INDILACT - Individually adapted lactations lengths

Last changed: 29 April 2021
Close up of milk machine and udder. Photo.

The aim of the project is to develop tools which can be used for individually adapted lactation lengths based on the biological conditions of the cow.

Today a one year calving interval and a short lactation period, is recommended. The recommendations are based on 30 years old information and do not take into account individual variations between cows. In this project 20 large dairy herds will be included. We will gain information from the individual cows in each herd related to milk yield, fertility and health and validate the tools as predictors of cows which benefit from an extended lactation. We will test the tools by selecting primiparous cows based on the developed predictive tools. We will create genomic breeding values which can be used to identify cows which benefit for an extended lactation. We envision that farmers who adopt the concept of individually adapted lactation lengths will experience better health and welfare, fertility and productivity in their herds.

Project manager:

Kjell Holtenius,, Department of Animal Nutrition and Management, SLU

Project group:

Doctoral student Anna Edvardsson Rasmussen,, (Department of Animal Nutrition and Management), Maria Åkerlind (Växa Sverige), Erling Strandberg (Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics), Renée Båge (Department of Clinical Sciences), Britt Berglund (Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics) and Cecilia Kronqvist (Animal Nutrition and Management).

Reference group:

Ann-Theres Persson, Växa Sverige, Carl Oskar Paulrud, DeLaval, Hans Stålhammar, Viking Genetics and Hans Andersson, Department of Economics, SLU


"INDILACT" - Individually adapted lactations lengths for sustainable and economically profitable dairy production. The project is financed by Stiftelsen Lantbruksforskning (Swedish farmers' foundation for agricultural research) and runs between 2018-2021.