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.
Cows bred for lower levels of MUN are expected to excrete less nitrogen in their urine which will, in turn, reduce the amount of nitrogen leached from grazed pasture. The daughters could potentially save New Zealand 10 million kilograms in nitrogen leaching a year, based on the national herd number of 6.5 million dairy cattle. CRV Ambreed says projections show it’s possible to breed cattle that will reduce nitrogen leaching by 20% within 20 years.
CRV Ambreed Sales and Marketing Manager Mathew Macfie says the company’s genetic discovery around lower nitrogen output in urine is a possible game-changer for the dairy industry. “We’ll have a strong focus on LowN Sires™ at this year’s Fieldays. There’s been a high level of excitement in the product and the concept is already resonating with dairy farmers who understand the importance of genetics to improving herds.”
Mr Macfie says CRV is expecting strong levels of interest at this year’s Fieldays, which run 14-17 June at Mystery Creek near Hamilton. The company will also be running auctions on its stand during the day with LowN Sires and other straws up for grabs as well as equipment and vouchers.
He says five years of research have gone into the ability to breed cows for lower levels of MUN, who will therefore produce lower levels of nitrogen in urine. “There is still research to be done to further test and confirm the genetic development and we’re working with DairyNZ, AgResearch and Lincoln University on this.
“CRV Ambreed has a long history of providing genetic solutions to improve the herds and lives of cows and farmers in New Zealand,” he says. “For many years, dairy farmers have been taking advantage of genetic solutions such as bulls with higher tolerance to Facial Eczema, and last year we launched our polled bulls, a great improvement in animal welfare and also saving costly and time-consuming debudding of calves.”
Mr Macfie says farmers are being encouraged to begin the journey to greener cows now as improved offspring will be born in 2018 and will have their first lactation in 2020. “CRV Ambreed’s genetic discovery will provide a tool to help meet their environmental compliance through breeding – all within the standard AI mating programme.”
The company’s genetic discovery had been entered in the Innovation Award at Fieldays. It is in the Launch NZ award category which recognises agribusiness products being launched to the New Zealand market by small to medium size businesses that have strong agricultural relevance.
Meanwhile, contestants in the popular Fieldays Rural Bachelor competition will also get the chance to be hands-on with LowN Sires™. The contestants will visit the CRV Ambreed stand as part of their schedule and will compete in a “How Low is That Nitrogen?” contest as part of CRV’s sponsorship of the Rural Bachelor competition.
For more information about LowN Sires™, visit www.crv4all.co.nz/lownsires