August 16, 2023

 

New Zealand beef breeders urged to nominate sires for beef progeny test programme

 
 


New Zealand's Angus, Hereford, and Simmental bull breeders have been urged to nominate sires are for the Informing New Zealand Beef (INZB) programme, which aims to identify bulls for the upcoming mating season at Pamu's Kepler farm near Te Anau, located in the southern part of the country, as well as at Lochinver Station near Taupo, in the centre of New Zealand's North Island, New Zealand Herald reported.

 

Dr Jason Archer, genetics specialist at Beef + Lamb New Zealand and the INZB Science Lead, underscored the significance of the beef progeny test (BPT) in enabling direct comparisons between breeds and bulls. This initiative establishes a level playing field for evaluating promising bulls while shedding light on the distinct attributes and shared benefits of hybrid vigour.

 

Emphasising the broader implications of the BPT, Archer highlighted its role in bolstering New Zealand's beef industry for the collective benefit of all farmers involved.

 

Bull breeders selected to participate in the BPT will receive comprehensive insights into the performance of their bull's progeny, including vital processing data in the case of steers.

 

The INZB BPT builds upon the wealth of data accumulated from the previous beef progeny test, spanning from 2014 to 2020, which encompassed numerous large-scale commercial cattle operations across the nation.

 

Incorporating new perspectives, Lochinver Station joined the programme as a host farm for progeny testing last year. In January of the current year, approximately 600 Angus cows at the expansive 9500ha sheep and cattle farm were artificially inseminated using bulls of the Angus, Hereford, and Simmental breeds.

 

Steve Smith, business manager at Lochinver Station, highlighted the dual benefits of the farm's participation in the INZB programme. He noted the farm's forward-looking stance on beef production and its integral role in contributing to the advancement of New Zealand's beef industry.

 

With a commitment to enhanced efficiency, the program provides valuable insights into growth, fertility, and carcass traits. This data empowers on-farm decision-making, enabling the identification of optimal bull breed combinations to generate more resource-efficient cattle through hybrid vigour.

 

Notably, Lochinver's inclusion in the programme marked a significant milestone, as it introduced Simmental genetics to the BPT for the first time. While Simmentals are often employed as terminal sires in New Zealand, Archer pointed out that the breed plays a maternal role in crossbred cows in other global regions.

 

The Kepler farm, on the other hand, presents a unique dynamic with Hereford and Angus cows coexisting and crossbreeding being explored in both directions.

 

New Zealand bull owners are invited to participate in the initiative by nominating their bulls via the online nomination form. The nomination window will close on August 25.

 

-      New Zealand Herald

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