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.
Con and Michelle Glennen (White Star, Noor at) received the award for the top Jersey herd, also for the third year running. Their 460-cow herd averages a BPI of 121, which places it second in Australia.
Jan Raleigh’s 250-cow herd (Blackwood Park, Timboon) was again the top Red Breeds herd in the region, with an average BPI of 94, placing it fifth in Australia.
In presenting the awards, DataGene’s Peter Williams said that breeding a good herd did not happen by chance – it involved working with top cows and top cow families and using superior artificial insemination (AI) sires over consecutive years.
“Genetic gain is permanent and compounds year on year. Dairy cows have to be joined every year so it’s worth making every breeding decision count,” Peter said.
“The easiest way to do this is to make sure every replacement heifer is bred from a bull that carries the Good Bulls icon.
Dairy farmers can use Good Bulls with confidence they will lift the herd’s Balanced Performance Index (BPI) which is a measure of genetic merit for profit.
“There is a wide range of Good Bulls available, giving farmers plenty of choice for Good Bulls that meet their priorities for specific traits, budget and company preferences,” Peter said.
DataGene is an initiative of Dairy Australia and the herd improvement industry.