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Using Danish genetics to reduce CO2e emissions from livestock production

18. October 2021

Solution provider

Danish Agriculture and Food Council

Population growth, food demand and climate change are major challenges. Food production impacts the climate and, as a result, new and innovative solutions are needed, if we are to satisfy the rising global demand for food, while considering the climate challenges the world is facing.

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According to projections issued by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the demand for meat will increase in 2050. This is particularly attributable to the fact that more and more people are leaving poverty, while the world population is rising to almost 10 billion in 2050 at the same time. This prompts the need to establish a livestock production process with a lower climate and environmental impact worldwide.


Breeding and genetics are crucial for reducing methane emissions within the dairy and beef cattle sector. Key actions worth mentioning include sex-sorted semen, genomic selection and breeding to achieve more feed-efficient cows.

R&D in the areas of breeding, genetics, and feed efficiency for the benefit of dairy and meat producers is a cornerstone of VikingGenetics’ activities. VikingGenetics pioneers in the field of breeding healthy dairy cows with high milk yields. The potential global benefits of using VikingGenetics’ genetic systems in cattle herds are significant.


For instance, if VikingGenetics’ systems were deployed in India, the country could reduce its methane emissions from Indian dairy cows by 33 per cent per litre milk. The company has joined forces with Aarhus University to document the genetic impact in India, focusing on yields, health, and methane emissions.


Contributors: Viking Genetics