Getting the Right Genes for the Job

AUSTRALIA - Meat and Livestock Australia’s (MLA) R&D Manager Rob Banks told the Southern West Australian Meat Profit Day that getting the right genes for the right jobs you want your animals to do is simple and very valuable.
calendar icon 4 September 2012
clock icon 2 minute read
Meat & Livestock Australia

Dr Banks talked attendees to the event, held on Tuesday, through a few steps to help them get started with genetics, and the benefits to their bottom lines.

He started by suggesting that producers think first about which traits will contribute to income and which will contribute to costs.

“You need to identify the things that will impact your bottom line and then try to find the best animals for that suite of traits that are important to you,” Rob said.

“Some cattle markets, for example, require that animals have a certain level of marbling. Marbling is significantly influenced by the genetic makeup of animals. If you don’t have the genes you won’t meet specs.”

The tools are there to help producers to identify the right animals with the best combination of genes – BREEDPLAN for cattle breeders and Sheep Genetics for sheep breeders.

Having invested in these genetics, Rob said it makes sense to care of the livestock and their progeny to make sure you get the most value from them.

“There’s no point in buying really good genetics and not feeding them properly, for instance. Genetics produces the potential. Management brings it to life,” he said.

Investing in these can yield lifetime profitability of an additional $50 for each ewe joined and $75 per cow.

Another tip to maximise profitability is to consider crossbreeding to increase growth and carcase weights of progeny, typically by 10–15 per cent. Crossbreeding can improve marking and branding rates.

Rob discussed a range of other genetic considerations that can have an impact on the bottom line, including buying better bulls, latest genetic developments including genomic testing.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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