The third mating of the Informing New Zealand Beef Programme’s across-breed Beef Progeny Test is about to get underway using 19 bulls selected from this year’s nominations.
For the first time, Simmental genetics will be included in this year’s mating, adding to the Hereford and Angus genetics which have been the focus of the evaluation so far.
The Beef Progeny Test builds on previous progeny tests and will use Angus, Hereford and now Simmental genetics to identify the performance of agreed-on traits, linking with international beef and dairy beef genetics.
Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ)Genetics Beef Operations Specialist Anna Boyd, says the purpose of the Progeny Test is to gather data from herds where different breeds are run together on an equal footing.
“Until now the Test has been run solely at Pāmu’s Kepler Farm near Manapouri. Angus and Hereford cows are run side-by-side at Kepler, with crosses going both across breeds and within breeds. Expansion into the North Island’s Lochinver Station allows for the inclusion of Simmental genetics into the Progeny Test.”
Angus and Hereford cattle will be Artificially Inseminated in December 2022 (Kepler) and January 2023 (Lochinver). Angus and Hereford bulls will be used across both breeds of cows. Simmental bulls will be used across Angus cows at the Lochinver site.
Mating by Artificial Insemination will take place in December 2022 (Kepler) and January 2023 (Lochinver). Angus and Hereford bulls will be used across both Angus and Hereford cows at
Kepler and across Angus cows at Lochinver. Simmental bulls will be used across Angus cows at the Lochinver site only.
“This allows us to get a good handle on the maternal performance and hybrid vigour of the crossbred cow,” says Anna.
“It will give us more capacity to analyse these breeds together as a dataset.”
She says hybrid vigour is of most value in traits with lower heritability such as maternal traits.
Breeders who have successfully submitted bulls into the Progeny Test receive a wealth of information on the performance of their progeny. This includes their finishing performance – in the case of steers - and their reproductive performance in the case of heifers.
The heifers are retained for two matings, so bull owners will get information about the heifer’s reproductive success and the performance of her first calf.
Each bull selected is used across at least 50 cows. In most cases, semen will be used across multiple years to contribute to robust linkages across years.
B+LNZ Genetics with support from MPI is leading the INZB programme. The overall aim of the seven-year programme is to improve profitability and enhance sustainability across New Zealand’s beef industry through the development and adoption of improved genetics.
For more information about the programme, visit the INZB programme website.
The list of successful bulls for the 2022/23 mating can be found at: https://bit.ly/INZB-SireList-2022