New breeding directions = higher fertility, better feed conversion and less methane production

Through the Dairy Futures CRC’s Improved fertility and feed conversion program, researchers are using new techniques to study thousands of animals for hard-to-measure traits such as fertility, feed conversion and methane production.

“Genomic technology provides an unprecedented opportunity to analyse hard-to-measure traits such as fertility, feed conversion efficiency and methane production. Each of these traits is complex and has been difficult to study effectively in the past. This genomic approach makes it possible for farmers to set new breeding directions to take advantage of these highly valuable traits.”

Ben Cocks
Deputy Chief Scientist


Improved fertility and feed conversion — program aims

Australia’s leading genomics researchers are working alongside Australian dairy farmers and the Australian Dairy Herd Improvement Scheme (ADHIS) to develop an accurate and reliable way to select animals for hard-to-measure traits using genomics.

Researchers will:

  • Develop a genetic test to identify animals with higher feed conversion efficiencies (FCE) and lower methane emissions.
  • Improve the reliability of breeding values for fertility.

Collaborative approach

All projects in the Improved fertility and feed conversion programs involve partnership between research providers and end-user organisations. The main delivery channel for genomic technology is its incorporation into the calculation of Australian Breeding Values provided by ADHIS.

Organisations that are involved in this program include:

Dairy Australia

Program contact

Prof. Ben Hayes
Research leader

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