NEW ZEALAND, AUSTRALIA - In a landmark collaboration, Beef + Lamb New Zealand Genetics and Meat and Livestock Australia are committing a total of $5.2m over three years towards major joint beef research projects.
B+LNZ Genetics general manager Graham Alder says the collaboration means every $1 of New Zealand farmer levy investment translates to $3.50 of research funding.
“The R&D needs of New Zealand and Australian producers are well aligned. It makes sense for scientists on both sides of the Tasman to work together to solve common problems," Alder says.
“Beef genetics research in New Zealand has been under-funded for 30 years. This partnership means research can progress and the results communicated out to breeders and commercial farmers many years earlier. For Australia, it means faster progress and an opportunity to advance projects that may not have been otherwise gone ahead.”
The partnership centres around the Trans-Tasman Beef Cow Profitability Programme, which aims to balance desirable maternal traits in beef cows, with the finishing performance of the calves and their ability to meet quality carcase specifications.
The programme will develop genetic measures for better describing the important physical attributes of the cow (such as size, body condition and her ability to handle fluctuations in feed availability), fertility indicators in heifers, and selection tools for easy decision-making. It will also investigate how different environments and farm systems in both countries impact on the balance of traits required to produce an economically efficient cow.
This research will also help underpin advancements in genomic technology.
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