UK companies, RAFT Solutions Ltd, Atelerix, Ostara Biomedical Ltd and Dyneval are partnering with Bow Valley Genetics, Canada, on a cattle fertility project. The UK firms were awarded £398,894 (US$564,598).
Good fertility performance is the cornerstone of a profitable and sustainable livestock enterprise. In international dairy and beef herds, optimum performance is achieved by maintaining a calving interval (CI) of 365 days. Every day a CI increases is estimated to directly cost the farmer £2.07/CAN$3.54 per cow, or more, when it comes to high yielding dairy cows.
Fertility drives productivity and in turn the mitigation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through reduced waste and optimizing unproductive replacement youngstock inventories, said those involved in the project.
This project is supported by advisors at University of Saskatchewan and University of Guelph in Canada; the teams will research and develop a number of innovative new technologies and establish national level referral facilities for quality assurance and improvement of bovine germplasm, as an integrated bilateral approach.
The outputs of the project will transform genetic progress, through adoption of precision technologies, diagnostics, advanced breeding and big data, leading to more sustainable livestock food production and export opportunities in both UK and Canada, said the partners.