Beef farmers to be surveyed on genetic traits

The beef sector is concerned with tariffs and strength of the New Zealand dollar. Photo: Gregor...
Photo: Gregor Richardson
Beef farmers are being asked for their views on what cattle traits are important to them as part of a genetics programme.

The Informing New Zealand Beef (INZB) programme manager Gemma Jenkins said she wanted farmers to take part in a Trait Prioritisation Survey to help inform the direction the programme takes in developing a genetic evaluation system for the industry.

The survey aims to gain insight into farmer demographics, views and behaviours around trait preferences and genetics.

The survey’s findings and input from the programme’s Industry Advisory Group and industry experts would allow for decisions to be made on what traits should be developed as part of the programme, she said.

AbacusBio has already carried out an independent assessment of potential new traits which could be developed.

Traits were evaluated against a range of impacts and values including economic, environmental, cost and time to implement, data availability and reliance on genomics.

Fourteen traits including fertility and maternal, growth and efficiency, carcass and eating quality, health and welfare and the environment were then recommended for further development.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand, with the support of the Ministry for Primary Industries, was leading the seven-year Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures partnership INZB programme.

The programme will also create easy-to-use tools to enable data to be efficiently used by farmers to make profitable decisions for their operations.