Ruminating with RealAg — Ep 4: Residual Feed Intake, Genomics & Sire Selection

The role of genomics in the cattle industry continues to expand, as the price for genetic tests become more affordable for a wider demographic of producers. Parentage testing is only the tip of the iceberg available to interested parties, with understanding of expected progeny differences (EPD) and estimated breeding values (EBV) increasing and playing an impressive role in sire selection.

Measuring methane using Boreal laser at the Lacombe Research Centre. Picture courtesy of Dr. Vern Baron, AAFC.
Measuring methane using Boreal laser at the Lacombe Research Centre.
Picture courtesy of Dr. Vern Baron, AAFC.

Inspired partly by attending a BeefBooster bull selection day, I recently headed to the Lacombe Research Centre. There, I spoke with John Basarab, a research scientist with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. Basarab has extensive knowledge in genomics and is working on some very interesting efficiency studies as the beef industry continues its quest to define sustainability.

Measuring methane using Open path Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrophotometers (OP-FTIR), Lacombe Research Centre. Picture courtesy of Dr. Thomas Flesch, U of A.
Measuring methane using Open path Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrophotometers (OP-FTIR), Lacombe Research Centre. Picture courtesy of Dr. Thomas Flesch, U of A.

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