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Dairy database a step closer

Dairy database a step closer

Monday 1 September, 2014

Industry body DairyNZ is welcoming news released to the NZX Alternative Market (NZAX) that the Minister for Primary Industries has formally granted consent for changes to animal genetics company Livestock Improvement Corporation's (LIC) constitution.

DairyNZ's chief executive Dr Tim Mackle says the changes will allow the Dairy Core Database to be transferred to DairyNZ later this year. The Dairy Core Database will be part of the Dairy Industry Good Animal Database (DIGAD).

"DIGAD is a new database that will hold the New Zealand Core Database, all the data required for animal breeding evaluation purposes and some additional data for industry research. This includes animal performance data from customers of herd recording companies such as LIC and CRV Ambreed and data collected by breed societies," says Dr Mackle.

"We have been working closely with LIC for over a year to develop systems to transfer data from their systems and to ensure a smooth transition. Our aim has been to enhance the national genetic evaluation system for farmers so we can identify the best sires and cows," he says.

"New Zealand dairy farmers have traditionally made good use of nationally collated data for applications such as animal improvement and financial benchmarking. These have provided a competitive advantage for us. For example, the genetic improvement of dairy cattle is estimated to have contributed $310 million each year to the national dairy 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."

Dr Mackle says DairyNZ is bringing in specialised staff to develop and support the database's development and operation.

"We'll have new systems and processes to access data for industry research and support the routine operation and development of animal evaluation."

Expert companies, in addition to LIC, assisting DairyNZ include:

Datacom: an information technology company helping to build the new database.

Datacom is one of Australasia's largest independent information technology providers and is one of New Zealand's largest software development companies.
Insomnia Security: ensuring the security of the database. Insomnia Security is a New Zealand based company dedicated to providing highly specialised information security consultancy services. It is tasked with providing an independent security review to confirm policies and configurations are robust across the network and systems.

Abacus Bio: an agribusiness consultancy business specialising in quantitative genetics applications. Abacus Bio has been developing economic models to support national breeding objectives in New Zealand and Australia.

-ENDS-

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