Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

Looking For Mr Good Baa

LOOKING FOR MR GOOD BAA

Rebecca Rowe counts sheep for a living, but it’s all in the search for the ultimate breeding stock.

With help from the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, Rebecca – and Rissington Breedline Ltd- is looking at ways to accurately identify superior ewes and rams to give farmers greater returns through increased lambing percentages and faster lamb growth rates.

Key to its success is the technology developed by Rissington Breedline with funding assistance through Technology New Zealand. Rissington Breedline has a large-scale, long-term, composite sheep breeding programme that is still in its infancy but it could provide a valuable tool for improving productivity on the land.

The sheep breeding programme currently uses a three way cross called Highlander utilising the Romney, Texel and Finn sheep breeds. The Primera (the terminal sire) uses Poll Dorset, Suffolk, Australian White Suffolk and Landcorp Lamb Supreme breeds.

The company currently has 17,000 ewes in its programme in Southland and Hawkes Bay, but is looking to expand this to 60,000 to optimise composite breeding principles.

Rebecca Rowe says the company is selecting genetically superior rams, with proven progeny. “One of the major difficulties was ensuring 100% accuracy in determining progeny, particularly as higher fertility rates mean most ewes are producing two or three lambs in our breeding programme.".

The solution has been a mix of kiwi ingenuity and common sense. Newborn lambs are electronically ear-tagged and a blood sample taken at the same time. DNA testing is then carried out to assign parentage. The parentage and all other measurements recorded are linked electronically to the individual animal’s EID (electronic identification).

According to Rebecca Rowe, the increased accuracy within the recording programme comes from having the ability to assign parentage to 100% accuracy and the removal of manual transfer of collected data.

Ms Rowe says the assistance from the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology has meant the company has been able to implement the DNA collection and electronic tagging over the entire breeding programme. All rams available in March 2002 will have been bred in the new recording system.

-ends-

For more information:

- Rebecca Rowe, Rissington Breedline, 03 208 3445, 025 210 0298

- John Gibson, Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, 04 917 7863 or 0800 832 469.…www.technz.co.nz

Backgrounder Grants for Private Sector R&D

- This is the newest scheme run under the Technology New Zealand umbrella.

- Grants are targeted specifically to technologically aware SMEs (usually less than $50m turnover). The aim is to increase the level of private sector expenditure of R&D.

- Support of up to 33.3% of R&D costs, to a maximum of $100,000 is available for qualifying projects.

- Latest figures show that around $1.5m per month is being invested in private sector R&D projects by GPSRD.

- The scheme has allocated more than $13.3 million, to 223 companies, since it was launched in September last year.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Media Mega Merger: StuffMe Hearing Argues Over Moveable Feast

New Zealand's two largest news publishers are appealing against the Commerce Commission's rejection of the proposal to merge their operations. More>>

Elsewhere:


Approval: Northern Corridor Decision Released

The approval gives the green light to construction of the last link of Auckland’s Western Ring Route, providing an alternative route from South Auckland to the North Shore. More>>

ALSO:


Crown Accounts: $4.1 Billion Surplus

The New Zealand Government has achieved its third fiscal surplus in a row with the Crown accounts for the year ended 30 June 2017 showing an OBEGAL surplus of $4.1 billion, $2.2 billion stronger than last year, Finance Minister Steven Joyce says. More>>

ALSO:

Mycoplasma Bovis: One New Property Tests Positive

The newly identified property... was already under a Restricted Place notice under the Biosecurity Act. More>>

Accounting Scandal: Suspension Of Fuji Xerox From All-Of-Government Contract

General Manager of New Zealand Government Procurement John Ivil says, “FXNZ has been formally suspended from the Print Technology and Associated Services (PTAS) contract and terminated from the Office Supplies contract.” More>>