ABOUT THE PROGRAMME

Informing New Zealand Beef (INZB) is a future focused seven-year programme (2021 – 2027) designed to generate more income for beef producers and the economy while protecting the environment.

Building on skills and knowledge that already exist in New Zealand – courtesy of our world-leading sheep genetic evaluation and previous work such as the B+LNZ Genetics Beef Progeny Test – this is the industry’s response to evolving consumer expectations around food quality and how it is produced.

INZB will focus on breeding objectives, and resulting traits, important to New Zealand farmers. It will also develop a New Zealand-based genetic evaluation for comparing bulls of different breeds, which will ultimately result in more efficient beef animals, that generate less greenhouse gases and are more profitable. 

Development of tools will enable commercial farmers to select the right genetics quickly and easily for their farm system and environment. For some, it may be a focus on health traits such as Facial Eczema (a disease unique to New Zealand), while others may prefer to focus on meat quality traits aligned to a customer programme, or environmental efficiency in their animals.

The programme is being funded 60 percent by B+LNZ and 40 percent by the Ministry for Primary Industries through its Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund.


PROGRAMME OUTLINE

1. Progeny test herds 

Fundamental to an across-breed genetic evaluation is linkage and the ability to make adjustments for hybrid vigour. Industry-good Beef Progeny Test sites will provide those linkages and provide New Zealand collected data to accurately predict hybrid vigour. INZB goes a step further and will work with farmers to establish Next Generation herds within existing commercial operations. These herds will feed critical information back into the system: 

1. Performance data collected in commercial environments. 

2. Genomic data calibrated against commercial reality. 

3. Female replacement selection data. 

4. Carcase data.

2. Develop breeding objectives and indexes 

Based on consultation with industry to determine trait priorities, New Zealand-specific indexes can be developed. With the potential to simplify how genetic information (e.g. Breeding Values and Indexes) is presented to occasional users, such as commercial farmers purchasing bulls, while still making detailed information available to breeders and advanced users. 

3. Build a genetic evaluation 

Core productivity traits will be established, based on existing genetic and performance data. Next, new traits will be developed, as identified by sector stakeholders. Building of a multi-breed evaluation will follow. Finally, importing international breeding values will be explored.

4. Data infrastructure


This is the programme’s “backend” computing power, where data flows in and out, seamlessly and for maximum benefit to individuals (breeders and farmers) and the national beef herd.


OPPORTUNITIES FOR FARMERS

Next Generation herds 

Involvement as a Next Generation herd will appeal to farmers with a passion for genetics, who wish to: 

Some key requirements: 

  1. Some direct genetic linkage will be needed. This may require a small amount of Artificial Insemination or working alongside your breeder to achieve this (e.g. natural use of a bull in the commercial herd that is used as AI in the stud herd). 
     
  2. No weighing of calves at birth will be required but to enable this, accurate foetal age information will be needed. This involves scanning in a narrow window of time by a capable scanner. 
     
  3. DNA genotyping will be required on the calves of interest to identify the calf to cow.
     
  4. Some core trait measuring will be needed e.g
     - Growth weights.
     - Cow Body Condition Score and fertility outcomes (from foetal age data and calf matches).
     - Management mobs.
     - Carcase data (with the potential to collect this direct from meat companies.

If you’re interested in being involved as a Next Generation herd, please email info@blnzgenetics.com or phone 0800 745 435


OPPORTUNITIES FOR BREEDERS

Progeny test sires 

Expressions of interest in nominating bulls for the across-breed progeny test will be sought annually. 

Next Generation herds

Interest will be sought for Next Generation herds. Breeders may see this as an opportunity to work closely with a small number of key clients in a breeding alliance. Breeders providing bulls to these herds (under commercial arrangements) would receive feedback on bull performance, including carcase and maternal performance, and enhanced genomic accuracy. 

nProve for beef

Once the evaluation is operational, breeders will be able to record data on B+LNZ Genetics’ nProve database. Breeders will own their data, and B+LNZ Genetics will create and facilitate pipelines to other databases  and evaluations, as and where needed. 

Participation in New Zealand beef genetics across-breed evaluation. 

As part of this evaluation, breeders will be able to benchmark their bulls across breeds used in the commercial New Zealand industry. Any New Zealand Indexes or new traits developed will provide more NZ-centric information on their animals.



New innovations

Breeders with an interest in specific new traits will be able to collaborate in trait development programmes.

If you’re interested in being involved in the INZB programme, please email info@blnzgenetics.com or phone 0800 745 435



BULL NOMINATIONS  

The Beef Progeny Test component of the INZB programme is run at Pāmu’s Kepler farm, Te Anau and is open to Angus and Hereford sires. This programme is fundamental to a multi-breed evaluation by providing both linkage between breeds and New Zealand collected data to be able to accurately estimate hybrid vigour.

Angus and Hereford rising-two and re-breeding rising-three-year-old heifers are Artificially Inseminated in December. All Angus and Hereford bulls will be used across both breeds of heifers.

A call for bull nominations is made between June – August each year. 

View Nomination information 

INZB RESOURCES 

The following resources are available for the INZB programme. View the Beef Progeny Test Page for Sire lists and Beef Progeny Tests reports. 

GOVERNANCE

The INZB programme is supported by a number of groups that provide governance functions, industry perspectives and technical review.  

Programme Governance Group (PGG)

The committee, referred to as the PGG, provide executive support and exercise decision making relevant to the management of the INZB Programme. It consists of an Independent Chair, two MPI appointees and two B+LNZ appointees.

Group members:


Industry Advisory Group (IAG)

The IAG is a group of New Zealand farmers, breeders and industry representatives who are responsible for providing objective feedback and guidance on activities in the programme. They contribute to technical discussions and provide farmer insight and perspectives to ensure the efficient and relevant delivery of the programme.

Group members:


Technical Advisory Group (TAG)

The TAG are a group of scientists and researchers who provide objective feedback and guidance on science-related activities in the programme. They contribute to discussions and gather information on sector needs and opportunities relating to the programme. This can involve identifying international research that will provide the operational team with insights and perspectives.

Group Members: