DAIRYFARMERS who keep meticulous records are in demand, as DataGene expands its national reference group for genetic information, Ginfo.
Participating herds will have their two-year-old heifers DNA tested and classified for free and have the option to test young female calves at a discount among other benefits, including a year's free subscription to the HerdData app and early access to DataGene' s reports and tools under development.
To be eligible, herds need to be regularly herd-testing and recording information, such as calvings, joinings, sires and dams, pregnancy test results and health events such as mastitis.
DataGene chief executive officer Matt Shaffer said Ginfo had enabled Australia to lead the world in genomic breeding values for traits that are difficult to measure, such as feed saved and heat tolerance.
"Ginfo is a critical data set in the genetic evaluation system for the Australian dairy industry," he said.
"It's enabled us to develop new breeding values and to improve the reliability of existing breeding values, especially fertility."
DataGene plans to double the number of herds in Ginfo to about 200 in the coming years, across all eight dairy regions.
Participating Blyth dairyfarmer Gary Zweck said the data tools had helped their Holstein herd.
"We use sexed semen, so we have a lot of heifer calves to choose from and genotyping heifer calves early has meant we can rear the heifer calves we want as replacement and sell our excess heifers at an earlier age," he said.
DataGene manages Ginfo on behalf of the dairy industry, in collaboration with Holstein Australia, Jersey Australia, DairyBio, Agriculture Vic and Dairy Australia.
- Details: datagene.com.au or contact Erika Oakes 0427 995 248 or firstname.lastname@example.org