The Australian dairy industry has entered a new genomic era in which dairy farmers are now able to make breeding decisions with confidence on genomic data alone.
After two years of intensive research work at the Dairy Futures Cooperative Research Centre (CRC), genomic profiling of 10,000 dairy cattle has achieved levels of reliability that make much more accurate predictions of how good a bull’s or a heifer’s genetics are for milk production, fertility and other traits that affect profitability.
On average the reliability of genomic breeding values for young bulls (with no daughters) is now equivalent to a bull proof with 30 milking daughters. The potential economic value of this new technology is estimated at $100 million over the next 12 years.
“This new level of genomic reliability for key traits confirms the creation of a viable, new market sector – genomically tested bulls with high levels of reliability under Australian dairy farming conditions,” Dairy Futures CRC Chief Executive Officer, David Nation, said.
In this new era, making breeding decisions with confidence on genomic information alone is set to become standard practice among dairy farmers, who stand to double the genetic gain in their herds.
This will bring forward the introduction of elite genetics by several generations and producing higher performing dairy cows earlier.
For young dairy farmers entering the industry, genomics presents an opportunity to build a quality herd rapidly, making dramatic improvements in performance by choosing elite young bulls on their genomic test alone.