Location: Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research CenterTitle: Understanding parasite resistance in organic livestock and using a systems approach for control
Submitted to: Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Program Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/15/2017
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: One of the greatest barriers to organic production of ruminant livestock is the control of gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN) or parasites. The goals of this project are to 1) understand host mechanisms involved in GIN resistance/resilience by examining differences in immune response among susceptible, resilient, and resistant individuals and breed types, 2) identify genetic loci associated with resistance/resilience, 3) further examine successful systems approaches of GIN control, including fall lambing to minimize summer exposure of GIN to lambs, diverse forage and grazing systems to minimize GIN exposure and use secondary plant compounds for control, and finally, 4) work with farmers enrolled in the National Sheep Improvement Program (NSIP) to understand tools for selection for GIN resistance. Participating farmers will be involved by providing 5000 DNA samples and phenotypes on GIN resistance of lambs in NSIP to use in our objectives. We will educate organic farmers on the importance of NSIP’s breeding values and elite resistant sires to improve flock genetics for GIN resistance. Collaboration exists with West Virginia University, University of Nebraska, University of Idaho, Fort Valley State University, and the National Center for Appropriate Technology in Fayetteville, AR, along with 15 sheep producers and 3 additional universities from 11 states.