Better cattle = more reliable selection tools to improve cattle breeding

Through the Dairy Futures CRC’s Breeding with genomics program, researchers are using genomics information from thousands of animals to increase the rate of genetic gain in Australian dairy herds.

“Selective breeding is a fundamental driver of farm productivity that has allowed dairy farmers to measure and improve a broad range of traits. New genomic technologies, using DNA marker information, are set to double the rate of genetic improvement.”

Ben Hayes
Research leader
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Breeding with genomics — program aims

During April 2011, breeding values estimated with genomic data, otherwise known as ABV(g)s, were launched. Australia’s leading genomics researchers are now working alongside dairy farmers and the Australian Dairy Herd Improvement Scheme (ADHIS) to develop an even more accurate and reliable way to select animals on their genetic potential. Through the Breeding with genomics program, Dairy Futures CRC researchers will:

  • Increase the accuracy of predicting breeding values for young bulls and heifers, allowing for better early selection and increased rates of genetic gain.
  • Employ an accurate and cost-effective solution to estimate the full DNA sequence of the cows that were enrolled in the 10,000 Holstein cow project.
  • Develop reliable solutions for breeds with a smaller population size, such as the Jersey breed.

Collaborative approach

All projects in the Improving cattle program involve partnership between research providers and end-user organisations. The main delivery channel for genomic technology is its incorporation into the calculation of Australian Breeding Values provided by ADHIS. Organisations that are involved in this program include:

Dairy Australia

ADHIS

     

 

 

Program contact

Prof. Ben Hayes
Research leader

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