ADHIS Update: Topping the Genetics Charts

Jun 14, 2015

Australia’s top dairy herds based on genetic merit have been announced by the Australian Dairy Herd Improvement Scheme (ADHIS).

For Holsteins, George Wagner’s herd from North East Tasmania tops the country for genetic merit for profit, which is measured by the Balanced Performance Index (BPI). Daryl and Lani Hoey’s herd from Katunga is the number one ranking Jersey herd for BPI. And Sam Graham’s herd at Numbaa, NSW is the number one ranking red breed herd for BPI.

ADHIS general manager, Daniel Abernethy congratulated the herds on their achievement. “It takes a sustained focus over many years to breed a herd of this calibre,” Daniel said.

This year, for the first time, herds receive three breeding indices – Balanced Performance Index, Health Weighted Index and Type Weighted Index. The three breeding indices were introduced following a review last year which found that while profit is important to all farmers, some place more value on traits such mastitis, longevity, fertility, type and udder conformation.

“Having three breeding indices gives farmers the ability to choose the index that best reflects their individual breeding priorities,” Daniel said. “Every unit gained in each trait is associated with a financial gain. But each index places slightly different emphasis on traits and this changes the rankings of bulls, cows and herds."

A full list of Australia’s top 5% of dairy herds for genetic merit is available at www.adhis.com.au. 

For more information or to arrange a presentation to your organisation, please contact ADHIS Extension and Education Manager, Michelle Axford on 0427 573 330 or maxford@adhis.com.au

George Wagner, tops the country for generic merit for profit. 

Taking Dairy Bioscience to Canberra

Jun 12, 2015

Dairy bioscience took its place alongside the cochlear ear implant, aeronautics and global stock exchange surveillance software when major technology advances were showcased to the Prime Minister and other dignitaries last month.

Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) President Noel Campbell joined Dairy Futures CRC’s CEO David Nation and Chair Mike Ginnivan at Parliament House in Canberra for the annual Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Association Conference.

This year’s event, themed Australia 2040, celebrated 25 years of innovations by more than 40 CRCs to Australian leaders, including Prime Minister Tony Abbott. The conference included an innovation showcase, at which many of the 400 attendees, including ministers, parliamentarians, advisers and ambassadors, took the opportunity to better understand both the scale of innovation being undertaken by the dairy industry and how bioscience will make a real difference to dairy farm businesses through pasture and cattle breeding.

Mr Campbell, Dr Nation and Dr Ginnivan met the Prime Minister and discussed how Dairy Futures CRC is enhancing dairy productivity through pasture and herd improvements using genomics.

Dr Nation said that agriculture now sits beside medicine as a major driver of scientific progress in Australia.

“Dairy Futures CRC is a success story for industry-driven innovation. We have over-delivered on our original commitments and transformed dairy herd and pasture breeding in Australia.

“The effects of many of our innovations are already in farmers’ and commercial partners’ hands and we expect these will grow rapidly over the next 10 years.”

After the showcase, Dairy Futures CRC was delighted to join ADF in hosting The Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon and Senator Bridget McKenzie at a dinner in the Great Hall at Parliament House.

Other distinguished guests included the Prime Minister, keynote speaker and Minister for Industry and Science, The Hon. Ian Macfarlane, Australia’s Chief Scientist, Ian Chubb, as well as ambassadors, high commissioners and senior officials from 15 countries.

Mr Macfarlane spoke of the great benefit CRCs have brought to research and development in Australia, delivering significant economic, environmental and social outcomes.

ADF looks forward to working with Dairy Futures to build the long term sustainability of farming practices, and will continue to advocate strongly for the positive innovations of transformational bioscience.    


ADHIS Update: Breeding news at your fingertip

May 11, 2015

Two short videos are online to explain changes to Australian Breeding Values (ABVs) and indices. 

The bull choices farmers make for every joining have a long term impact on the profitability of their herd. Farmers now have access to a broader range of communication forms, including animations, e-news and social media components in addition to the traditional media and web services.

Australian Dairy Herd Improvement Scheme (ADHIS) Extension and Education Manager, Michelle Axford said that ADHIS is committed to providing new and exciting content delivered across the most popular platforms.

“The science behind ABVs is complex, but how we use them to make good decisions doesn’t have to be.

“Providing practical breeding information across a range of devices will help farmers when choosing bulls,” Mrs Axford said.

 

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For more information or to arrange a presentation to your organisation, please contact ADHIS Extension and Education Manager, Michelle Axford on 0427 573 330 or maxford@adhis.com.au

Dairy looses leading innovator

May 05, 2015

On 26 April, the Australian dairy industry sadly lost leading software innovator and visionary, Dr Mike Larcombe to a lengthy battle with motor neurone disease.

Dr Larcombe founded MISTRO software, which is responsible for processing 95 per cent of herd testing information in Australia and is recognised as one of the most flexible and cost-effective herd recording programs in the world today.

His work continued with the development of a genomic database system for the Australian Dairy Herd Improvement Scheme (ADHIS) for storing and analysing DNA profiles of animals for artificial breeding.

As a long-standing member of ADHIS’ Record Standards Committee, ADHIS General Manager, Daniel Abernerthy described Dr Larcombe as one of Australia’s leaders in data, data transfer and herd improvement systems.

“Mike was a truly gifted man, with the ability to transfer his skills across many areas.

“Aside from playing an integral role in the design and redevelopment of our genomic evaluations systems and computer models, Mike also was a major contributor to Dairy Australia’s InCalf and mastitis reporting tools,” Mr Abernerthy said.

Dairy Australia Program Manager – Genetics & Data Management - Farm Profit and Innovation, Matt Shaffer, said Dr Larcombe’s impact on the industry had been phenomenal.

“Mike showed an amazing commitment to farmer outcomes through his work developing MISTRO as a key farm management tool for farmers and herd test centres, as well as the UDDER program which is still being used by more than 60 consultants in Australia and New Zealand,” Mr Shaffer said.

In 2011 Dr Larcombe was awarded the prestigious National Herd Improvement Association of Australia Meritorious Service Award, recognising the significance of his achievements and his standing among peers.

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