1. Animal

    Animal management is a critical component of farm profitability and sustainability. From genetics to herd management and more, this section covers topics that will help guide your decisions.

  2. Breeding Values

    Breeding Values (BV) are an estimate of a cow or bull's genetic merit for a trait.

  3. Economic Values

    Economic values (EVs) are an estimate of the value of a trait to a NZ dairy farmer.

  4. About NZAEL

    New Zealand Animal Evaluation Limited (NZAEL), aims to develop, promote and deliver technologies that optimise genetic improvement in the national dairy herd.

  5. Interpreting the info

    The current National Breeding Objective (NBO) is encompassed in the calculation of Breeding Worth (BW) which currently consists of eight core traits.

  6. Can we select for feed conversion efficiency?

    DairyNZ and breeding companies are well on their way to generating a breeding value that measures how efficient a cow is at using feed for body maintenance or milksolids production (feed conversion efficiency). If the breeding value can be developed, it will save farmers money in feed costs.

  7. Supplying data to DIGAD

    Data standards are put in place to help maintain and enhance the quality of animal data entering the dairy industry good animal database (DIGAD). This data is used for research and animal evaluation purposes.

  8. Herd potential becomes reality with data depth

    Driving efficient milk production through focused management is a worthy goal for Waikato farm owner Stephen Weir and contract milker Kylie McIntyre.

  9. Body condition score a trait worth measuring

    The addition of body condition score to Breeding Worth in February will accelerate the rate of genetic gain in New Zealand dairy cows.

  10. Fertility improvement

    A change to how mating data is treated within the fertility model hs improved the reliability of the fertility Breeding Value (BV) allowing farmers to be more accurate in their selection of genetically elite replacement heifers.

  11. All About BW

    Breeding Worth (BW) is the index used to rank cows and bulls based on how efficiently they convert feed into profit.

  12. Genetic base cow change brings breeding worth back

    The genetic base cow – the genetic reference point for all dairy cattle in New Zealand – will be updated this month, moving from a 2000 to a 2005-born base cow.

  13. Greater accuracy for BCS breeding value

    In August 2016, there will be a change to how body condition score (BCS) records are treated before they enter the Animal Evaluation (AE) system.

  14. Genetic efforts keep Ayrshires top of the game

    Ayrshires may only be a small percentage of the national dairy herd but they have been a big part of the Hutchings’ family farm for four generations.

  15. Waitomo farmers gaining from BW index

    Despite tougher financial times, Waitomo farmers Euan and Claire Reeve have maintained a strong focus on genetic gain in their herd.

  16. Six steps to breed a high BW herd

    Pushing the genetic merit of your herd into the top 10%, find out what it's worth to you and how to get your herd there.

  17. Recording parentage

    Recording parentage, and measuring cow performance on-farm enables farmers to make informed decisions about which cows to breed from and which to cull.

  18. Measure cow performance

    Measuring cow performance shows you who your best and worst cows are. Having this infomation helps you to decide which cows you should keep replacement heifers from, and which you should cull.

  19. Transfer of animal evaluation completed

    The transfer of the animal evaluation models to industry body DairyNZ is now complete.

  20. An invisible hand in profit gains

    Genetic gain is a steady process which delivers improvements year upon year. Although these gains can go unnoticed, the value is very real and quickly adds up.

  21. The value of high breeding worth animals

    Farming is a complex business and with so many factors contributing to overall profitability, it can be difficult to see the value gained from your herd’s genetic merit.

  22. International dairy sires

    Breeding values for international dairy sires are generated by Interbull, an international genetic evaluation organisation.

  23. South Island farmers join animal evaluation advisory panel

    Two South Island farmers, Mo Topham from Southland and Tania Riddington from Canterbury, have recently joined the New Zealand Animal Evaluation (NZAEL) Farmer Advisory Panel, bringing the panel numbers to nine.