Farmers have say on ideal cow
Dairy farmers get a chance to shape the cow of the future at a national road show over the next month.
The 20 events from Kaitaia to Invercargill are for farmers to give feedback on the National Breeding Objective.
The dairy cow is the engine of the New Zealand dairy industry, with 4.4 million cows producing more than 1.4 billion kilograms of milksolids every year. The National Breeding Objective is to identify animals whose progeny will be the most efficient converters of feed into farmer profit, otherwise known as Breeding Worth (BW).
NZ Animal Evaluation Limited manager Dr George Cruickshank said farmers had the opportunity to say whether the current BW met their needs and how they would like to see it change in the future. ‘‘Our aim is to ensure that New Zealand dairy farmers have access to animals that will best suit the dairy industry of the future,’’ said Dr Cruickshank.
‘‘One of the things we want to establish is if farmers think the current traits have the right economic weighting or if they think others should be added.
‘‘We will also be discussing the limitations of the current cow and the traits of importance for the future.’’
Farmers will also have the opportunity to participate in an online survey. The survey will focus on determining the traits of importance for farmers across the full spectrum of farming systems across and within breeds.
‘‘The road show is an important step in the development of a strategy for the National Breeding Objective,’’ he said.
‘‘I encourage farmers to attend and have their say in the future of the New Zealand dairy cow.’’
For more information go to www.nzael.org.nz or www.dairynz.co.nz/events.