Hereford Association Researching Sustainable Genetics

The American Hereford Association is partnering with Colorado State University on a research project regarding sustainable genetics. AHA executive vice president Jack Ward says individual cattle producers and the collective beef industry will continue to get asked to do more with less as it relates to environmental and economic sustainability. “That’s why we’re excited to begin this cooperative research agreement with Colorado State University,” Ward says. “It will leverage decades of AHA research and data collected by our members aimed at characterizing genetics associated with production efficiency, which plays a key role in environmental and economic sustainability.” More specifically, the research will enhance understanding of the genetic differences in seedstock relative to methane production and nitrogen excretion. As a genetic trait in cattle, methane emission appears to be moderately inheritable with modest-to-strong correlations to the economically relevant production traits. Direct emissions from the animal ag sector account for 3.8 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

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