Page 6 - Angus Cattleman 2017
P. 6


          Beef industry

          on the move with

          innovative research and


         Welcome to another edition of the Angus magazine. I’m sure   Societies. As part of this project, antral follicle counts will be
       you will find many interesting and informative articles in this   taken on the heifers to see if there is a high correlation between
       year’s issue.                                        high follicle counts and high early pregnancy rates. Over time it is
         2017 promises to be another busy year, with Angus NZ involved   hoped we may be able to get a better predictor of lifetime fertility
       in several important research projects.              at an early age.
         The Angus breed has had another successful year helped by   Technology in the breeding game is changing rapidly with the
       stable beef prices and continued demand for Angus cattle and bulls   advent of genomics and DNA marker-assisted selection. The speed
       from commercial farmers. Consumers the world over are becoming   of advances in this area will accelerate as more research continues
       more informed and discerning when eating beef and expect the   with genomics. Breeders will need to keep pace with these changes
       quality of the product to meet higher standards than was the case   and incorporate them into their breeding programmes when
       five or ten years ago. Such is the consumer demand that more and   they can be shown to increase profitability. As a result of this
       more processing companies are now prepared to pay premiums for   technology, Angus NZ is working with Angus Australia and Zoetis
       Angus cattle that meet specific quality standards. We are now seeing   to make available a genomic selection tool for commercial farmers
       some commercial farmers placing more emphasis on the carcase   which would rank your replacement heifers for growth, fertility
       attributes of the bulls they purchase, while still trying to select   and carcase traits, simply by taking a DNA sample from them and
       cattle that keep all the good sound functionality of the Angus breed.  submitting it for analysis. The sires of these heifers would have to
         The successful Tru-Test Angus Bull Unit is once again being run   have an i50k or 50k SNP test for the results to be analysed. It is
       on Dave Wright’s property just out of Palmerston North with 28   hoped this tool will be competitively priced and available within
       bulls arriving from throughout New Zealand in late November.  An   the next 12-18 months.
       invitation is extended to beef farmers to attend the Open Day held   Late  last  year  AngusPure  launched  a  new  initiative  to
       at the bull unit on March 21, when stud and commercial farmers   complement the current AngusPure grade. The new grade called
       can inspect the bulls and enjoy some AngusPure for lunch. These   AngusPure Special Reserve is aimed at the grass-fed export market
       bulls will go on to be sold at Beef Expo in Feilding on May 16, along   and has a minimum marbling score. Substantial premiums will be
       with other bulls entered from individual breeders.   available for qualifying carcases. Already, as a result of this initiative
         Angus NZ is involved in several research projects which we   we are seeing some commercial farmers using scanning data on
       believe will have long-term benefits to the wider beef industry   their heifers as a selection tool to improve carcase attributes within
       over time. Beef + Lamb NZ Genetics is running the beef progeny   their herds and increase the chances of progeny meeting the criteria
       test programme, supported by Angus NZ and several other breed   for extra premiums.
       societies. This programme is now into its 3rd year and the progeny   The beef industry is on the move and Angus NZ, through its
       from the first mating are now 15-18 months old. The steers being   involvement in these research projects and others, is ensuring that
       finished on grass will be killed over the next few months and have   we are going to be able to offer farmers the tools to enhance their
       carcase analysis done on them. This will be the first time any really   productivity and profit.
       meaningful carcase data has been collected on a large number of   I wish you all a productive and profitable season for the year
       contemporary sire groups in New Zealand.             ahead. Those affected by drought and earthquakes will have a
         The results from this ongoing trial will increase the accuracy of   challenging year, but remember there is support for you from a wide
       carcase EBVs on the sires used in this programme and their close   range of organisations should you need it. Talk to your neighbours
       relatives. The female progeny will all be assessed for fertility and   and friends and we will all get through this.
       calving ease as rising two-year-olds, and their ability to rebreed
       over a confined mating period as rising three-year-old cows. This  Joe Fouhy
       fertility work is part of another wider research project called the
       maternal productivity project, jointly funded by Beef & Lamb   Kind regards
       Genetics, Meat & Livestock Australia, University of Adelaide, ABRI   Joe Fouhy
       and others, including the New Zealand and Australian Angus   President Angus NZ

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