Area 1 (‘Economy’): Improve the productivity, resilience and competitiveness of European Animal Production
Although we are focused in Area 1, we are willing and able to get involved in any of the topics of the call. We can collaborate with farms to make a practical approach.
The Livestock Research Group at ITACyL has a broad experience in the study and the improvement of animal performance of ruminants (meat, milk, behaviour) through feeding, reproduction and management and their relationship with animal health and welfare. We also have competitive skills in the implementation of novel information and communication technologies to the common management practices applied to cattle. This experience is supported by publications and communications to conferences, the edition of informative handbooks and the participation in several R&D and innovation proposals with leading companies. The group has developed several prototypes for remote control real-time data collection of the activity of extensive grazing by implementing GPS-GPRS technology and the appropriate management software. Likewise, animal management and feeding protocols have been defined in order to avoid the appearance of digestive disorders and enhance performance.
Recently, an ambitious study on energy efficiency in dairy sheep and cattle farms has been developed in order to improve their energy efficiency and reduce production costs. As a result of this project a website and an online platform have been developed (www.enerlacteo.com).
Regarding reproductive management of autochthonous cattle breeds, a significant progress has been developed by means of the implementation of identification techniques based in the sperm DNA fragmentation using semen samples from bulls from different breeds.
Several projects related to extensive cattle and dairy sheep have been launched. These are aimed at studying all basic conditioning factors in order to achieve an appropriate technical and economic management of the farm and a proper exploitation of the results obtained (technical and economical indices and ratios), in order to propose improvement actions for farms.