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.

Featured

 

Fonterra back in the black

Fonterra chief executive Miles Hurrell says 2019/20 was a good year for the co-op, with profit up, debt down and a strong milk price.

Strategy to reduce heifer mastitis

First calvers are more prone to mastitis than older cows. According to DairyNZ, farmers must choose a strategy that best suits their herd, farm team, and budget.

National

Live cattle exports in limbo

The fate of 28,000 cows in quarantine in New Zealand and supposedly destined for China in the coming weeks hangs…

Farm values down — REINZ

A floating and volatile situation – that’s how the Real Estate Institute of NZ rural spokesperson Brian Peacocke describes the…

Putting farmers first

The NZ agriculture sector is more than just a job for CRV Ambreed’s new managing director James Smallwood.

Graziers quitting!

Some Southland farmers who graze dairy cattle in winter say they will not do it next year.

Machinery & Products

Mowers get a makeover

Well known throughout New Zealand over the past 18 years, Pottinger has redesigned its rear-mounted Novadisc mowers to incorporate a…

Hardy spotlight

High quality, reliable lighting is essential for anyone involved in agriculture or the great outdoors.

Simmm twin water blasters

Italian made Simmm Power Cleaner 100/11 and Power Gun 100/11 single-phase (230 volt) electric water blasters are proving popular in…

OPD argument raging on

A stoush is brewing with the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) heavily criticising Farmsafe Australia’s recent Safer Farm Report.

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Cows and earthquakes

OPINION: It has long been suggested that animals have senses that humans don’t, and often behave differently than usual shortly…

Battle is on

OPINION: One of Australia’s biggest dairy businesses is back on the market after the Federal Government knocked back a bid…

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter