Friday, 06 September 2019 07:55

Herd genetics not only about money

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Selecting the right genetics is no longer only for improving the economic output of a herd, says CRV Ambreed sales and marketing manager Jon Lee.

“Dairy farming requires genetics and data collection to enable farmers to understand their options to farm sustainably for profit, the environment and animal welfare,” said Lee.

CRV spends at least 20% of its revenue each year on genetics research -- “identifying teams of bull sires that can help reduce cows’ milk urea nitrogen (MUN), increase facial eczema tolerance, breed hornless calves and breed cows suited to once-a-day milking,” said Lee. 

CRV says its research into MUN is recognised internationally, notably in an international journal of animal bioscience, Animal. Its article of the month for October is the work of CRV head geneticist Phil Beatson, entitled ‘Genetic variation in milk urea nitrogen concentration of dairy cattle and its implications for reducing urinary nitrogen excretion’.

Beatson has been invited to write a blog to summarise the key findings of his work, provide perspectives on the topic and respond to researchers’ questions worldwide. 

CRV managing director Angus Haslett says such recognition shows international interest in CRV’s proposal that genetics to reduce MUN leads to reduced urinary nitrogen output from cows.

“Our LowN Sires are bred to lower MUN in their daughters which are expected to excrete less nitrogen in their urine, thereby reducing the amount of nitrogen leached from grazed cows.”

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