A trio of researchers in the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) Division of Animal Sciences recently received a 2020 Research Equipment Grant from C-Lock Inc. to purchase one GreenFeed Pasture System, which measures the amount of methane, carbon dioxide, oxygen, hydrogen and hydrogen sulfide gases released by cattle.
Jared Decker, associate professor and state beef Extension specialist, Eric Bailey, assistant professor and state beef Extension specialist, and Derek Brake, assistant professor, are the trio leading the project for CAFNR. Their focus will be on using GreenFeed for the prediction of cow efficiency genetic merit (cow efficiency EPD) by combining gas production data, metabolic theory, and genomic and pedigree data.
C-Lock Inc., founded in 2009, developed and patented GreenFeed. This is the first year of the grant program, which received 44 research proposals from 17 countries and the United States. C-Lock Inc. awarded more than $500,000 total. CAFNR was one of nine projects to be funded.
“We’re honored to be one of the awardees and we’re incredibly excited to begin this research,” Decker said. “It’s a great opportunity for the Division of Animal Sciences and Mizzou as a whole.”
The first step of the project, which will happen over the course of three years, will be to phenotype cattle at the Beef Research and Teaching Farm at the South Farm Research Center in Columbia, Mo. Once those cows are measured, GreenFeed will be transported to the Thompson Research Center (Spickard, Mo.) and the Southwest Research Center (Mt. Vernon, Mo.). Decker, Bailey and Brake will also move to measure gas production of privately owned cattle that have been DNA tested in other CAFNR research projects. This data will be combined with other metabolism and genomic projects that the trio have recently launched.
“We will collect gas production data on 1,500 to 2,300 beef cows to produce a genomic prediction of cow efficiency,” Decker said. “If this cow efficiency EPD is created, then bull and heifer developers, seedstock operations and progeny testing herds will be motivated to collect this data using a GreenFeed system.”