Home' Otago Southland Farmer : May 3rd 2013 Contents 12
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
Stock feed & animal health
Hard working farming couple real animal lovers
FROM Page 11
That's about all Colin generally worries about... We feel for our animals...If you
don't look after animals properly, they can't look after you.
There is always something to do around here.
There must be something wrong with people who say they are bored.''
--- Lillburn Valley farmer Fay King.
''Colin and I have worked happily together
and we get along good,'' Fay said.
''We have had to.''
They came up the hard way in farming life
with ''only two quid left after our 1958
honeymoon,'' Colin revealed.
He prefers not to look in his wallet as ''I
know there won't be much in it when I
Nobody gave the self-made couple any
money, ''simply because they didn't have
it to give to us.''
''We both worry a lot about our stock's
''That's about all Colin generally worries
about... We feel for our animals...If you
don't look after animals properly, they
can't look after you,'' Fay observed.
''There is always something to do around
''There must be something wrong with
people who say they are bored.''
A big, sincere and no nonsense man who
calls a spade a spade, Colin says he likes to
see stock ''lying down and contented.''
''We are not into moving stock much as
that takes energy out of them.
''We put animals in a paddock, watch
them and pasture seven days a week and
add or take away a few animals as we see
fit,'' he said.
Colin learned at the University of Hard
Knocks in inhospitable and remote corners
of the South Island, including Mavora,
Blackmount, Mararoa, Te Anau's
Wildnerness, The Key, Ahuriri, Dingle, Big
Bay, Martins Bay, Upper Pyke, Hollyford,
McKerrow St Bathans, Upukerora and the
upper Lindis Pass.
It was tough and demanding country for
hard men as drovers and stockmen but a
wonderful apprenticeship to tolerating
and coping with bad weather and other
setbacks that go hand in hand with
Born in Greenhills and an employee in his
youth at Nokomai Station, Te Anau Downs
(Knobs Flat in 1954) and other back
country properties, he operated Waiau
Stud from April 2, 1977 in partnership with
the late Ted Edmunds, the property
founder who died after shifting on to
Pleasant Point three and a half years into
their five year partnership agreement.
Colin King arrived at Waiau Stud with 2800
Romney ewes and 600 Hereford cattle and
took over Ted Edmunds' stock when he
moved on to Pleasant Point.
Colin had married Fay in 1958 and worked
on the Bluff wharf, then at Ocean Beach
Freezing works and managed Tara Downs
at Omaui for Malloch McLean
(accountants) and Harold Pinkney.
He moved on to Castlerock near Dipton
for eight years and has spent the last 34
years at Waiau Stud.
Edmunds was there for 30
years in formative years.
Such is Colin's concern for his
stock that he has endured
''many sleepless nights''
worrying about them in bad
weather and difficult times.
He wakes at 5.30am nearly
His reputation with Herefords
and other breeds has seen
him judge cattle in the UK
He has showed cattle
successfully himself and has sold semen all
over the world.
A close and rewarding business
association with Bowmont Quality Meats,
Invercargill, has been a significant local
feature of his Hereford involvement.
Herefords of the English strain were heavy
in the brisket with stored fat to help
survive bad weather and poor feed.
''But the Canadian Herefords are lower in
fat content and their genetic influence is
now more common because nobody
wants fat now.
''I have been brought up with cattle since
''The Hereford and Angus cattle breeds
cross well for beef production and also
He has found beef cattle and sheep to be
compatible in the Lillburn Valley, the
picturesque gateway to scenic gem Lake
''They always say where there is mud,
there is money...It is well down in the
mud here in Winter.''
Colin acknowledges that experience
gained with genuine early days stockmen
in the mould of Harry Anderson of
Linwood Station was invaluable.
''He paid me 10 shillings an hour in his
woolshed while others were on seven and
six which was then the going award rate.''
The King couple maintain they would do
exactly the same if they had their time all
''At present the future of farming seems
positive, providing we can all control
costs,'' Colin predicted.
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