Sheep Breeders' Day a "fantastic initiative"
Sheep breeders from New Zealand and Australia heard about the current and future use of animal breeding technologies and other international trends affecting their industry, at the recent Sheep Breeders' Day in Hawke's Bay.
The difficulties in collating quality data was a key theme running throughout the session, where international speakers from Israel, India, South Africa and Brazil shared their experiences.
It was interesting to hear of the use of New Zealand farming technology, such as the introduction of AgResearch Invermay defined ewe prolificacy genes into the local breeds of India and Israel.
Speakers Mark Young (B+LNZ) and Hamish Chandler (Sheep Genetics) also provided updates about the increasing interest and progress in traits other than production and the improving accuracies of genomic predictions of merit.
Four case-study talks by Mark Mortimer (Australia), Trevor Cook (NZ), Geoff Nicoll (NZ), and Derek Daniell (NZ) were conducted with different strategies used to increase profitability in a breeder's business.
Described by Beef + Lamb New Zealand Chairman Mike Petersen, as a "fantastic initiative", the event finished off with an interesting "discussion panel" session, ranging in topics from gene-by-environment interactions to the next industry-changing technologies.
It was a real "buzz" for the team at AbacusBio to have such a great turn-out at the event. It was also great to see the collegiality as well as the across-breed and across-Tasman knowledge transfer happening throughout the day.