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Dairy Australia: You ask - we answer on heifer genomics

16 September 2021
Dairy Australia

Have questions on heifer genomics? Want to hear what fellow farmers who are already using the technology have to say? Now you can, through a Dairy Australia podcast special event.

Dairy farmers can have their questions on heifer genomics answered in the upcoming Top tips to get started with genomics podcast, which will be released in early October.

To help prepare for the podcast, farmers are being encouraged to email their questions on heifer genomics to [email protected]

While a selection of questions will be answered on the podcast, all questions received will be answered on the Dairy Australia website.

In the upcoming podcast, farmers already using heifer genomic technology on-farm will detail how genomic testing heifers has benefitted their farm business.

Genomic testing is the process of analysing a DNA sample from a calf or heifer to reliably predict her future performance in several areas. The technology allows dairy farmers to make early decisions about a heifer’s role in the herd.

Stephanie Bullen, Dairy Australia’s Lead - Animal Health and Fertility, said a growing number of farmers were utilising genomic technology in their heifers.

“Dairy Farm Monitor project figures suggest the average cost of raising a heifer is between $1500 and $2200. By utilising genomic testing and making early decisions, you can avoid the expense of rearing animals that are unlikely to perform in your milking herd.

“Genomic testing helps you to decide which heifers to sell, particularly for export, and to inform targeted mating decisions such as which heifers to join with sexed or beef semen.
“You can use the test results to also significantly fast-track improvement in your herd for traits that are important to you, such as fertility.

“Data-driven, early decision making is a great opportunity to optimise the investment in your replacement heifers and save unnecessary expense. Because of this, genomic testing heifers has a very quick payoff for many herds.

“As well as making economic sense, genomic testing also offers other benefits for farmers. By using genomic test results, farmers can have confidence in animal parentage and pedigree records, even when they know very little about an animal.”

The top tips to get started with genomics DairyPod podcast will be available in October. Listen on the Dairy Australia website, or wherever you receive your podcasts.



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