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RDAR Invests $2.2 Million to Improve Genetic Selection of Beef Cattle

In a press release on June 3, 2024, Results Driven Agriculture Research (RDAR) announced they would be investing $2.2 million in Livestock Gentec, to help drive the adoption of tools that will improve the genetic selection of beef cattle and power economic and environmentally positive changes in Alberta's livestock sector. The funding is cost-shared by the federal and provincial governments under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

Genetic improvements are key to increasing producer efficiency and profitability, while improving overall animal performance. The technology is produced by Livestock Gentec, an Alberta Innovates Centre housed at the University of Alberta. It includes selection tools based on extensive genomic, feed efficiency, and meat quality data, collected from commercial cattle across Canada. 

Livestock Gentec will engage with beef producers, industry service providers, and regional producer associations to transform genomic data into decision-making information that producers can use directly. Over 60 Alberta producers and more than 10,000 animals have already been committed to this project, with selected traits being feed efficiency, disease resistance, female fertility, and longevity. 

Improving hybrid vigour, meaning offspring have more desirable traits than parents, is worth $160 per cow, per year, according to Genomic Validation studies. This means that improving hybrid vigour for Canada's 3.56 million beef cattle would equate to over $200 million for the beef sector, benefitting not just producers but the entire supply chain.

The funding will support further development of genomic tools, and collaboration with producers and service providers to implement genomics in their herds and help drive adoption across the sector. 

The project is scheduled to last 4-years and aims to provide producers with an incentive to start or continue their journey using genomics and data driven genetic decisions to improve profitability and sustainability in a changing climate. 

Learn more about the project at 

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