Thursday 15th September 2022
Lochinver Station on the Rangitaiki Plains near Taupo joins Pāmu’s Kepler Farm near Te Anau as a progeny test site for the INZB programme, which is being led by Beef + Lamb New Zealand Genetics, with the support of the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Sustainable Food & Fibre Futures (SFF Futures) partnership.
The across-breed Beef Progeny Test uses Angus, Hereford and now Simmental genetics to identify the performance of agreed-on traits. Angus cows will be artificially inseminated at Lochinver in January 2023 with Angus, Hereford and Simmental bulls used at the North Island farm.
The overall aim of the seven-year INZB programme is to improve profitability and enhance sustainability across the beef industry through the development and adoption of improved genetics.
In addition to developing a beef genetic evaluation system to support a sustainable beef farming industry in New Zealand, the programme will also create easy to use tools to enable data to be efficiently collected, managed, analysed and used by farmers to make profitable decisions for their operation.
Informing New Zealand Beef’s (INZB) Science Lead Dr Jason Archer says the test will gather data which will allow the breeds as well as the bulls to be compared.
“It will enable us to demonstrate the differences and similarities between the breeds, along with the benefits of hybrid vigour, but the main purpose is to evaluate good bulls on the same base.
“Importantly, the expansion into the North Island will allow the inclusion of Simmental genetics into the test. It will give us more capacity to analyse these breeds together as a dataset.”
Steve Smith, Business Manager at Lochinver Station, says the Lochinver team is excited to join the project.
“We have a large focus on beef production and are looking forward to being a part of something that helps build a stronger beef industry in New Zealand. The programme will provide tools to help evaluate across breeds and the data can be used to make more profitable on farm decisions.”