The prosperity of the Australian dairy industry is underpinned by the profitability of the cows farmers milk. New breeding indices set an exciting path for genetic improvement in Australia.
Developed by the National Breeding Objective (NBO) Task Force and driven by the Australian Dairy Improvement Scheme (ADHIS) after an extensive consultation process with dairy farmers from across all dairying regions, the NBO aims to deliver herds that the Australian dairy industry needs for the future.
Three new breeding indices will be released from April 2015. The Balanced Performance Index (BPI) will replace the Australian Profit Ranking and aims to achieve farm profit through a balance of longevity, health, type and efficient production. Two additional indices will also be introduced to align with specific breeding philosophies, namely the Health Weighted Index (HWI) and the Type Weighted Index (TWI).
Officially launched at the Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) Industry Leaders’ Breakfast, ADHIS General Manager, Daniel Abernethy said the new indices are backed by strong science and are in line with farmer trait preferences.
“For the first time, farmers and their advisors directly contributed towards the NBO’s development through initiatives including Australia’s Longest Farmwalk and a sector wide survey to ensure the indices are well suited for the future needs of farmers,” Mr Abernethy said.
In another industry first, the new breeding indices now also include feed efficiency – a new trait which has been developed through ground breaking research from the Dairy Futures CRC and the Department of Environment and Primary Industries Victoria, supported by Dairy Australia and The Geoffrey Gardiner Foundation.
For more information and to download a copy of the NBO, click here.