Accelerate your herd’s genetic gain with the Fast Forward Team™

Spring 2024 marks a significant advancement in our genetic offering for Australian dairy farmers. Our new Fast Forward Team™ offers a broader selection of our most elite genomic sires so you can fast-track genetic gain in your herd and ultimately deliver more value on farm.

Our focus continues to be on improving the genetic gain of our customers’ herds, ensuring we deliver the types of cows our farmers love – cows that are not only highly productive and efficient, but also long-lasting and profitable.

The Fast Forward Team provides some of our most elite genomic sires, while still leaving room in the mating programme for daughter proven sires to be used, simplifying mating decisions. The group of bulls are carefully selected by our Livestock Selection team, based on key traits such as production, fertility, health traits and conformation. The result is an exceptional group of bulls whose breeding values, even as a team, rival those of many individual elite daughter proven sires. This is demonstrated by the combined breeding worth of the Fast Forward team of 83 gBW points higher than the top seven Holstein Friesian and KiwiCross® sires.

Genomic advancements

Through strong investment into research and development, our genomic sires consistently deliver higher rates of genetic gain. As a result, the gap between genomic and daughter proven sires is widening, and the variation within the genomic group is decreasing, therefore providing farmers with greater confidence.

Predicted difference between Fast Forward Team and Daughter Proven Sires

Farmers across the ditch have benefitted from these gains, with the average gBW (genomic Breeding Worth) of replacement animals increasing by over 70% from 9 gBW per year between 2012 and 2016, to 16 gBW between 2017 and 2020.

This increase is particularly impactful considering that for every 10 gBW point increase per cow, there is an associated increase of 2.3kg milksolids per cow per year.1 Such rapid improvement in genetic gain has a significant financial impact on farm and in the milk vat.

The genomic sire use in New Zealand continues to rise. This trend has been facilitated by farmers willingness to use larger teams of bulls, often utilising 20 or more bulls during a single joining period.

These larger teams offer several advantages, including reducing the impact of individual bull movement and enhancing genetic diversity by creating a wider range of daughters. This approach also helps to mitigate potential issues related to inbreeding.

With ongoing advancements in genomics, it’s probable that this differential will continue to expand. The Fast Forward Team will be available to farmers from spring 2024.

How the Fast Forward Team works

  • LIC’s elite genomic sires make up the Fast Forward Team
  • There’s a team available for both Holstein Friesian and KiwiCross® bulls
  • Farmers will be allocated five to seven sires from the team
  • The sires are hand-picked to ensure high genetic merit, all-round performance and strong ancestry
  • An even spread of straws from bulls in the team is supplied
  • Minimum of 50 straws per order
  • Available from spring 2024
  • Terms and conditions apply.

 

View the Holstein Friesian Fast Forward Team

View the KiwiCross® Fast Forward Team

1Source: Demystifying the black box’ article, Dairy NZ (July 2014 Technical Series)

by Michelle Lamerton
International Marketing Coordinator
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