Meat & Livestock News

Enhancing Beef Genetics in New Zealand

Project Overview

The Informing New Zealand Beef (INZB) programme aims to boost the use of high-quality genetics in the beef industry. It now involves 37 commercial beef farmers.

Programme Objectives

The INZB programme focuses on several key areas:

– Developing NZ-specific breeding indexes.

– Building genetic evaluation across breeds.

– Implementing a beef progeny test.

– Integrating data from commercial herds.

Impact and Participation

Sonya Shaw, the INZB project lead, highlighted the importance of farmers’ engagement in genetic data recording and usage. Participating farmers contribute to the programme by:

– Providing accurate pedigree records.

– Assessing bull performance.

– Selecting replacement heifers carefully.

– Collaborating with bull breeders for faster genetic gains.

Farmers can also compare their herds with others in the programme.

Long-term Benefits

Supported by Beef + Lamb NZ, the NZ Meat Board, and the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund, the programme aims to increase sector profits by $460 million over 25 years.

Sonya Shaw remarked, “The INZB programme is pivotal for farmers to understand and harness the power of superior genetics. It ensures better profitability and effective heifer selection, significantly impacting their herd’s genetic advancement.”

Participation offers clear benefits.