When choosing matings for the dairy herd are there certain aspects that you think need improvement eg. milk quality, fertility etc.
But what is affecting these aspects – is it management, feeding, genetics?
Is it affected by all the cows in the herd or could there be a group that is weak in this aspect and they are “masking” the excellent performance of the rest of the herd? How can you check this?
If you are planning a journey you need to know where you are starting from and the route you must take in order to reach your final destination. Similarly in the dairy herd you need to know where you are starting from in order to plan the route to your destination whether that be cow size, fertility, milk quality etc.
To assist farmers with this “journey” Genus ABS, renowned for their innovation in the genetics industry, have introduced the Genetic Audit. All this requires is the provision of a recent milk recording file which is uploaded to a console. This in turn generates a report based on all aspects of the herd such as pedigrees, genetics, fertility etc.
Ian Watson, GMS Evaluator with Genus ABS emphasises: “This provides a thorough analysis of the herd including unprecedented insights into exactly how genetics are working in the herd. This Genetic Audit can then be complemented by our mating program, GMS 2.0, in order to pinpoint matings which will help achieve the farmer’s goals for the herd.”
Ervin McKinstry, Genus NI General Manager emphasised: “Genetics keep improving and we want our customers to have the best possible genetic service. Genetic audits are an additional tool to help our customers assess the level of performance currently being attained in their herds and pinpointing where future improvements can be made.”
He concluded: “Farmer demand for this service has been increasing and we are pleased to announce the appointment of Jonathan Ewing as a GMS specialist with the company.”
Jonathan is from a family dairy farm in Eglish, Co Tyrone and will also be the breeding advisor for the Mid Ulster area.