Canterbury dairy farmers will benefit from genetic solution to nitrogen reduction

Canterbury dairy farmer John Tanner has been working hard to improve sustainability on his Leeston farm, Dunlac Dairies Ltd.

The farm is located in the Selwyn Waihora catchment and is just 20 kilometres from Lake Ellesmere (Te Waihora), which is considered one of New Zealand’s most important wetland areas. On either side of the catchment are the Rakaia River and the Selwyn River.

“In Canterbury we have to lessen our nitrogen footprint on the farm,” says Tanner, who milks 730 dairy cows during the peak of the season on 260 hectares. “In our catchment, we farm on e…

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Phil Beatson

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 imp…

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Hundreds of thousands of straws from low-MUN bulls available for farmers

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.


CRV Ambreed is now selling semen from bulls whose daughters will have reduced concentration of Milk …

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Facial eczema reminder for dairy farmers

Dairy farmers are being urged to plan ahead and breed facial eczema-tolerant cows after New Zealand endured one of the worst FE seasons in years in 2016.

Spore counts ballooned in the North Island and parts of the South Island to the highest in a decade, and many herds had a large number of cows with clinical facial eczema.

CRV Ambreed says orders for straws of semen from bulls with genetics for a tolerance to facial eczema tripled in response in 2016. Tens of thousands of straws were sold and the firm’s global product manager for grazing, Peter van Elzakker, say…

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They’re here – Kiwi-bred polled bulls

In a New Zealand first, from next dairy season CRV Ambreed will offer genetics to farmers that will guarantee the birth of polled calves.

This announcement follows the recent births of a trio of homozygous polled bulls as part of the company’s genetic development programme.

The company’s milestone is the culmination of several years of carefully controlled breeding in New Zealand.

CRV Ambreed research and development manager Phil Beatson said the company’s goal throughout its polled genetics breeding programme was to “breed bulls that had two copies of the pol…

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