Polish cattle and meeting

New selection index for Polish dairy cattle

As part of a new project, AbacusBio consultants are working with the Centre for Genetics at the Polish Federation of Cattle Breeders and Dairy Farmers.

Kat Stachowicz, Peter Amer, Tim Byrne, and Cheryl Quinton of AbacusBio are contracted to develop an economic selection index that is customised specifically for the needs and requirements of Polish dairy farmers.

“In Poland,” Kat says, “the current selection index is not based on economic principles but depends on the subjective weighting of traits by breeders and farmers.”

“A selection objective based on economic principles usually offers a validated means of assuring more effective and worthwhile gains during genetic improvement,” Kat adds. Economic index is expressed in monetary units and bulls are ranked based on the expected profitability of their daughters, which makes farmers’ choices easier.

The team recently travelled to Poland to gain fundamental knowledge on the production system, current dairy genetic evaluation programme, available data, and the index, which will lay the foundation for promoting the value of a new, state-of-the-art breeding objective.

“Based on these background information, we will also be carrying out a survey for farmers, to gather economic data and determine their preferences for various dairy cow attributes – taking into consideration the systematic differences of farmers across different sub-sectors of the industry.” Kat explains.

“Ultimately, our goal is to help Polish farmers ensure optimal rates of genetic gain in the national dairy population.”

The Centre for Genetics was founded on April 1st, last year, with the mission of optimising dairy cattle breeding in Poland through modern technology in genetic improvement.

You can check out their website at: https://www.cgen.pl/en/about-us/.