Friday, 08 January 2021 11:55

Cow production improved by genetic research and tech

Written by  Staff Reporters

Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC) say continued investment in gene discovery and genetic analysis technology is allowing their farmer shareholders to improve cow production valued in the millions.

 

Investment into the understanding of bovine genetics undertaken by LIC scientists indicates farmers could be missing out on production to the tune of up to the tune of up to $10 million each year.

The co-operative spent $16 million on research and development during the 2019/20 season.

The discovery of genetic variations have been made from the farmer-owned co-operative's database of genotyped cows and bulls and validated through on-farm inspections.

LIC chief scientist Richard Spelman says that despite a relatively low frequently, the hidden impacts on production from these variants can be substantial.

Spelman says they are recessive genetic variations, which means an animal has to have two copies to be affected.

"Identifying these animals via Genemark and removing them from the herd as calves will save in lost production and the rearing cost for these animals.

"We estimate this could be worth up to $10 million in lost production each year across the national herd," he says.

"Even having a few of these cows in a herd could equate to significant loss in productivity and profitability."

He says that LIC's continued investment in gene discovery, with the Genemark testing platform, will allow farmers to identify genetic variations in animals as calves, remove them from the herd, and allow them to focus on the rest of their replacements.

Each of the variants exist within the national herd at differing frequencies and all have varying effects on an animal's production. 

From spring 2021, all farmers using LIC's Genemark services will automotically be notified at no additional charge if any of their calves are affected by any of the variations.

"We are pleased our combined investment into science and technology has come together to deliver a simple and convenient service for farmers that is likely to save millions in lost production."

More like this

Too busy to herd test in October

Cambridge dairy farmer and breeder Brad Payne would herd test ten times a year, but he works as an LIC AB Technician during October so reluctantly sacrifices data he’d get during that month of the year.

LIC, Afimilk tie up with collar deal

Herd improvement and agri-tech cooperative LIC has formed a distribution partnership with Israeli-based Afimilk to market its hi-tech cow collars in New Zealand.

National

Livestock trading booming

The livestock trading industry in New Zealand is stronger than ever thanks to the innovation and resilience which came to…

Open MIQ spaces for farm workers

Farmers want the Government to open available space in managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) to bring in much-needed workers for…

Machinery & Products

Border control without a passport

Cultivation, seeding and fertiliser application specialist Amazone claims its new AutoTS spreading system can increase yields along the borders of…

'Youniverse' fair

New Holland is set to hold a "Youniverse" digital fair, a 10-day online event, next month where farmers and prospective…

Let the good times (un)roll

Mounted bale unrollers are popular on New Zealand farms, with one Kiwi-owned manufacturer claiming to have figured out what works…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Oat dear!

OPINION: Oat 'milk' is facing a crisis of sorts.

Cows to stay home

OPINION: Eleven cows from Auckland's Cornwall Park will no longer be exported to Mongolia to participate in a breeding programme.

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter