Did you know that dairy farmers next month will be able to identify bulls that can save at least 100 kilograms of dry feed matter per cow, per year while
maintaining milk production?
The Feed Saved Australian Breeding Value (ABV), available to dairy
farmers from April 2015, is the culmination of eight years of research and development activity by Dairy Futures CRC,
in conjunction with a range of local and overseas partners.
It is the first feed efficiency breeding value in the world to incorporate real feed intake data, as well as a prediction of feed required for maintenance
purposes, making the trait more relevant for farmers.
Dairy Futures CRC’s CEO, Dr David Nation, said: “The Feed Saved ABV allows farmers to breed cows in a new way: by reducing their maintenance requirements
for the same amount of milk produced.
“This is the first practical use of genomic tests to measure a trait that can’t be routinely measured on farm, and the start of more extensive genomic
testing to improve the range of traits important to dairy farmers.
“Visually, you can’t spot a highly feed efficient cow, but farmers can now breed for it.”
Victorian dairy farmer, Ron Paynter who spoke at the ABV launch, said it is exciting to see feed efficiency now included in the ABV indexes.
“Feed costs are a significant determinant of on-farm profitability,” Mr Paynter said.
“The new Feed Saved ABV adds further strength to the new Balanced Performance Index developed by the Australian Dairy Herd Improvement Scheme (ADHIS),
which aims to maximise profit from selection.”
The Feed Saved ABV will be published for the first time in the ADHIS’ publications, including the Good Bulls Guide. It
will also form part of the ADHIS’ three new breeding indices,
so farmers who make bull selections using one of the indices will be including feed efficiency in their breeding decisions.
For more information about the Feed Saved ABV, click here.
Victorian dairy farmer, Ron Paynter speaking at the ABV launch with ADHIS General Manager, Daniel Abernethy.