Current Research at the Ontario Beef Research Centre

The following is a list of current projects at the Ontario Beef Research Centre at the Elora Research Station.

These research summaries are a new initiative started in 2020 committed to increasing awareness of the projects being undertaken at the Research Centres. This is not an exhaustive list, but a snapshot of ongoing projects. Note that some projects may remain unlisted if they are protected intellectual property. 

Research Centres are a key part of the research process. While a portion of a project may be completed at a research centre, further analysis can occur after projects have left the facility. The projects listed here are those that are currently underway of have recently completed the research centre portion of the project. 

If you have any questions about ongoing research at the research station please email

Update regarding COVID-19

The Alliance is committed to ensuring the health and safety of staff, animals, researchers and the community. We are following guidance set out by the University of Guelph’s Office of Research with respect to biosecurity and research activities during COVID-19. Please keep in mind the status of projects may change as the response to this pandemic evolves.

Current research studies

Click to see a summary of each project.

Research summary
Objective To 1) develop a High Immune Response (HIR) genomics test for beef cattle as a means to mitigate and protect against bovine respiratory disease (BRD); and 2) broaden the applicability of the HIR technology to beef production systems.
Benefit to Agri-food The development of a HIR genomics test that can be successfully used for beef cattle could help producers select cattle that are more disease-resistant to BRD, which is the most common and costly disease affecting the North American beef industry. This technological advancement would improve the health and welfare of beef cattle and benefit producers in terms of reducing losses and treatment costs.
Research summary
Objective 1) To determine the dose response of biochar supplementation on enteric methane emissions, 2) To evaluate the impact of biochar supplementation on enteric methane emissions on pasture fed beef cows, 3) To investigate the relationships between feed efficiency measures and enteric gas emissions in beef cows fed in the drylot or on pasture. 
Benefit to Agri-food This project will investigate a novel feed additive to reduce enteric methane emissions in forage fed cows in an applied setting. First a dose response study will be conducted to determine which biochar dose provides the optimum reduction in methane emissions without impacting animal performance. Then a large scale study will be conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of biochar in reducing enteric emissions on a pasture based system.  In addition the relationships between feed efficiency and gas emissions will be investigated. This work will also provide novel data on GHG emissions in beef cattle production system in Ontario.