LUDF breeding objective aligns to the NZAEL industry good breeding goal ‘to breed cows that are able to efficiently convert feed in to profitable milk production’.
Breeding Values describe the genetic merit of an animal for an individual trait (ability to produce progeny of high genetic merit). In collaboration with industry, NZAEL review the relevance or weighting of individual BVs included in Breeding Worth.
Economic Values provide an estimate of the value of a trait to a NZ dairy farmer. NZAEL review the Economic Values that feed into the understanding of efficient and profitability milk production. EVs are reviewed annually and Breeding Worth adjusts (February) according to changes to farm economics.
Using herd test information it can be seen which cow breed/type is the most profitable to be farmed in the LUDF production system
LUDF Breeding Objectives
LUDF has a focus on a number of objectives achieved through the strategic use of artificial semen products;
- Maximising the efficient and profitable production of milk solids per hectare within the LUDF farming system by breeding for the highest possible BW animals
- Improving calving spread through the manipulation of PSM date and the targeted use of Short Gestation semen bulls. (2018 calving result 88% cows calved by 30/08/2018).
- Given the emphasis towards improving repro performance, the focus at this time remains to use Short Gestation at the tail end of mating to impact late calving dates
- Future state, the strategic use of semen products to meet animal welfare and value add initiatives.
- Cow uniformity
- Cow survival
- Hybrid vigour – especially the fertility component
To display leadership in biosecurity, LUDF needs to develop, implement and practice a biosecurity policy to protect the herd from disease. Bulls will only be used on yearlings and LIC SOP practices will be incorporated in this policy.
LUDF choses at this time to focus on a tight calving spread derived through the use of SGL semen at the tail end of mating. Welfare focus is therefore placed cow attrition and ultimate not in calf rates affected by late calving animals
Future state, LUDF is increasing the use of Sexed Liquid Semen and semen from available beef bulls, to minimise the number of ‘Bobbies’ and to enhance the value of all progeny animals.
The priority focus is less about breed 16th and more about the efficient production of fat and protein relative to live weight.
Breed 16th will drive mating decisions towards the most efficient converter of feed into profitable milk production.
Industry changes to the value of fat and protein are reflected in the breed makeup of the bull team.
Mating Plan Benefits
Further benefits derived from the LUDF mating plan include;
- Increased days in milk 2021 season of 610 days
- 85 x Hereford calves available for sale
- 111 Wagyu calves available for sale at a contracted value
- 15+ high quality heifer replacement animals to sell as calves (or other)
- Estimated that only 20% of progeny to categorise as ‘Bobbie’ (versus 65%+ in historical mating program)
- All mating with A2A2 bulls, increasing A2 frequency in calves
- Targeted breed 16th closer to F8 to F11 cow