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Breeding Livestock for Climate Resilience: The Capacity to Maintain Production and Fitness

The results of this project will allow for new breeding practices to improve resilience to climate changes and reduce methane emissions, contributing to economic sustainability of producers, improved animal welfare and health, stable food supply and security, and reduced methane emissions.


Principal investigator: Flavio Schenkel
Other investigators: C. Baes, A. Canovas, N. Karrow, B. Mallard, and F. Miglior

What challenge does "Breeding Livestock for Climate Resilience: The Capacity to Maintain Production and Fitness" address?

Extreme weather patterns are expected to increase through climate change. Heat, dry spells, and rapidly fluctuating extreme temperatures pose significant challenges to Canadian producers, by increasing livestock vulnerability to disease and reducing fertility and production. The challenge is to breed animals resilient to the changing climate.

How will this research address the challenge?

The impact of climate change on livestock health, well-being, fertility and production in Canada will be investigated. In particular, the research team will identify resilient animals adaptable to environmental stressors that are consequences of climate change and evaluate their long-term impact on animal productivity and health. In addition, the team will investigate ways to genetically increase feed efficiency and reduce methane emissions in ruminants.

What impact will the project have on agriculture?

Animals that are more resilient to the consequences of climate changes and show lower levels of contribution to the acceleration of those changes will be identified and bred for genetic improvement. This will allow for effective and cumulative mitigation of the effects of extreme climate on Canadian livestock.

Other information

Partners: International collaborators in Brazil, China, and France.

Collaborators and students: Luiz Brito (collaborator), Ivan de Campos (MSc student).

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