A new soon-to-be dairy index
Future dairy farmers may soon be able to assess a DairyNZ endorsed, secondary economic index for dairy cattle specifically for high-input-output systems.
AbacusBio has been working with DairyNZ on the project for more than a year and recently presented its findings at the 10th World Congress of Genetics Applied to Livestock Production in Vancouver.
"It is still very much a work in progress but what we may get out of it in the end is a different ranking for animals catering to DairyNZ system four and five farms," Jeremy Bryant, New Zealand Animal Evaluation Limited manager says.
"The thinking was that the new ranking would likely weight milk, fat, and protein production higher than currently in Breeding Worth and, if the next phase of research confirms it, some of the traits other than production (TOPs) such as udder overall and udder support," says AbacusBio consultant Peter Amer, who leads the AbacusBio team of Bruno Santos, Tim Byrne, and Bram Visser.
"The next step," Peter says, "is to use industry data to see how bulls re-ranked for individual traits in different production environments. So far the work had focused on adapting economic index weightings to determine if different priorities should be placed on traits for the higher output systems."
"However, there will still be a lot of work to do before launching a secondary economic index," Jeremy says.
Supplied content from NZX Agri; Dairy Exporter (September issue)
Photo credits to NZX Agri