A Holstein dairy cow tends to her baby calf

A Holstein dairy cow tends to her baby calf.

Research examines dairy cow genetics for fertility

“We think that genetics play a role in fertility, so we are looking beyond the effect of environment..."

Texas A&M AgriLife Research is looking into genetic selection in dairy cattle to help producers improve the fertility of their herds. It’s an area of study that needs attention, says AgriLife Research ruminant animal health scientist Pablo Pinedo, in Amarillo

“Genetics and reproduction have not been extensively explored,” Pinedo said. “We think that genetics play a role in fertility, so we are looking beyond the effect of environment, which includes proper nutrition, management, health and comfort.”

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The project, “Genomic Selection for Improved Fertility of Dairy Cows with Emphasis on Cyclicity and Pregnancy,” was awarded almost $3 million over a five-year period from the U.S. Department of Agriculture within the National Institute of Food and Agriculture as a part of the 2012 Agriculture and Food Research Initiative’s Food Security program.

Halfway through the project, data from 11,000 Holstein cows has been gathered on commercial dairy operations by researchers in Texas, Ohio, Florida, New York, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

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