Defra - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Science Search

Science and Research Projects

Return to Science Search homepage   Return to Project List

Analysis of dietary nitrogen efficiency in dairy cows to identify genetic traits and tools (DairyData) - SCF0232

Description
AC0122 (04/2012 to 09/2018) found that a reduction in dairy cow protein intake increased nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) and farmer profit whilst decreasing GHG footprint. Unexpectedly, NUE was observed to vary very significantly between animals, indicating potential for selective breeding.

This study will explore drivers of NUE variation and whether general feed efficiency and NUE are related. It will also validate tests that use milk as a biomarker for selectively breeding for NUE; which if confirmed/refined would be a transformative selection tool (for breeding).
Objective
To use data and samples from Defra funded project AC0122 and a biobank project to gain further information on the below questions:

1. What drive animal variation in NUE?
2. How are general feed efficiency and NUE related?
3. What can be used as a biomarker for NUE?
4. Are there long-term effects in daughters of mothers fed different crude protein concentrations: what are the epigenetic effects of protein excess/deficiency?

A workshop would also be held, with the aims of generating a white paper outlining future research requirements.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2022

To: 2023

Cost: £203,962
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University of Reading
Keywords
Agriculture and Water Quality              
Air Quality              
Animal Feed              
Cattle              
Dairy