Home' Otago Southland Farmer : April 19th 2013 Contents 8
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
The Base: Blackdale 447 Proven CPT Terminal sire index leader.
Rams for sale by Brenley 66. Sire of last years top priced Texel
ram sold to Canterbury for $12,000. A ram with measured
performance and good old fashioned GRUNT!
Tick the boxes: Fertility Meat Feet Bone Wool
PEDIGREE IS ONE THING,
ROMEX (Romney Texel Cross)
the Ultimate Sheep
FIRST CROSS ROMDALES
Sheep that Work for You.
Contact Laurie or Sharon Paterson
Are we being told the truth about our changing climate?
Is the environmental movement all it appears?
What lies behind United Nations Agenda 21?
Lord Christopher Monckton
COME AND HEAR
$20 entry, $5 students. Door sales only- cash and eftpos- no credit cards.
Wednesday 24th April
7.30pm, Gore Town and Country Club,
Bury St, Gore
Friday 26th April
7.30pm, Ascot Park Hotel,
2 East Rd, Invercargill
'Tis the season to
make sure you have
a good feed budget
Like financial budgets, feed
budgets should be thought of as
a good tool to make sure you can
do what you know needs to be
A good feed budget is the plan
for the winter and if you know
it's going to work you will be
able to rest easy.
If you've done the budget and
had to make changes to make
sure there is enough cover in
early spring, then you can rest
easy knowing it's going to work.
The theory of doing a feed
budget is pretty straightforward
but the arithmetic involved can
be a bit daunting but that's what
computer spreadsheets are built
The way I see it, a client wants
to know how many days' feeding
each paddock will provide.
That's the simplest output from
a feed budget.
You can do this in two periods,
pre and post scanning. What
you do is go around and
measure the grass a few days
before you want to start winter
With this information, plus
paddock and mob sizes, it's easy
to ''walk'' the mobs around the
farm, detailing how many days
each paddock can feed to the
All this takes into account
growth before sheep get to the
paddock and what sort of
residual you want to leave
behind. We can even slot in a
spell in a big paddock for duck
It's not hard to do, but you do
need to collect information. The
cost of the time taken to get the
feeding right will be rewarded
with ewes lambing in good
condition on to an appropriate
I like to do this exercise in two
stages, one before scanning and
then again post scanning when
you know multiples and singles.
Like all plans, you need to keep
an eye on how it's going.
You might have calculated that
Mums Paddock would do the
two-tooths and old ewes four
days, but when you got there it
was wet and feed was trampled.
Move them on a day early.
You'll pick up this lost day
Perhaps a paddock ended up
with plenty of tag so you might
lose a day as well. Have a plan,
make sure it's going to work,
and keep your eyes open for
when you might pick up a day
or where you should lose a day.
Feed budgets do work.
Debris a big headache
for wool end users
By SANDIE FINNIE
Farmers need to be extra vigilant in
removing vegetable matter and
thistle heads during wool sorting at
the moment, says Malcolm Ching,
marketing executive for Wool
Otherwise they will incur significant
discounts on their wool because the
debris is a problem for the end users
who will pass the cost back to the
wool exporters, or the farmers.
Mr Ching said while VM and thistle
heads are an ongoing problem for
the wool industry, depending on the
season, they become negligible, but
the recent drought has pushed sheep
into country which has weeds and
the first thing back after a drought is
thistles and they are difficult for
farmers to get rid of.
When a thistle head goes through a
carding machine it explodes into a
thousand pieces and each seed lines
up with the fibre and gets combed
through the rest of the wool and
collectively they are near impossible
Compounding the problem, when
hay or straw containing thistles is
fed to sheep from the back of a truck,
the thistles and VM fly off and stick
on the backs of the sheep.
Mr Ching expects after the drought
there will be an explosion of thistle
seeds in wool consignments.
A few years ago significant volumes
of cross-bred wool was contaminated
with debris and thistle seeds which
caused major problems for end users
and discounts started at 15 per cent.
While VM and thistles is an inherent
part of the wool industry Mr Ching
said they do everything they can to
minimise the problem when they do
an assessment to put various wools
together for buyer consignments.
"But sometimes they slip through.
We only see sub samples of wool and
even if we do visuals we can miss
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