Beef finishing unit website4

Beef genetics

AbacusBio has been collaborating with Beef + Lamb New Zealand Genetics to develop a progeny test programme – for beef.

The programme has three main aims:

1. quantify the value of improved beef genetics on commercial beef farms,

2. demonstrate how existing genetic and genomic tools can be used to improve profitability, and

3. develop new genetic tools based on data collected to enhance future beef farming profitability.

So far 2,200 cows and heifers have been inseminated on five properties around New Zealand: Whangara Farms near Gisborne; Rangitaiki Station on the Napier-Taupo road; Tautane Station in southern Hawkes Bay; Mendip Hills Station in North Canterbury; and Caberfeidh Station in South Canterbury.

The bulls used in the project represent a range of genetics: Angus, Hereford, and Stabiliser as maternal breeds, and on the other hand, Simmental and Charolais as terminal breeds.

Scanning results from the sites have shown that the average conception rate to artificial insemination is 49% across the programme, close to the 50% target.

Jason Archer, who leads the project, says that this is a good outcome, given that it is the first time any of these farms has ever been involved in the artificial insemination of beef cows.

The programme has received considerable publicity, and many people are eagerly waiting for the calves to be born and results to start coming in.

The project is co-sponsored by Focus Genetics and Whangara Farms.

Watch this space for upcoming developments!