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Research review: DFC releases new five-year research strategy

Published on 02 December 2021
Research review

Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) has developed a new five-year National Dairy Research Strategy that will guide the organization’s investments in science.

The strategy outlines research needs and priorities, establishing targeted outcomes and key research objectives for the sector over the next half-decade (2022-27). The goals of the strategy are to foster innovation; increase farm efficiency and sustainability; enhance animal health, care and welfare practices; and strengthen the role of dairy in human nutrition and health, as well as in sustainable diets. Ultimately, research to be conducted under the strategy will better position dairy farms and dairy products in the marketplace.

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The strategy was developed through extensive consultations involving a broad range of stakeholders from the scientific community and the dairy industry. The process resulted in the identification of specific targeted outcomes and key research objectives in three priority areas.

Under the Dairy Farm Sustainability priority area, key research objectives have been defined to sustain feed cropping system long-term productivity; reduce greenhouse gas (GHG), maximize carbon sequestration and adapt to climate change; better use and conservation of water on dairy farms; and increase biodiversity. Also included under this area is the importance of factoring in social and economic implications of any practices studied.

Under the Animal Health, Care and Welfare priority area, key research objectives have been defined to develop effective solutions to help prevent and mitigate diseases and reduce the use of antimicrobials; improve feed efficiency, reduce production costs and optimize milk composition and quality; better adapt housing and management options (including defining solutions to facilitate compliance to the upcoming new Dairy Cattle Code of Practice); and improve genetics and reproduction performances.

Finally, under the Dairy in Human Nutrition and Health priority area, key research objectives have been defined to strengthen the contribution of dairy in optimal human health and wellness, reinforce the role of dairy in disease prevention, and demonstrate the value of dairy within healthy sustainable diets in the Canadian context.

Some of the principles guiding the implementation of the strategy include:

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  • Strengthening partnerships with dairy organizations, governments and stakeholders to build research capacity to ensure future growth

  • Maximizing farmers’ investments through a coordinated approach in dairy production and in human nutrition and health

  • Investing in independent, credible research subject to a rigorous scientific peer-review process

  • Providing the science-based evidence needed to continuously improve the stewardship of animals and the responsible management of resources

  • Reporting on dairy research outcomes to support dairy farmers’ efforts to continuously improve their practices.

The strategy will form the basis of upcoming calls for proposals to the Canadian scientific community. To receive information on DFC research funding programs and calls for proposals, subscribe to DFC’s Dairy Research Newsletter.  end mark

Full details of the National Dairy Research Strategy can be found on the new Dairy Research hub of Dairy Farmers of Canada.

Canadian Dairy Research: For a profitable, innovative and sustainable sector
Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) invests in research to stimulate productivity, sustainability and profitability on farms and to improve knowledge on milk and dairy products’ health benefits. DFC finances research initiatives that benefit all dairy farmers across Canada and works in collaboration with its members and other sectorial partners to address farmers’ priorities set in the dairy research and knowledge translation, and transfer national strategies. Visit Dairy Research for more information.

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