Low N Sires™

 

LowN sires pathway

CRV Ambreed is excited to announce a major genetic breakthrough that will potentially provide a solution for more sustainable dairy farming in New Zealand.

Agriculture’s impact on the environment is a major topic world-wide. In New Zealand degradation of waterways is the main concern.

Much of the contamination of waterways is caused by Nitrogen leached from urine patches of cows. Reduction of Nitrogen excreted in urine is desirable to reduce this leaching.

CRV Ambreed has several research and development programmes aimed at improving farming sustainability using genetics.

Breeding to reduce Nitrogen excreted in urine is one of those programmes.

 

 

View the LowN Sires team on our online catalogue

To discuss further or to order LowN Sires, contact the CRV Gene Team http://www.lownsires.co.nz/contact

FAQ

MUN is the concentration of Urea Nitrogen contained in milk.

The daughters of LowN Sires will have lower MUN than the daughters of the average bull

Three steps to understand the pathway:
1. Breeding with LowN Sires™ will reduce MUN concentration in their progeny.
2. International research shows if MUN is reduced, then the amount of Nitrogen excreted in Urine is reduced.
3. If the amount of Nitrogen excreted in urine is reduced then the amount of Nitrogen leached will be reduced.

Nitrogen leaching on dairy farms is a problem that predominantly stems from the cow’s urine.
• The amount of Nitrogen in the urine patch is the problem
• If we reduce the amount of Nitrogen hitting the ground by breeding cows that pee less nitrogen, then leaching will be reduced.

Dairy cattle convert nitrogen consumed into five areas: milk (protein + urea); growth (muscle); dung; gases; and urine. Modelling and genetic analysis of the LowN Sires™ bulls suggests about 25% of the nitrogen that will be diverted away from urine in their daughters will go into milk protein. Higher percentages of milk protein is good news for milk processing companies desiring less water in the drying process. So, we know we can reduce MUN through breeding, and that these low-MUN cows will partition more dietary nitrogen from milk urea towards milk protein. This means not only can LowN Sires and a low-MUN approach be used to breed for environmental gains, but also possibly for an increase in animal efficiency. This finding is thought to be a world-first in demonstrating variation between cows of differing genotypes for how they partition dietary nitrogen eaten in the form of protein.

CRV Ambreed has found a favourable relationship between MUN and BW. But, it’s not as simple as seeking high BW to reduce nitrogen in urine: many high-BW bulls have high (ie undesirable) MUN BVs and vice versa – this applies to all genetics companies. CRV Ambreed is more than confident that MUN is a much better trait than BW to reduce nitrogen in urine and therefore nitrogen leaching.

The potential around this genetic discovery is huge.

It could potentially save New Zealand millions of kilograms in nitrogen leached from grazed pastures – potentially reducing nitrogen leaching in the New Zealand dairy herd by 20% within 20 years.
• The beauty of this discovery is that it’s very easy for farmers to implement, with no impact on their farming systems, and it provides them with the opportunity to continue farming without changing anything, such as pasture species, stocking rates or their farm systems or infrastructure.
• We think it’s a game-changer for the whole farming industry.

Compliance is a big topic for dairy farmers. Each region manages its waterways differently, and has different requirements for farmers.
• LowN Sires gives farmers a genetic tool in their toolbox to achieve profitable sustainable dairying.
• These farmers are already working hard to protect the environment, and this gives them a genetic tool to be used alongside other initiatives.
• Gains made through genetics will be in addition to gains made from other initiatives

Yes, you can reduce the amount of nitrogen by reducing your herd size – but with that goes less milk, change in management systems etc that need to be considered.

Breeding versus feeding cows are different avenues in terms of reducing nitrogen excreted as urine, but the two are expected to be additive, so the genetic gains by using LowN Sires bulls will add to gains from better feeding.

We’ve been working on this for the past five years with help from others in the industry.

• Since 2012 we measured MU (MUN) concentration in 650,000 milk samples and calculated breeding values for 4,100 sires – progeny test and proven bulls born since 1992.
• The genetics of MUN has been reported overseas, but the pathway of using MUN to reduce the amount of nitrogen leached had not been explored – possibly because cows are usually housed overseas and the issue of nitrogen leaching into waterways is not as pressing as it is in New Zealand.

There are several proposed programmes. There is still research to be done to further test and confirm the genetic development and CRV is working with DairyNZ, AgResearch and Lincoln University on this. Phase 2 of the research into where the nitrogen goes will study groups of animals genetically different for MUN to understand more precisely the relationship between reducing MUN and reducing nitrogen in urine.

CRV Ambreed understands the low-MUN and high percentage protein genetic link is a world-first and could therefore be a clue to understanding how animals partition the nitrogen they are fed. For about 70 years, scientists have been trying to understand nitrogen partitioning which has produced some interesting trends but nothing conclusive. Now New Zealand scientists may target groups of animals that are known to be diverse for MUN to investigate differences in how they partition dietary nitrogen. The relationship between milk urea and the percentage of protein in milk identified by CRV Ambreed should give scientists new leads for that work. The modelling and research could also have implications for more than dairy cows as it shows that cattle bred for reduced-MUN will partition nitrogen differently and this is likely to be true for all ruminants.

Farmers who herd test and herd record with CRV Ambreed will have access to herd and individual cow MUN breeding values through InSight. Reports on herds as a whole will help ensure farmers are on track with their breeding direction if they have chosen a lower nitrogen approach. Results are also provided for individual cows so farmers can calculate what might be achieved by using the more than 20 high-performing bulls from the LowN Sires™ team.

We’d love to talk. Complete the online form and one of our sales representatives will be in contact with you to discuss how LowN Sires will work for you.

 

EVENTS

NEWS

 

Media release

6 July 2017

RESEARCH DELIVERS PROMISING RESULT AROUND PARTITIONING OF DIETARY NITROGEN

 

CRV Ambreed’s genetic research into reducing nitrogen leaching on New Zealand dairy farms has identified that when cows are bred for low milk urea concentration, a proportion of the nitrogen diverted away from the cow’s urea goes into milk protein.

This finding gives CRV Ambreed further confidence that breeding cows for low milk urea concentration will not only reduce the amount of nitrogen excreted in their urine, but will also increase the efficiency with which dietary nitrogen is used for milk protein production.

The search to understand precisely how animals partition the nitrogen they consume has been the subject of decades of research into making cows more efficient in the way they use dietary protein. The relationship between milk urea and the percentage of protein in milk identified by CRV Ambreed should give scientists new leads for that work.

 

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Media release

27 June 2017

FARMERS ABLE TO ACCESS MILK UREA NITROGEN BREEDING VALUES THROUGH CRV AMBREED

 

Dairy farmers herd testing and herd recording with CRV Ambreed will soon receive their Milk Urea Nitrogen (MUN) breeding values.

CRV Ambreed Managing Director Angus Haslett says the additional information will be welcomed by farmers wanting to use LowN Sires™, CRV’s low-MUN bulls.

The dairy herd improvement company made a major announcement in late March about its genetic discovery that it anticipates could reduce nitrogen leaching on New Zealand farms by 20% within 20 years and result in a more sustainable dairy industry.

 

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Media release

11 May 2017

Rural Bachelor contestants to get “hands-on” at CRV Ambreed’s Fieldays stand

 

Contestants in the Rural Bachelor competition at the national Fieldays this year will find themselves on the right end of urine tests at the CRV Ambreed stand.

CRV Ambreed sponsors the highly popular competition and each year, the rural bachelor contestants make their way to the CRV Ambreed stand to test their abilities as part of the contest.

This year they will be hands-on with some LowN Sires™ “urine tests”, but they’ll be doing the testing, not providing the samples, says CRV Ambreed Sales and Marketing Manager Mathew Macfie. “As dairy farmers will know, we have a game-changing new product on the market, called LowN Sires™, and it’s anticipated to reduce nitrogen leaching on New Zealand farms by 20% within 20 years.”

 

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Media release

11 May 2017

CRV Ambreed’s popular genetics discovery to be showcased at Fieldays 2017

 

CRV Ambreed’s genetic discovery that it anticipates will reduce nitrogen leaching on New Zealand farms by 20% within 20 years is the focus of its presence at the National Agricultural Fieldays in June.

In what’s thought to be an international first, the dairy herd improvement company is marketing bulls under the LowN Sires™ brand whose daughters are expected to have reduced concentration of Milk Urea Nitrogen (MUN). MUN is a measure of the amount of nitrogen contained as milk urea, and CRV Ambreed says there’s overwhelming international evidence of a direct connection between MUN and the amount of nitrogen excreted in urine when fed different diets.

 

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Media release

10 May 2017

CRV Ambreed’s genetics discovery in Fieldays innovation award

 

CRV Ambreed’s genetic discovery that it anticipates will reduce nitrogen leaching on New Zealand farms by 20% within 20 years will compete in the Innovation Awards at the National Agricultural Fieldays in June.

In what’s thought to be an international first, the dairy herd improvement company is marketing bulls under the LowN Sires™ brand whose daughters are expected to have reduced concentration of Milk Urea Nitrogen (MUN). MUN is a measure of the amount of nitrogen contained as milk urea, and CRV Ambreed says there’s overwhelming international evidence of a direct connection between MUN and the amount of nitrogen excreted in urine when fed different diets.

 

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Media release

12 April 2017

R&D Scientist finds genetic link for nitrogen leaching

 

CRV Ambreed’s genetic discovery that could help reduce nitrogen leaching on New Zealand farms by 20% within 20 years is thanks to the company’s R&D scientist Phil Beatson.

Mr Beatson says over the past five years CRV Ambreed has investigated what could be done with genetics to reduce the amount of nitrogen excreted as urine. Nitrogen taken in by cows in their diet is converted into five areas: Milk protein (+ urea); growth (muscle is protein); dung; gases; and urine. “From an environmental perspective, we saw urine as being the big issue because of its impact on water quality,” Mr Beatson says.

 

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Media release

29 March 2017

Genetics discovery looking at cutting nitrogen leaching across national dairy herd – CRV Ambreed

 

CRV Ambreed has made a genetic discovery it anticipates will reduce nitrogen leaching on New Zealand farms by 20% within 20 years and result in a more sustainable dairy industry.

In what’s thought to be an international first, the dairy herd improvement company has announced it will market bulls that are desirable for traditional traits as well as being genetically superior for a new trait that is related to the amount of urea nitrogen in milk.

 

<—————Go to full article—————>

 

Media release

29 March 2017

Breakthrough genetics looking at cutting nitrogen leaching by 20% in NZ – CRV Ambreed

 

CRV Ambreed has made a genetic discovery that it anticipates will result in a more sustainable dairy industry and potentially reduce nitrogen leaching on New Zealand farms by 20% within 20 years.

In what’s thought to be an international first, the dairy herd improvement company has announced it will market bulls that are desirable for traditional traits as well as being genetically superior for a new trait that is related to urea nitrogen in milk.

 

<—————Go to full article—————>