Dairy House is a joint office within the AgriBio building at La Trobe University, Victoria. Established in November 2018 it is home to DataGene, Holstein Australia, Jersey Australia and the National Herd Improvement Association of Australia (NHIA).
With DataGene’s latest release of Australian Breeding Values (ABVs) out this week (13 August), dairy farmers have one more good reason – worth about $300 per cow – to focus on Balanced Performance Index (BPI) when selecting bulls.
The BPI is a blend of ABVs for the traits that influence a dairy cow’s contribution to the farm business: production, fertility, functional type, survival, cell count, workability and feed saved.
It’s official. Western Victoria has some of the best dairy genes in the country. And they were celebrated at the Great South West Dairy Awards earlier this month (11 July) with awards presented by DataGene.
For the third year running, Bryan and Jo Dickson (Emu Banks, Terang) took out the top Holstein herd. Their 1000-cow herd averages a BPI of 133, ranking equal fifth in Australia.
Mario Park Sid Alicia Ex-92-2, owned by Oxley Vale, NSW breeder, Murray Polson, has taken out the award for the top BPI Holstein at the 2018 Victorian Winter Fair. She also came third in the 6yo class, proving she’s a top performer on multiple fronts.
Of all the females entered in the Winter Fair, Sid Alicia had the top BPI calculated by DataGene in the April 2018 genetic evaluations.
Last week (10 May), more than 300 people from across Australia descended upon Jelbart Dairy at Leongatha South to hear the results of the ImProving Herds project and the experiences of the farmers involved.
Project leader, Dr Jennie Pryce, said the popularity of the day was a strong sign of the level of interest in herd improvement and how it contributes to the bottom line of dairy businesses.
After several recent parentage failures of his progeny, DataGene has now received a new genotype for Beulah Tahbilk (TAHBILK). After investigation, it appears that a sampling or data entry error somewhere between sample collection and entry onto the system has led to an incorrect genotype being linked to this bull several years ago.
The rate of genetic gain in the Australian dairy herd has almost doubled in the past decade, according to a recent analysis.
DataGene announced the results with its April release of Australian Breeding Values (ABVs).
Michelle Axford, DataGene Genetic Evaluation Manager, looked at the rate of genetic gain for Balanced Performance Index (BPI) in Australian Holsteins in 5-year time blocks, based on the BPI of the sires of cows.