Navigation Links
MSU nets $5 million grant to increase dairy production efficiency

EAST LANSING, Mich. As human populations increase and available arable land decreases, agricultural systems are under pressure to produce more food more efficiently.

Michigan State University researchers believe that breeding dairy cows that produce milk with less feed can help meet this goal.

"We already know how to get cows to produce more than 100 pounds of milk a day we have the science to be able to do that," said Mike VandeHaar, animal science professor and MSU AgBioResearch faculty member. "Our question now is whether some cows are genetically predisposed to produce that milk with less feed. If we find that feed efficiency is inherent in a cow's DNA, it will improve our ability to sustainably produce the milk and dairy products that our growing population consumes."

Through a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture, VandeHaar and his fellow MSU researchers have set goals to increase the efficiency and sustainability of milk production by:

  • Educating future leaders, voters and consumers about key practices in dairy husbandry that promote feed efficiency and sustainability.
  • Developing a feed-efficiency database on 8,000 genomically characterized Holstein cows.
  • Determining the genetic architecture of feed efficiency and building a foundation for genomic selection of more efficient animals.
  • Developing and implementing genomic breeding tools to produce cows with enhanced feed efficiency.
  • Developing and implementing practical support tools to improve whole-herd feed efficiency.

"We are excited about this USDA grant program," VandeHaar said. "Improving stewardship of resources in the dairy industry has been a lifelong passion of mine. If we're going to eat animal products and feed more people, we have to do it more efficiently."

The goal is not just increasing the amount of milk a cow produces, but increasing efficiency of milk production can help improve stewardship of the planet, VandeHaar said.

"Projects like this are critically important to our planet," he said. "If we can't figure out efficient ways to feed 9 billion people in the next 40 years, we will have hungry people, political unrest and no place left for native ecosystems because we'll be using those lands to grow food."

Additional MSU team members include Rob Tempelman, Dave Beede, Richard Pursley and Miriam Weber Nielsen. Also contributing to the project are researchers from the University of Wisconsin, Iowa State University, Wageningen UR in The Netherlands, the University of Florida, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University.

The grant was awarded through USDA's Agriculture and Food Research Initiative and administered through the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

AFRI's global food security challenge area focuses on two intertwined issues: Food availability and food accessibility. Adequate food availability implies that the population has a reliable source of food from domestic or international production. For adequate food accessibility, the population must have sufficient resources to purchase food for a nutritious diet. The long-term goal of this program is to increase global food availability through increased and sustainable food production with reduced losses.


Contact: Layne Cameron
Michigan State University

Related biology news :

1. Rensselaer researchers secure $2.7 million NIH grant to advance scarless surgery
2. NSF awards CU-Boulder $5.9 million grant for alpine ecosystem research
3. Caltech scientist awarded $5 million grant for plant research
4. Study finds golden algae responsible for killing millions of fish less toxic in sunlight
5. Numera and HealthTrio LLC Form Partnership to Provide Objective Health Information for Millions of Consumers
6. Scripps Research scientists awarded $2.2 million to develop treatment for multi-drug addiction
7. Scripps Research scientist wins $1.9 million grant to study malaria
8. University of Arizona awarded $2.95 million to study monsoon ecology
9. Imaging technology reveals intricate details of 49-million-year-old spider
10. University of Tennessee scientist: Flowers rapid growth rate can be traced back 65 million years
11. OGI genomics researchers awarded $23 million
Post Your Comments:
(Date:5/16/2016)... YORK , May 16, 2016   EyeLock ... solutions, today announced the opening of an IoT Center ... to strengthen and expand the development of embedded iris ... an unprecedented level of convenience and security with unmatched ... authenticate one,s identity aside from DNA. EyeLock,s platform uses ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... and BANGALORE, India , April ... EdgeVerve Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... today announced a global partnership that will provide ... to use mobile banking and payment services.      ... a key innovation area for financial services, but it also ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... , UAE, April 20, 2016 ... implemented as a compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution for ... biometric fingerprint reader or the door interface with integration ... modern access control systems. The minimal dimensions of the ... readers into the building installations offer considerable freedom of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... on what they believe could be a new and helpful biomarker for malignant ... Click here to read it now. , Biomarkers are components in ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... BOSTON , June 27, 2016   Ginkgo ... biology to industrial engineering, was today awarded as ... a selection of the world,s most innovative companies. ... at scale for the real world in the ... organism engineers work directly with customers including Fortune ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... WA (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... announces the release of its second eBook, “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention ... recruitment and retention in this eBook by providing practical tips, tools, and strategies ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital ... Sports Association to serve as their official health ... Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, athletic training ... association coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. ... Sports Association and to bring Houston Methodist quality ...
Breaking Biology Technology: