Friday, 07 November 2014 00:00

R&D commitment

Written by 

LIC’S $11M spend on R&D is high by NZ primary industry standards, says chief executive Wayne McNee. The core business of sire proving and getting the best bulls, the development of new IT products and longer-term R&D took most of the money. Some research is government supported through Primary Growth Partnership and other funding.

 Among products launched this year was improved NAIT functionality in Minda. “We are working with NAIT so it becomes a more seamless transfer of information back and forward – necessary as NAIT becomes a compulsory requirement coming into next year and this makes life easier for farmers, so [they] don’t have to dual enter.”

The calving, look-up, pasture covers and mating apps have been good innovations, the uptake has been strong, and more will be added. Many people are carrying smartphones around farms now, McNee says.

Minda Repro in-calf reports are being tested before going live. The EZ Heat In-Race product was launched this year to strong demand. Some farmers had complained they could not get it. LIC had a controlled product launch to ensure it could be fully supported.

Pre-sexed semen for Friesians was limited to the Genes on Legs programme, and there was some KiwiCross. They were working with Sexing Technologies (US), the only company worldwide which had the technology, to see if supply could be increased, McNee says.

Genomic selection is continuing with a review of selection of young bulls and the wide programme. “It has also been important to identify good and bad variants within the genome so we can focus on removing or improving those.” 

Top Kiwicross bull Howie’s Checkpoint has done 632,000 insems since 2012. A Holstien Friesian bull, Morris TF Lamont S1F, has highest BW of all teams.

The Premium Sire Forward pack was changed based on a review of evidence. “We pulled the yearlings out of the team, instead introducing the spring bulls. The Forward Pack is the best of the best of the young spring bulls and the premiere sire team and daughter proven team.”

LIC is bringing in more AV technician and is increasing training. A record number of straws were produced and delivered, reaching 140,000 a day in the peak. – Pam Tipa

More like this

Genetics focus boosts herd

A strong focus on genetics and DNA has paid dividends for Fernside dairy farmer Julie Bradshaw with four of her cows being selected for the LIC breeding programme.

NAIT will play key role in FMD response

The speed of dealing with any outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) would rely on traceability and NAIT record keeping by NZ farmers, according to the Minister of Agriculture and Biosecurity, Damien O'Connor.

National

Machinery & Products

New disc cultivator launched

Väderstad has introduced a new disc cultivator – the Carrier XT 425-625 – featuring rotating disc axles, that optimizes results…

JD unlocks its digital system

As a long-term advocate of digital technology, John Deere has taken the route of mass data capture, rather than concentrating…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Fruitful change?

OPINION: Your canine crusader notes that meat company Silver Fern Farms has undergone quite a refresh over the last few…

All for show?

OPINION: The Hound notes that Fonterra is cashing in on the curent government's largesse with taxpayer money.

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter