Home' Otago Southland Farmer : February 22nd 2013 Contents 6
A Consortium of AgResearch Ltd and Beef + Lamb New Zealand
Collecting data for Ovita's research projects is an investment in the future.
That's why Richard and Kerry France have chosen to be part of Ovita's 5K chip project, which is a
gene-based test that uses an animal's DNA profile to predict breeding values in rams.
The couple farm 566 hectares at Moa Flat in West Otago. As well as 1130 stud ewes, they run
commercial Perendales, yearly cattle and a deer operation.
They and 64 other sheep breeders throughout New Zealand are DNA-testing their elite ram lambs
- those identified via SIL with enhanced breeding value in specific genetic traits. Progeny born this
spring were genotyped using the SNP chip technology, and ranked to verify each animal's genetic
worth against the existing BV. The result will be much improved accuracy of breeding values, which
will help breeders identify the most superior animals for their breeding programme.
The 5K test is currently being used as a proof of concept, but is likely to be commercially available
to breeders in 2013.
For farmers, this means fast-tracking the use of elite genetics in their own sheep, while decreasing
the risk of making the wrong selection decision.
There's no payback right now in being involved in the project for the Frances; in fact it's extra work
in blood sampling for the DNA testing. But they believe they have to be proactive in leading genetic
change that will eventually produce elite animals for the future. "It's about thinking outside the square
to keep in front."
The Frances also autopsied lambs for several years as part of the lamb survival programme. Although
there weren't any real issues and major lamb losses, there has been fine-tuning of their management
as a result, including weighing at birth, and preferentially feeding triplet-bearing ewes.
This technology is a result of New Zealand farmer investment in Beef + Lamb New Zealand and Ovita.
This technology is a result of New Zealand farmer investment in Beef + Lamb
New Zealand and Ovita.
Contact Eleanor Linscott 03-477-0697 for more information,
or visit www.ovita.co.nz
New barley cultivar easy to eat
A new barley cultivar that is kinder to stock will soon
be on the market. Diane Bishop reports.
Checking it out: Plant & Food Research cereal agronomist Ross Hanson, left, and Agricom cereal forage programme
manager Elton Mayo survey the Monty barley crop on Nigel Craig's Clydevale farm.
WHAT IS MONTY?
It is a silage barley with a difference
It has reduced awns which result in less mouth damage and stress
It was bred at Lincoln by Plant & Food Research
Crop yields of 12 to 14 tonnes of dry matter could be expected
It will perform in a wide range of environments
Easy eats: Monty barley is a high yielding crop, which was bred by Plant & Food
Research at Lincoln.
A novel barley silage will soon be
commercially available to cereal
The new cultivar, Monty, is
different to any barley on the
market because it does not
produce hard spiky awns which
can damage the mouths of stock
and cause gum disease.
The awnless variety was bred by
Plant & Food Research at Lincoln
and was being trialled at several
sites around the country includ-
ing Nigel Craig's farm at
The 16.2 hectare paddock is
expected to yield 12 to 14 tonnes of
dry matter per hectare when it is
harvested this month.
Plant & Food Research cereal
agronomist Ross Hanson told seed
merchants at a field day recently
that it had taken 10 to 15 years to
get the new cultivar from crossing
to the market.
Monty was a high quality barley
that performed in a range of
environments and trials showed
yields equal to or better than
other cultivars in Southland,
Canterbury and the Manawatu.
''It will more than compete with
traditional barley cultivars,'' Mr
Conventional barley has hard
spiky awns that remain quite
sharp in the silage stack, but
Monty had reduced awns which
minimise the damage conven-
tional awns can do to sensitive
mouths, reducing animal stress
and supporting production.
Straw strength was also a feature
of this variety.
Mr Hansen said crop yields would
vary depending on fertility levels,
timing of sowing and ongoing
Mr Craig said it had cost about
$1021 each hectare to establish the
If it yielded 14 tonnes per ha it
would cost 7.2 cents per kilogram
dry matter to produce, but if it
yielded 11 tonne per ha it would
cost 9.2 cents/kg/DM.
Mr Craig said the barley would be
fed to his ewes and hoggets as a
supplement to provide an energy
boost rather than increase pro-
Monty had good tolerance to most
leaf diseases, but like all barleys,
close monitoring was encouraged
to minimise disease pressure.
Agricom cereal forage pro-
gramme manager Elton Mayo
urged growers to use fungicide's
even if no disease was present as
it would always provide a good
Monty was typically harvested at
100 days in the North Island if
sown late September or October,
but in Southland, with cooler
summers, this could be extended
out to 115 to 120 days from a
similar sowing date.
Mr Mayo said the cultivar should
ideally be harvested at 35 to 40 per
cent dry matter which would give
growers a four to five day harvest
Cut at the optimum time, the
cultivar produces good levels of
energy (ME), sugars, soluble
starch and digestibility.
Mr Mayo encouraged growers to
talk to their contractors regularly
to ensure the crop was harvested
''You need to talk to them 50 days
out and then 25 days out,'' he said.
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