Advancing Beef Cattle Fertility

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The Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network (CAAIN) today unveiled the third of seven stories showcasing the agtech research & innovation being developed by the recipients of funding made available through its 2021 Open Competition.

CAAIN’s mandate from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada is to fund technological responses to the most significant opportunities and challenges facing the nation’s agri-food producers and processors. That means supporting promising efforts with the potential to provide economic or environmental value. The featured stories demonstrate that CAAIN is doing just that, as do the 129 collaborations the organization has nurtured and the $31M it is investing in 24 projects with a combined total value exceeding $100M.

“A lot of research has focused on evaluating and improving the fertility of bulls,” explained Darrell Petras, CAAIN’s CEO. “That’s understandable given the potential value a single male can provide to a ranch. Less effort has been devoted to developing predictive analytics for use with heifers, leaving a significant gap this project seeks to close. A partnership such as this one, which includes three post- secondary institutions, two technology companies, farmers from across Western Canada, and a research organization, facilitates exactly the kind of collaboration our agri-food sector needs to advance innovation.”

Based out of Lakeland College’s Lloydminster, Alberta, campus, Precision Ranching for Improved Reproductive and Grazing Efficiencies carries a total price tag of $1,295,508. CAAIN has committed $143,237 to the project, which focuses on evaluating existing technologies to identify ways to assess a range of factors that indicate a heifer’s fertility and track bovine grazing patterns in real time. The goal is to predict the heifer’s ability to produce quality offspring, allowing farmers to avoid investing in animals unlikely to provide a return on investment. Once a cost-effective suite of effective tools has been selected, an application will be developed to integrate all the relevant data, allowing ranchers to access
information about every member of their herd on a mobile device, saving them time and greatly increasing profitability.

For more information, read the attached story or view it online.

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