Friday, 19 April 2019 10:23

Genetic solutions to herd challenges

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CRV has marketed Connacht in its InSire team for a couple of years now. CRV has marketed Connacht in its InSire team for a couple of years now.

Herd improvement company CRV Ambreed claims its 2019 bulls offer farmers great options.

Breeding programme manager Aaron Parker says the bulls include daughter-proven and young genomic InSire bulls.

“We’re a future focused company, always planning at least five years ahead,” Parker says.

“We made a long-term commitment to breed sires that would produce healthy and efficient daughters. Our efforts have truly paid off and dairy farmers will ultimately reap the benefits by having better genetics to breed better cows.”

Product manager Peter van Elzakker stresses that sustainable dairy farming cannot be achieved by index alone, and says more farmers are looking for genetic solutions to meet the current and future demands they face in the environment, herd efficiency and animal welfare. 

He recommends farmers look more broadly than production figures and choose the right genetics to achieve their overall breeding goals.

“Facial eczema tolerance, for instance, is extremely important for animal welfare, and reducing urinary nitrogren levels via LowN Sires is a great option to use for increasing environmental sustainability,” he said.

Parker points out that this year’s graduate bulls and the 2019 bulls overall have surpassed CRV’s expectations.

“Our selection process is extremely rigorous. Each year we usually choose the best 10 to 12 bulls from a pool of about 120 bulls that have come to the end of the four-year breeding programme and have herd testing and TOP information,” he says.

Parker says breeding for improved health and efficiency works. 

“Analysis of herd records shows that a sire with an excellence rating (5% or more) on the Better Life Health index will have progeny with lower somatic cell count and higher conception rates. If they have an excellence rating on the Better Life Efficiency index, they will have progeny producing more milk solids and lasting longer in the herd,” he said.

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