The beef industry in New Zealand is continually evolving every year. Farmers are looking for newer strategies of increasing net production through increasing carcass weight among others. While many strategies pop up every now and again, cattle breeding remains the most preferred by most farmers. This is a result of its many benefits both to the farmer and the cattle. One of these benefits is that cattle breeding plays a huge part in the genetic improvement of beef, something which pays dividends to farmers through increased profit margins. To learn more about genetic improvement, let’s explore how farmers achieve this through cattle breeding.
Identification And DNA Pedigree
The first and perhaps most important step when it comes to genetic improvement of beef through cattle breeding is identifying the right bulls for breeding. In days gone by, New Zealand farmers used to base their decisions on what their eyes could see. While this paid dividends, as the net production of beef increased, it and its own loopholes. The major shortcoming is that some of the heifers produced from the bulls and cows that had been bred together, were not as expected. However, that’s now a thing of the past thanks largely to DNA. Through DNA, farmers no longer base their decisions on what they see with the eye but what DNA results say.
New Zealand farmers are also constantly genetically improving the quality of beef thanks to genome scans. Genome scans are used in conjunction with the marker-assisted selection. After employing the marker-assisted selection, farmers proceed to use genome scans to ensure that the cattle selected indeed have the qualities the farmer is looking for. Genome scans act more as stamping authorities guaranteeing the probable success of marker-assisted selection while at the same time eliminating any risks that may arise from the shortcomings of the marker-assisted selections.