MIRforProfit investigated the opportunities for MIR analysis of herd test milk samples to predict production, feed efficiency, fertility, health and longevity.
MIR is a technology that passes a light beam through a milk sample to measure certain components. Traditionally it’s been used only to calculate milk fat and protein content. Recent research has shown it can be used indicate a cow’s status for energy balance, fertility, health, methane emissions and feed efficiency.
The information could be of value at two levels:
• For farmers and their advisors, MIR has the potential to provide far greater insight into the herd from milk recording; in relation to feed efficiency, negative energy balance, fertility, methane emissions and health. The results could allow farmers to identify individual animals to target management, selection and culling decisions.
• For the herd improvement industry, MIR has the potential to improve the accuracy of genomic Australian Breeding Values of key traits, particularly feed saved. MIR may also enable the development of breeding values for new traits.
MIR for Profit was supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources as part of its Rural R&D for Profit programme. MIR Profit was led by Dairy Australia and supported by the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, DataGene Limited and National Herd Improvement Association.