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.

ADHIS 2014 Report Released

Feb 13, 2015

Just released by the Australian Dairy Herd Improvement Scheme (ADHIS), the Australian Dairy Herd Improvement Report 2014 provides a snapshot of Australian dairy’s national herd across a range of performance criteria.

The informative report analyses production comparisons across region, breed, age, herd size, month of calving and sire type, highlighting our farming systems’ rich diversity.

Whilst the report is loaded with interesting statistics, we thought we’d share a few interesting observations with you...

Did you know?

  • 48 per cent of herds are herd recorded – a statistic lower than last year, however similar to five years ago.
  • Less than one third of herds (29 per cent) have recorded AI sires for most of their cows.
  • Daughters of AI sires produce approximately 52 kilograms more of milk solids than their naturally-bred counterparts.
  • More than one third of the productivity improvements achieved over the last 10 years can be attributed to genetics.


Produced in conjunction with the National Herd Improvement Association, the report also features highlights from Dairy Australia’s herd improvement projects and Dairy Future CRC’s Genomic Information herds research.

To download your copy of the report, click here or visit www.adhis.com.au for more information.

Select Tags