If we consider liveweight, the majority of LIC customers express their ideal cow as a medium-sized Holstein Friesian, a consistent KiwiCross™ bull, and a larger Jersey cow.
Taking a long-term view, the LSI is continually reviewed to align with the changing needs and wants of farmers.
It takes ten long years and a large investment of $40,000, from initial contract mating, to daughters of the resulting proven and marketed sire being widely milked in customers’ herds. A lot can change over this period of time, and we need to be thinking well in advance to make sure these bulls are fit for purpose when farmers milk their daughters in years to come.
In addition to the LSI the team also use genomic evaluation in the mix, giving them a formidable tool-kit. Genomic advances continue to add real value to the breeding scheme. The new genomic model now utilised by LIC is state-of-the-art and we have the utmost confidence in the tool.
Genomics continues to progress worldwide and having this ‘step-change’ improvement in the technology should allow the industry to move at a faster rate. It’s interesting to note, for example, that LIC now purchases more young bulls sired by genomic sires than those sired by daughter proven genetics.
With spring calving underway, the newest bulls’ daughters are now milking, and it is not long now before we get the first good look at the next crop of graduates to take their place on the leader board. Exciting times as we look to the future – bring it on!