Home' Otago Southland Farmer : June 14th 2013 Contents 14.6.13 Farmer
Dairying -- Sheep -- Beef.
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for the coming season?
We require more listings -- 17 years
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supporting Dairy and
Sheep farmers throughout
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A Consortium of AgResearch Ltd and Beef + Lamb New Zealand
Ovita funds sheep parasite research
Selective breeding is becoming an increasingly widespread tool used by stud breeders and
farmers to manage sheep parasites and produce heavier lambs.
Some of New Zealand's leading sheep breeders have been at the forefront of sheep breeding
programmes based on resistance to internal parasites, and have made considerable progress.
Now many breeders are utilising the CARLA saliva test, the latest science to battle parasites.
AgResearch scientist Richard Shaw explained CARLA is a protective antibody response
produced by sheep in the gastrointestinal tract that prevents parasite larvae from establishing.
The cycle of development is therefore interrupted, preventing parasites from developing to
adults and producing eggs to contaminate pastures.
The antibody response can be easily measured in sheep saliva.
Some sheep produce more antibodies than others, and these animals have been found to
have more protection to parasites. This natural response can be measured across the stud
flock and exploited via selective breeding, reducing the effect parasites have on sheep.
Data collected from sheep breeders over the last three years means CARLA can be
incorporated in the SIL disease (WormFEC) module so that breeders can make active
CARLA is correlated with improved production; an average increase of 1.9 kg live-weight in
animals was measured in sheep with high CARLA antibodies on one organic sheep farm.
"Actively selecting for CARLA will not only lead to more productive sheep, it should mean
less reliance on expensive drenches, which will encourage practice change with drenching
programmes and help to combat drench resistance."
This technology is a result of New Zealand farmer investment in Beef + Lamb New Zealand
Contact Eleanor Linscott 03-477-0697 for more information, or visit www.ovita.co.nz
Dairying Advertising Feature
Stern bulls well tested
at Four Peaks Station
Four Peaks Station at Fairlie has some
tough cow country where the cows
climb up to 1300m and are required to
produce a calf and breed in demanding
conditions. In this environment of course
the type and structure of cows and bulls are
severely tested, it's native low quality
forage and often in limited supply. Four
Peaks station owners Steve and Jo
McAtamaney have been using Stern bulls
since integrating Angus into the stations
''The bulls are the best we've had,'' says
''Every bull came in sound which is a real
challenge on this country.
''Across the valley Fox Peak Station is similar
country that's been using stern bulls for
over 30 years.''
While other Stern clients across the
McKenzie Basin acheive outstanding calf
weights up to 300kg -- iconic stations
Grayshills, Glenmore and Maryburn are
regulars at Stern, Four Peaks Station
however is particularly raw and steep --
there simply producing a calf is an
achievement, let alone at 200kg.
''It's critical bulls shift and perform on such
a tough property,'' says Stern principal
''It's hard on bulls but their success is their
ability to climb and work which requires
strong structure, great hind quarters and a
capacity to forage.
''Four Peaks is run in conjunction with a
fattening block at Mayfield and it's here the
Stern genetics really shine,'' says Steve.
The Stern bred calves grow out and finish to
270kg plus carcases.
High Country cows haven't changed
Stern has been breeding Angus bulls for
high country stations for 75 years, has
been a keystone of the Angus breed in
the South, a source of genetics for new
breeders getting established and a
benchmark for stud bulls. ''Certainly there
have been fashions in the industry and
there always will be, but the fundamental
functional cow type hasn't changed greatly
because she's robust and fertile and suited
to the environment,'' says Stern stud
principal James Fraser.
The environment controls extremes and
while a little of any trait initially gives great
production increases, extremes of
any trait inevitably become a
weakness and compromise herd
fertility, production and profitability.
Excess frame, excess muscularity and excess
milk all increase feed demand but make no
mistake excess fat will also have a
depressing effect on production. Heifers
that are too fat do not milk and lead to
increased calving difficulty causing sub-
sequent reduced fertility and profitability.
Surplus stock with Fat EBVs over +1.0,
heifers in particular, will be prime and then
over fat at lower carcase weights.
''Common sense functional sound bulls
with a solid EBV set have, and will always
be, central to profitable high country
herds,'' says Fraser.
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