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Cracking sheep source code vindicates grower support

Cracking sheep source code vindicates grower support

AgResearch’s internationally led mapping of the sheep genome is not just an unprecedented opportunity for New Zealand, but vindicates growers backing the creation of Beef + Lamb New Zealand Genetics.

“With the loss of lowland pasture Federated Farmers is keen to see sheep bred with traits to thrive in hill and high country farms. Mapping the sheep genome is a crucial breakthrough,” says Jeanette Maxwell, Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre chairperson.

“We back the sheep industry to grow and genetic mapping will be of immense benefit to wool should farmers approve a proposed levy vote later in the year.

“We think it was said best at the KPMG Agribusiness Leader’s Breakfast at Fieldays, one megatrend could be beef, lamb and wool as high value luxury consumer goods.

“We are taking about an $8bn. export being worth much, much more. We are, for instance, only scratching the surface with dairy sheep.

“Yet I was struck by just how international this breakthrough was. While led by the great team at Invermay it was only possible thanks to the input of 73 authors at 26 institutions in eight countries.

“I know the planned changes at AgResearch Invermay have raised concerns, especially in Otago and Southland, but this investment has been a real success story and will fundamentally change how sheep genomic research is undertaken.

“With Beef + Lamb New Zealand Genetics creation backed by growers this breakthrough gives us confidence in the future,” Jeanette Maxwell concluded.

ends

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