Canada to invest CA$1.7m to improve beef and dairy cattle genetics

By Teodora Lyubomirova

- Last updated on GMT

The funding will be put towards artificial intelligence, machine learning and other new technologies able to capture genetic traits data more efficiently.

The Canadian ministry of agriculture and agri-food will set aside up to $1,627,270 (US$1,181,438) to fund genetics traits research for beef and dairy cattle.

The funding will be provided to the non-profit association Canadian Angus Association who, in partnership with Holstein Canada, will invest in new genetic evaluation tools to monitor for traits that would increase farmer profitability and further the knowledge of genetic selection across the beef and dairy industries.

Canada’s agriculture minister Lawrence MacAulay told the press that investing in new technologies would enhance the industry’s economic and environmental sustainability while ‘putting more money in the pockets of producers and more top-quality Canadian products on tables around the world’.

The Canadian Angus Association is set to leverage the federal funding to invest in tools powered by artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and computer vision systems able to capture large volumes of data on traits that can inform health and welfare practices, improve environmental performance and bolster producer profitability.

Canada’s agriculture ministry said that sales of cattle and calves have totaled $15m (US$10.8m) in 2023, with $8.6bn (US$6.25bn) generated from milk and cream sales.

Myles Immerkar, CEO, Canadian Angus Association, concluded: “The Canadian Angus Association exists to preserve and expand the breed for Canadian cattle producers and beef consumers, doing so in part by leading research and development projects. We are very grateful to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for supporting our project through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

"Through this project, and in partnership with Holstein Canada, our goal is to leverage cutting-edge camera and artificial intelligence (AI) technology to develop new ways to measure traits for Angus and Holstein cattle. These traits impact producer profitability, animal health and welfare, and carcass quality.”

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