DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle says DIGAD is a new database that will hold the New Zealand Dairy Core Database, all the data required for animal breeding evaluation purposes and some additional data for industry research. Access to the core data will continue to be controlled by an independent panel.
“This includes animal performance data from customers of herd recording companies LIC and CRV Ambreed and data collected by breed societies,” he says.
“The transfer of the Dairy Core Database is an important step towards the industry’s target of increased genetic gain and industry-wide data use and was one of the main recommendations of the 2009 Anderson Review. It’s the culmination of years of work to reach this significant milestone,” he says.
“DairyNZ, through its subsidiary New Zealand Animal Evaluation Limited (NZAEL), the setting of the national breeding objective and Breeding Worth, is leading the provision of animal evaluation as well as providing access to the core data. This reinforces the critical nature of this information to the industry. Industry organisations must have access to collated data so we can evaluate things like Breeding Worth for dairy cattle and Forage Value Index for ryegrass.”
DairyNZ and LIC have been working closely for nearly two years to ensure a smooth transition of the database. This work has been supported through the Transforming the Dairy Value Chain Primary Growth Partnership programme, led by DairyNZ and Fonterra, partnering with the Ministry for Primary Industries.
“It’s been a huge collaborative effort between DairyNZ and LIC. We’ve also had a number of external organisations assisting with the design and build of the new DIGAD system.”
LIC chief executive Wayne McNee also acknowledged the team’s efforts to achieve an important milestone for New Zealand’s dairy industry.
“LIC has been looking after the core database since the 1980s, but the industry has developed a lot over the years and the time is right for it to move to DairyNZ.
“Handing over the core database to DairyNZ is a significant milestone for the project and achieving this is a credit to the hard work, dedication and commitment of everyone involved.
“They had a lot of important data to work with, and we are pleased to report that it has all transferred smoothly. We will continue to work with DairyNZ to ensure the next stages of the project are completed successfully.”
An independent audit of the project was undertaken and submitted to the Ministry for Primary Industries as part of the approval process for transferring the custodianship of the Dairy Core Database from LIC to DairyNZ.
The audit concluded that the new system was well configured, DIGAD was appropriately designed and built to receive core data and that appropriate arrangements were in place for the on-going management of the Core Dairy Database.
The transfer of the Dairy Core Database is the first phase of a programme of work that DairyNZ is undertaking. The next phase is the transition of the animal evaluation function from LIC to DairyNZ. Work on this has started and will be completed next year.
Researchers and others can apply to the independent panel for access to the core data on the DairyNZ website dairynz.co.nz/DIGAD.
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