in global competitiveness, production efficiency, and sustainability. This project bought together international leaders in beef genomics to leverage vast amounts of genomic data and deliver commercial value to producers. The first ‘made in Canada’ genomic tool was developed to assess hybrid vigour (degree of cross-breeding). High hybrid resulted in a net return of $160/cow/year and was associated with improved fertility, stayability, feed efficiency and health resilience. Additionally, two multi-trait indices are being developed for commercial crossbred cattle in Alberta. 1) Feeder Profit Index to improve growth, feed efficiency, carcass quality and profitability in feeder cattle and 2) Replacement Heifer Profit Index to improve hybrid vigour, feed efficiency, fertility and lifetime return for cows in the herd.
For more information on this project or genomic testing and indexes, please contact Livestock Gentec:
Institution: Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
Primary Investigator: John Basarab
Co-Primary Investigator: Donagh Berry (AGRIC), John Crowley (CBBC), Changxi Li (AAFC)
Term: 2015 - 2020
Funding: $849,251 from Genome Alberta