Start of the D4Dairy pilot surveys - information event for farmers tours through Austria
by Kristina Linke (comments: 0)
After a year of intensive preparations, the pilot surveys start in January 2020.
The farmers of the 100 innovative farms participating in the Genetics and Genomics project have been trained in the past 2 weeks. The training took place in Ried, Bergland, Traboch and Freistadt. The focus of the training was on the information of farmers and the exact explanation of data collection and documentation. The regional performance recording organizations and breeding associations supported the events.
In detail, the training included a presentation of D4Dairy with a focus on genetics and breeding aspects, a presentation on the exact data collection and the course of the pilot studies in D4Dairy, 2 lectures on claw health and metabolism and a presentation of the FoKUHs project.
One of the aims of the pilot is to use the information generated by sensors and systems on the farm for breeding for animal health. It will be examined whether information about animal behaviour derived from sensors can also be used for the breeding improvement of claw health or metabolic stability. At present, claw health and metabolic stability are not included in the total breeding value. Furthermore, interfaces for data exchange between systems are being developed so that information such as calving, insemination, etc. does not have to be recorded twice by the farmer. The combination of data from different data sources is also the basis for research into new, more meaningful parameters. During the 15-month period of the pilot surveys, many additional health characteristics will be recorded at the farms in order to check the possibility of deriving auxiliary characteristics.
The derivation of genomic breeding values is carried out in cooperation with the FoKUHs project.
It is very gratifying that so many innovative farmers have agreed to participate in the project. It is thanks to them, the performance recording organizations, the participating companies, claw trimmers and veterinarians that the data collection can take place to this extent.