Genetics

Farmers flock to facial eczema tolerant genetics

category Genetics

Using CRV Ambreed’s facial eczema tolerant bulls is just one of the things Whakatane farmer Richard Sisam is doing to help combat the disease on his farm.

“It’s one tool in the toolbox,” Mr Sisam said. “We’ve been using semen from facial eczema tolerant bulls for six years. We know for sure that our tolerance levels are increasing.”

He also uses zinc on the farm.

Mr Sisam considers facial eczema a scourge. Facial eczema causes liver damage and results in reduced milk production and, in severe cases, animal deaths. Liver damage is caused by sporidesmin toxin pr…

read more ›

How do we select a top sire?

category Genetics

Ever wondered how CRV Ambreed selects a top sire? Here’s a quick snapshot of how it works:

CRV Ambreed’s sire analysts travel around the country to find the very best cows that will produce the next ‘super bull’
About 1,500 bull calves are nominated each year for consideration into CRV Ambreed’s progeny test programme
The top 600 of the 1,500 bull calves go through a genomic selection process to assess their potential genetic gain and identify any genetic defects
CRV Ambreed’s breeding team use their specialist knowledge of cows and their families to asse…

read more ›

Sheep farmers show the lead to dairy farmers on a genetic solution to FE

category Genetics

The facial eczema (FE) outbreak this season is a wake-up call.

Many farming in ‘safe’ areas have had a rude shock; even if they did implement prevention systems after FE became evident, they will have been too late as these systems must be in place before a facial eczema challenge.

Sheep farmers have utilised genetics as a tool to prevent FE for 30 years. In that time, AgResearch’s Ramguard service has been providing the sporidesmin toxin responsible for FE to ram breeders who annually challenge their ram hoggets for tolerance. Some of these breeders are now usin…

read more ›

CRV Ambreed offers genetic solution to increase FE tolerance in dairy cattle

category Genetics

New Zealand dairy farmers must act now and use the right targeted genetics to breed cattle that are more resilient to facial eczema.

That’s the message from CRV Ambreed’s research and development manager Phil Beatson who believes the dairy industry could learn a great deal from the sheep industry to successfully increase tolerance this debilitating disease long-term.

Facial eczema (FE) is not only harmful for animals, but also incredibly stressful for farmers when their stock is affected.

It is caused by a toxin (sporisdesim) produced by the spores of the fung…

read more ›

Efficiency and survival traits key to once-a-day herds

category Genetics

Once-a-day (OAD) dairy farming systems have been around for many years and have understandably increased in popularity in the last few years.

The upshot of this has been an increase in demand for AB companies to undertake breeding programmes producing bulls with genetics tailored for OAD systems.  This is nothing new to CRV Ambreed and we have continued to market bulls with the attributes most suited to OAD farming.

However, the specific requirements of the “OAD cow” and “OAD herd” are perhaps less understood, which I will address below.

It seems widely accept…

read more ›