Thursday, January 12, 2017

Hill-climbing cows may help rangeland sustainability

Some of the 5 million cattle that graze on California’s rangelands like to dine in the valleys and hang out by creeks. This can lead to overgrazing in riparian areas and let perfectly good forage on hillsides go to waste. But some cows are different. They prefer to climb hills and mountains and eat along the way. If more cattle followed the road less traveled, rangelands would be more productive and sustainable throughout California and the West. That is why a team of researchers, including University of California, Davis, animal geneticist Juan Medrano, is working to develop an easy, inexpensive genetic test to help ranchers improve cattle distribution by breeding hill-climbing cows. “It’s very exciting research,” said Medrano, a professor with the Department of Animal Science who is collaborating with scientists throughout the West. “DNA technology makes it relatively easy to test and breed for production traits like milk yield and growth rate. But it’s brand new to identify genetic markers linked to animal behavior. This could have a huge impact on food security and rangeland management.”...more

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

More stupid money wasting research!