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Precision Phenotyping for Efficient Animal Agriculture


The balance between resilience and efficiency of animals and farms is crucial in the production context to ensure modern and sustainable livestock production. Animals need to be more resilient because their nutritional needs differ according to production systems and the type of pasture available. They must be able to cope with a variety of situations and resist diseases that may vary in different environments and farming systems. However, the relevant resilience and efficiency factors remain difficult to measure on experimental farms, let alone under commercial conditions. This therefore limits the possibilities of selecting more resilient and efficient animals and does not allow farmers to manage their herds in a way that optimizes the balance in their system.

GenTORE adopts a multi-stakeholder approach across 15 countries, with half of the 21 Consortium members drawn from economic actors or their representatives, including breeding companies, breeders' associations, transnational organisations, livestock services or veterinary consultancy actors, and technology companies. These partners, who have been directly involved in GenTORE since its inception, form a core group that can be extended to any partner wishing to contribute expertise or data and quickly benefit from the project's progress. The inclusion of these partners from the development stage of the project is a major asset as it allows for a confrontation of ideas and a better identification of the needs of the different actors in the livestock industry. This approach will facilitate the development of relevant tools, adapted to the concrete problems of dairy and lactating farmers, which is a guarantee of good ownership and long-term use of innovations.

The project consists of 6 major research actions, plus essential promotion, dissemination and training actions. The main research results that can be used to develop tools to help livestock farmers will concern :

  • The key elements necessary for the development of a multi-criteria selection index, including the traits to be included, their relative weights in the index, and their correlations throughout the life of the animals ;
  • The development of predictive modelling tools to enable farmers to identify the animals best suited to their system and to adopt optimal herd management strategies, taking into account the impact of climate change.

The tools developed by GenTORE will be practical and applicable to a wide range of farms (dairy, lactating and mixed breeds) and systems (conventional and organic). They will increase the economic, environmental and social sustainability of European cattle farming.

The tools developed will include :

  • Improved genomic selection, with the establishment of a reference population to assess the resilience and efficiency (R&E) of purebred or cross-bred cattle.
  • New indicators for phenotyping on commercial farms and associated data analysis tools to help develop genomic predictions for cattle R&E.
  • New approaches based on local measurements to include Genotype X Environment interactions in genomic predictions.
  • A farm management index allowing farmers to evaluate various strategies to actively adapt their R&E management to their farming system and assess the consequences.
  • All tools will be tested on farms.

21 Partners : 5 industrials, 10 research organisations, 4 consulting organisations, 2 organic farms, 1 administrative project manager

Persons involved in the unit:Nathalie Bareille

This project is funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

See also

The project's website: