A Precision-based Feedlot
The rapid growth of the world’s population is leading to an increasing demand for animal-based food products, which brings with it increasing economic and environmental challenges. The Beef-Cattle Unit at Newe Ya‘ar is exploring a range of research topics focusing on improving ruminant production efficiency and product quality, while maintaining and improving the health and welfare of the individual animals and their living environment. The new precision-based feedlot will bridge the different units of the Model Farm: as a “supplier” it will produce manure for compostation and energy production processes and as a “consumer” it will accept agricultural by-products to be used as constitutents of ruminant feed. The precision-based feedlot will enable monitoring feed consumption of the individual animal and changes in its body weight, as well as phenotyping physiological and behavioral parameters including rumination, diurnal activity and its social dynamics. Moreover, the precision-based feedlot will enable testing the profile of genetic variability within and among cattle breeds with respect to feed usage, in order to develop genetic markers associated with health and production traits. The precision based feedlot will be used for examining the effect of various forage crops, feed additives, and agricultural by-products on feed efficiency, product quality, methane production, and the chemical composition of emitted odors.