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

 


NZ Sheep Genetics Could Improve UK Sheep Industry

Media Release

6th December 2012

NZ Sheep Genetics Could Improve UK Sheep Industry


A Marks and Spencer sustainable lamb trial suggests New Zealand sheep genetics could improve the UK sheep industry efficiency.

Research commissioned by Marks & Spencer has found that the use of New Zealand sheep genetics could offer sustainability benefits for UK sheep farmers.

The work, which was jointly conducted by the Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute (AFBI) and the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE), investigated the merits of using Highlander and Primera sheep breeds in UK sheep flocks to maximise value in the supply chain through increased lamb output and reduced production and processing costs. The study was also supported by Focus Genetics and Linden Foods.

Trials took place on two upland flocks belonging to the Buccleuch Group and compared a ‘typical’ UK production system of Mule and Texel x Mule ewes, with Highlander and Highlander x Blackface ewes to represent different replacement breeding strategies.

These ewes were crossed with Texel rams, to represent a typical UK terminal sire, as well as UK-bred and NZ-bred Primera rams. Performance was recorded throughout the production and processing cycle, finishing with an evaluation of meat-eating quality using consumer taste panels.

The trial concluded that increasing lamb output and production efficiency by switching from Mule to Highlander ewes offered the opportunity to develop a more sustainable lamb supply chain through reducing on farm costs and greenhouse gas emissions, whilst maintaining product quality, processing efficiency and meat eating quality. Replacing Texel rams with Primera resulted in faster growth rates and a higher proportion of high-value cuts.

Commenting on the results of the trial, AFBI scientist, Dr Ronald Annett, said:

“The Highlander ewe showed excellent fertility and rearing ability and the Primera-sired lambs portrayed superior growth rates and had higher wholesale value.”

“Hopefully this study will make UK farmers think about what drives their returns. It highlights the importance of production efficiency, rather than focusing solely on lamb price or carcass conformation. The trial has demonstrated the importance of maternal genetics in driving production and we hope farmers will take this on board.”

Steve McLean, Head of Agriculture & Fisheries Sourcing at M&S, added:

“For a number of years commercial volatility has seen increasing numbers of sheep producers leaving the industry in the UK. We commissioned this work as one of our PaceSetter projects within our Farming for the Future programme. Over the last seven years we have worked with Focus Genetics and a number of UK farmers to try to replicate their successful New Zealand lamb production model in the UK.

“We recognise that there are a large number of different production systems in the UK and this trial is simply about establishing baseline information to allow producers to make their own informed decisions on the production model that best suits their farm.”

Bayden Wilson, Focus Genetics UK Manager, concluded:

“We welcome the results of the study and hope it will encourage more UK farmers to invest in Focus Genetics breeds. We would like to grow our UK business and we hope farmers will convert after seeing such positive scientific results from New Zealand sheep breeds. As the world seeks more sustainable food production, our genetics are obviously well placed to help farmers improve on-farm efficiency.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

BusinessDesk: APN's NZME Sees Future In Paywalls, Growth In Digital Sales

APN News & Media has touted a single newsroom concept for its NZME unit in New Zealand, similar to what Germany's Die Welt uses, saying an 'integrated sales proposition' is helping it win market share, including ... More>>

Labour Party: Global Milk Prices Now Lowest In 6 Years

The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices ... More>>

BusinessDesk: NZ Inflation Expectations Creep Higher In June Survey

May 19 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand businesses lifted their expectations for inflation over the next two years, sapping any immediate pressure on the Reserve Bank to cut interest rates, and prompting the kiwi dollar to jump higher. More>>

BusinessDesk: Lower Fuel Costs Drive Down NZ Producer Input, Output Prices

May 19 - Producer input and output prices fell in the first quarter, mainly reflecting lower fuel costs and weakness in prices of meat and dairy products. More>>

Media: Fairfax Media NZ Announces Senior Editorial Team

Fairfax Media New Zealand has today confirmed its new editorial leadership team, as part of a transformation of its newsrooms aimed at enhancing local and national journalism across digital and print. More>>

Science: Flavonoids Reduce Cold And Cough Risk

Flavonoids reduce cold and cough risk Research from the University of Auckland shows eating flavonoids – found in green tea, apples, blueberries, cocoa, red wine and onions – can significantly reduce the risk of catching colds and coughs. The research, ... More>>


BusinessDesk: RBNZ House Alert Speech The Catalyst For Government Action

Prime Minister John Key all but conceded that pressure from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand for concerted action on rampant Auckland house prices was one of the main catalysts for the government's weekend announcements about tightly ... More>>

BusinessDesk: How To Fall Foul Of The New Housing Tax Rules: Tips From IRD

Just because you rented out your investment property doesn't absolve you from paying tax, says the Inland Revenue Department in a summary of commonly made mistakes by non-professional property investors when it comes to their tax liability.More>>

Legal: Superdiversity Law, Policy And Business Stocktake Announced

Mai Chen, Managing Partner at Chen Palmer New Zealand Public and Employment Law Specialists and Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Auckland, today announced the establishment ... More>>

Housing: More House Price Gains Expected

House price expectations remain high, with a net 56% of respondents expecting house prices will increase. Fears of higher interest rates are fading, consistent with the RBNZ’s signals this year. Affordability and a lack of houses for ... More>>

TDDA: State-Of-The-Art Drug Testing Laboratory To Open In Auckland

World leading drug testing agencies, The Drug Detection Agency (TDDA) and Omega Laboratories, open New Zealand laboratory More>>

Network: Bigpipe Launches Ultra-Fast Broadband Into Wellington

Bigpipe Launches Ultra-Fast Broadband into Wellington Naked broadband provider Bigpipe has extended its national reach, announcing today, the launch of its unlimited UFB offering into Wellington. The Spark Venture business is giving Wellingtonians the ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news