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News from New Zealand and around the world

Latest News and stories from LIC New Zealand and around the world.

Exciting project in Germany

LIC Europe is working with New Zealand companies, Gallagher and Waikato Milking Systems, on a unique project started by Irish farmers, Paul and Stephen Costello, in Germany. The Costello’s have invested in a 1600ha unit just south of Brandenburg. The farm is unique to the area, aiming to produce pasture-based milk for local consumers.

Step towards better animal predictions

LIC has invested $70 million over the last three decades to improve the accuracy of its animal evaluation system with improved data providing better predictions on breeding worth for our farmers and industry.

What crossbreeding contributes to your herd

The primary goal of dairy cattle breeding is to increase the efficiency of milk solids production. In New Zealand crossbreeding is considered an effective way to achieve this goal. The numbers of crossbred cows are rapidly increasing in the national herd and have quickly earned the reputation as ‘easier care cows’.

Standout Jersey bull receives top honour at annual breeder awards

A “one of a kind” Jersey bull, Okura Integrity, has received a Hall of Fame honour for the profound influence he has had on the profitability of New Zealand’s dairy farmers and in-turn, the economy.

Dairy farmers producing more milk from fewer cows, latest ‘cow census’ shows

The latest New Zealand Dairy Statistics released today by DairyNZ and Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC) reveal farmers’ focus on productivity and efficiency is paying off with milk production increasing despite cow numbers stabilising.

BW Changes: Fat-to-Protein values get close to parity downunder

It’s important that an animal evaluation index based on the efficiency of the bull’s offspring in converting feed to profit reflects economic reality for farmers. We know that dairy sector experiences volatility in milk prices throughout the years. For this reason New Zealand farmers see annual adjustments to the economic weighting of their index Breeding Worth (BW).

NZ Frozen Sexed Semen Trial Results

For many years, dairy farmers have been excited about the possibility of using sexed semen to drive genetic gain within their herd. It makes sense; breeding more heifer calves from the best cows while joining lower end animals to other AI options such as beef opens up more opportunities.

Inbreeding – is it really that bad?

Inbreeding can easily occur on farm either as a result of parentage identification errors or by deliberately mating closely related animals. It should be avoided by the prudent dairy farmer.

How the AI behind driverless cars is part of the dairy industry’s coolest tech

Farmer owned co-operative LIC is currently in the early stages of developing artificial intelligence (AI) software to allow early detection of lameness from cow gait.

LIC's top bull breeders celebrated at annual awards

Some of the New Zealand’s top bull breeders came together in Hamilton, New Zealand last week (23 May) to celebrate their contribution to the dairy industry.

LIC International sells one million straws this season

New Zealand farmer-owned co-operative, Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC) has sold its one millionth straw offshore this season, marking the 2017-18 season as the most successful to date for its international business.

Breeding the ideal 'invisible' cow

The Breen family had traditionally milked a herd of Holstein Friesian cows. However, Simon made the decision to go down the New Zealand route a number of years ago.

Next generation of top bulls land at LIC

New Zealand’s busy calving period is well and truly wrapped up for most dairy farms but for the country’s largest supplier of dairy genetics, the annual influx has just begun with the industry’s most promising young talent arriving at LIC’s farm in Hamilton, New Zealand.

‘Olympics of the animal genetics world’ making its way to New Zealand

More than 1000 delegates from around the world will travel to New Zealand to take part in three prestigious animal recording and genetics conferences in February. It is the first time the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production (WCGALP) has held its four yearly congress in New Zealand, and only the second time in the Southern Hemisphere.

Expanding with crossbreds: ‘Too many people regret the opportunities they didn’t take’

Previously milking a herd of 70 high-yielding Holstein-Friesian cows, husband and wife team, Joe and Kathleen Kirwan, decided to expand their farming business with their family's future in mind. Now milking 200 cows, with great results, Joe and Kathleen are moving toward an easy-care, high-producing and fertile crossbred herd.

SGL Hereford- meet the people behind the bulls

Behind every good bull there’s an innovative breeder with a story and LIC’s Short Gestation Length (SGL) Hereford team is no exception.

Three quick questions to consider before you stop AI

AI mating is a busy time on farm, but it speeds by quickly and before you know it it’s coming to an end. The natural mating period follows on most farms, with service bulls ready and waiting. As the season unfolds, your farm’s plan may need adjusting. Mating is no different.

Executing a championship style game plan when making the switch to crossbred cows

A stalwart of the famous Meath Gaelic Football teams of the 1980’s and early 1990’s, Liam Harnan knows how to follow a game plan. Victorious in two All-Ireland finals, the Moynalvey-based dairy farmer took the strategic decision to move from a Holstein Friesian to a crossbred herd in 2013.

The Importance of BCS

With variation in where the rain falls comes a variation in pasture covers. And so it follows with cow condition. At the beginning of autumn there was a wide range in cow condition, both between farms and within herds. Below I cover off what you should be thinking about to ensure cow condition is protected through autumn and winter.

Get the most out of your genetics: growing heifers well delivers real benefits

Dairy heifer performance and survival in the herd is a hot topic internationally, with good reason. Heifers that reach their mature-liveweight-based growth targets have been seen to deliver both productive and reproductive benefits to the dairy farmer, helping to drive the bottom line on-farm.

Harness The Power Of Genetic Gain

In this article, Malcolm Ellis, commercial dairy farmer and LIC GM NZ Markets, makes some interesting observations based on his past 26 years in dairying – but he points out the coming 26 years may demand quite a different approach among farmers striving for continued success.

Genomics - an update

Picking genetics during the artificial breeding season works on the assumption that, when it comes to breeding and production efficiency, farmers want new generations of replacement cows to outperform the previous generation.

All-out AB vs. AB + natural-mate: Bottom-line performance results

Undertaking all-artificial-breeding approach to a herd’s mating programme is an emerging trend on New Zealand dairy farms. That said, most farmers still rely on the conventional approach that typically involves an initial period of artificial breeding (AB) for replacement stock, followed by use of natural-mate bulls for tail-off time. But where’s the proof of the pudding? Is there any difference in reproductive outcomes between the two approaches?

Massive milestone for dairy industry: LIC tags its 10,000th bull!

It’s a milestone that has been 55 years in the making but took only a split-second to finally happen. With one clamp of a handheld tag punch, LIC’s 10,000th Sire Proving Scheme (SPS) bull calf has been tagged.

The Art of Mastering a Game Plan

Read how one New Zealand farmer puts his tight calving interval squarely down to Short Gestation Length (SGL) semen, and how he's seen plenty of his cows calve at 265-268 days - substantially earlier than the standard 282 days.

Stairway to Potential Sire Stardom

For LIC farms manager Dave Hale and his 23 staff, the new season begins in December when a fresh cohort of yearling bull calves arrive at Newstead.

Mythbuster: Pasture Not a Complete Fuel Source

DairyNZ senior scientist Jane Kay busts the myth around pasture not being a complete fuel source for a cow's engine.

Latest Industry Results Confirm LIC has the Best Bulls in the Country – By Far

LIC bulls continue to thrive both locally and globally because of the high standards set by the cooperative. Only the best of the best of the best make it to the LIC Sire Team, to ensure the efficiency and productivity of dairy farmers is continually improved.

Behind every great bull is a great farming family

Passion, knowledge, dedication – that’s what it takes to breed a top bull.

Our Sierra's a top breeder

A Paeroa bull named Sierra is deemed elite nationwide in on the Ranking of Active Sires (RAS) list for crossbred bulls

Growing Interest in OAD Milking

For many years a small portion of New Zealand dairy farmers have opted for a year-round, once-a-day (OAD), milking regime in their dairy farm operation. The motivation typically varies from lifestyle to long walks between paddocks and the dairy (due to farm layout). In some cases, cow shed design, or labour structure, contributes to the decision.

LIC Jersey bulls make a strong comeback

LIC’s Jersey Premier Sires bulls have cemented their position at the top of the national Jersey Ranking of Active Sires (RAS) list, released at the weekend.

Small cows, more milk from Kiwi genetics

Do bigger cows mean more milk in the vat? No, says Australian farmer Sue Walton.

Calving pattern can be improved

Get the key ingredients right and the six-week-in-calf rate is far more likely to be on target.

LIC sires named best in season

Two of LIC’s artificial breeding bulls were named sires of the season by Jersey and Holstein-Friesian breed societies at their annual conferences last month.

Mint bull to go down in history on hall of fame

An elite artificial breeding bull that has delivered a significant contribution to dairy farms nationwide will forever be recognised as one of the very best after being inducted into LIC’s prestigious Hall of Fame last week.

LIC and Lely combine sensor technology resources

Lely Group in the Netherlands and New Zealand-based Livestock Improvement Corporation (NZX: LIC) have entered into a new partnership aimed at accelerating developments in sensor technology and increasing utilisation on farms worldwide.

Farm technology among Hi-Tech Award finalists

For the second consecutive year, Hamilton-based Dairy Automation Limited (DAL) has been named finalist in two categories of the New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards.

LIC forms strategic partnership with SCR world-leading cow intelligence provider

Farmer-owned co-operative LIC (NZX:LIC) has secured a new strategic partnership with the world-leading cow monitoring and milking intelligence solutions company, SCR.

What are New Zealand’s top dairy farmers doing?

Utilising the benefits of cross breeding has been fundamental to the success of many New Zealand dairy farmers according to Jack Hooper, Principal Advisor, of the Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC).

Scientists discover ‘fat gene’ in cows

LIC scientists have discovered genetic variations which impact milk composition in dairy cows.

Scientists discover one cause of loss of calves through pregnancy

LIC scientists have discovered a genetic variation which is one of the causes of dairy cows being empty through the loss of their calf through pregnancy.

LIC discovers small calf gene

Joint Media statement from LIC and CRV Ambreed Use of DNA sequence technology by farmer cooperative Livestock Improvement (LIC) has led to the discovery of a recessive small calf gene - opening the door to managing Small Calf Syndrome out of the dairy industry.

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