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DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2011 11 S 133 Teagasc (ICBF, UCD, DCU) 290,142

Project Title:

Genetics of costs production traits

Project Coordinator:

Dr. Noirin McHugh

Project Abstract

Genetic evaluations for the foreseeable future, even with genomic selection, will still require routine access to high quality phenotypes. The objective here is to develop novel technologies and statistics to aid in the capture of phenotypes and improvement of the genetic evaluations and farm management decision support tools for cost-of-production traits. The principles of genetic improvement across dairy cattle, beef cattle and sheep are similar and therefore all three sectors are addressed here. This project focus on the development of breeding objectives, new phenotypic tools, genetic evaluations, decision support tools, and dissemination. The four key traits are fertility, health, milk yield and feed intake/efficiency. Information generated is necessary to facilitate genetic evaluations and the refinement of breeding objectives more reflective of future requirements by farmers. This project will also increase the recording of such traits at farm level through the use of user-friendly, non-invasive technologies. Increasing the accuracy of selection by 10 percentage units, through a combination of higher heritability estimates (i.e., better defined phenotypes and statistical models) as well as more phenotypic records, is worth an additional €4 million, €485,000 and €88,000 annually to the Irish dairy, beef and sheep sectors, respectively which is cumulative and permanent and an excellent return on the €300,000 budget of this project - 15 to 1 return on investment in just one year. A key outcome using the knowledge generated in this study will be a roadmap to Irish researchers on the priorities for future research in cattle and sheep genetics

Final Report:

Not available yet.