Wednesday, 08 July 2020 13:01

The figures tell the story

Written by  Staff Reporters
World Wide Sires says demand for overseas genetics is growing. World Wide Sires says demand for overseas genetics is growing.

The challenge for Kiwi farmers to reduce herd size while maintaining or building production is generating an increase in demand for overseas genetics, says World Wide Sires.

The US genetics company's NZ manager of sales and marketing, Craig Robertson, said the use of high performance genetics – cows capable of averaging more than 700kgMS per year over multiple lactations – is one of the fastest pathways to achieving the industry goal.

“The leap, from the NZ per cow average of 381kgMS (New Zealand Dairy Statistics 2018-2019) can’t be achieved in one season, but a growing number of farmers are setting their sights on transforming their herds, and profit margins, over the next decade.

“Increasing the production of the average New Zealand herd of 435 cows from today’s average of 381kgMS to a modest (by overseas standards) 500kgMS equates to a per cow increase of 119kgMS. At a payout of $6.50 this equates to an additional $336,472 of income. And that’s just the beginning.”

Robertson said, in the last 26 years, average per cow production in New Zealand has increased by just 122kgMS/cow.

“Thanks to genomics, that level of gain is increasing, but too slowly, because of the small database, to achieve the industry aim. To fast-track genetic gain and achieve the consequent profitability and sustainability, farmers need to look overseas to larger and more diverse populations of dairy genetics.

“[WWS] was one of the first companies in the world to launch a successful commercial genomic product and today our active line-up comprises 669 genomic and 347 proven bulls across all breeds.

“The success of our genomic offering – and farmer confidence – comes down to a predictor group database which includes more than 60,540 proven bulls and 2,063,622 cows across all breeds. There is no larger database in the world that can match that, or the reliability it enables. The correlation between the genomic prediction and what the daughter actually produces is statistically reliable and consistently very high.”

Moving away from generations of commitment to Breeding Worth isn’t done overnight, said Robertson, but faced with the inevitability of a future with fewer, more productive animals, farmers are realising there is an alternative.

More like this

Research ‘overdue but welcome’

The ‘Resilient Dairy’ research launched by LIC at National Fieldays in June is an “overdue but welcome initiative” because New Zealand is lagging in dairy genetics, says genetics company World Wide Sires.

Breed the herd of the future

How to breed the herd of the future will be front of mind for dairy farmers attending Fieldays at Mystery Creek.


Sensitive cows

Dairy cows with no access to outside pasture may have damaged emotional wellbeing.

Good mentors key to success

Rachel Foy's interest in dairying started when, as a 12-year-old, she started relief milking during her school holidays.

Machinery & Products

New telemetry solution

Part of the AGCO stable, Fendt, is introducing Fendt Connect – a new generation telemetry solution for Australian and New…

Case plugs into the future

CNH Industrial has announced that it has completed a minority investment in Monarch Tractor, a US-based agricultural technology company, who…

New trailer lighting

Designed for boat trailers, but probably very useful for anyone using a trailer in conditions exposed to the elements, the…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Sour taste

A dairy snack for kids made by the Gloriavale Christian Community has been dropped by two distributors because of "reputational"…

Cows in lockdown

OPINION: Over the past year the world has been shown the psychological damage that lockdown can have on human wellbeing.

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter