One thing with farming it’s a challenge!! For many of you this is more so this year. However it keeps things in perspective when we remember the mining tragedy on the West Coast.
The Simmental Group BREEDPLAN will change over to ILR2 in early February 2011. Note this is being funded by Beef and Lamb NZ.
To assist with the smooth transition for this could we get as many performance records as possible into the office as soon as possible, especially calf entry sheets.
What changes will ILR2 mean to you?
- You will get monthly group runs instead of twice a year.
- Their will be no interim analysis done.
- There will be enhanced Group BREEDPLAN reports.
- Breeders will only receive an updated herd report if they have submitted post-birth performance since the previous Group BREEDPLAN analysis. Electronic versions of the Group reports will be available from the BREEDPLAN Web download (accessed from the member login area) immediately following the conclusion of each Group Run. Printed reports will only be mailed if the breeder has nominated that this is the preferred method of receiving reports. More about this later.
STUD VISITS, GROUP DISCUSSIONS, DEBATES, AGM
See a lot of cattle on their home turf, swap information, gain knowledge have fun and fellowship. Yes, back because of popular demand, we are going to organise a bus trip. In 2011 there will be a tour through the Waikato area culminating in the 2011 AGM and Puketawa Reduction sale on the 8th of April. (Note all the Puketawa females will be on sale – offered in pairs, you will select one and John and Penny will keep the other). At this stage the tour will begin on the 6th April and finish on the 8th April. This is a great way to meet fellow breeders and their spouses. So pencil these dates in – more information will follow.
We welcome Willie & Lauren McWilliam to the fold with their Maungaraki Simmentals. Yes pressure was put on by these two to reignite Simmentals at Gladstone and Pete and Sue have agreed. We also farewell Wai-iti and Karewa Simmentals who have offered their resignations.
TAfter considerable debate over the years your council have decided to introduce a Docility EBV beginning in 2011. There is no argument that Docility has a genetic component to it and the best way of identifying these genes is through BREEDPLAN. Once a database has been built up (we already have some data in the system we can use) this will become a valuable tool for breeders to access when evaluating sires for their programmes. This was highlighted again this year when a recent imported sire’s progeny were found to be mad. The process for scoring and inputting the data will be forwarded on to you in the near future. Suffice to say it is very similar to the Beef Class scoring system for Temperament. The best and recommended time to do this will be at weaning (200 day weight) to eliminate, as much as possible, any environmental effects. All costs associated with implementing this will be funded within the budget.
The 18th World Simmental Fleckvieh Congress was held in Melbourne from the 19th–22nd September and was attended by Garry McCorkindale, Peter McWilliam and myself. Garry deserves a medal having sat through the AGM which was given in English and after each paragraph repeated in German!! Some of the interesting points made in the Technical section were:
1. Dr Arthur Rickards gave an address on International Trends in Beef Cattle Performance Recording and Genetic Evaluation and made the point that “in NZ we have made NZ$28.70 per cow genetic progress for the terminal index. Of the nine selection indices in Simmental across four countries (Australia, NZ, South Africa and the UK) the NZ terminal index has the fastest average rate of increase. With over 80% of the new calves added to the database each year being recorded through to weaning makes it one of the highest recorded breeds in NZ.
2. Arthur Rickards went on to address the Congress on the incorporation of Gene markers in EBVs. The development of genomics is the way of the future. One of the problems with gene markers is the validation of the markers as it is now recognised that they behave differently in different breeds.
3. Peter Speers gave an address on Crossbreeding for increased Beef Production. Some interesting statistics given from work done in Australia and the United States on the value of crossbreeding gave some unexpected results. The Sim/Angus cross carcasses gave a fat depth midway between Angus and Simmental as one would expect however, Rib eye area was close to Simmental, % of carcasses grading choice quality (degree of marbling) was close to Angus and the average yield much better than Angus and close to Simmental. This equated to about US$77 per carcass in favour of Simmental.
The Congress finished with a visit to the Melbourne Royal Show where Simmental was the feature breed represented by 120 exhibits – truly a great spectacle. After the Congress there was a party of 31 delegates mostly from the UK who took the opportunity to visit Simmental studs throughout NZ. Feedback from some of the group suggested they were most impressed with the soundness of the NZ cattle and the approach to performance recording. Not surprising when you read that 40% of two year old British bred heifers need to be assisted in having their first calf.
BEEF EXPO 2011
Council are committed to making this a success for Simmental. Breeders have found that participation at Beef Expo has increased their exposure and profile of their stud and improved their on farm sales. There are going to be some new exciting innovations this year – one of these is the “Queen of Hearts Sale” which will further increase the diversification of stock sold at Expo. This is an All Breeds heifer calf show (all heifers will be led) and sale aimed at showcasing the very best of the future of beef genetics in NZ. To encourage the best genetics and quality to this premier sale there will be $2,000 up for grabs. More details will follow.
Now is the time to start thinking about what can your stud offer – bulls, heifers, embryos, semen packages, etc
This was a new initiative last year aimed at encouraging young people into the Stud Stock industry and to increase the exposure of Simmental. At this stage it looks as though we will gain two new studs from last years recipients. Council are now looking for two studs to donate heifers to this programme in 2011. Please contact me if you are interested.
ELECTION OF COUNCILLORS
Retiring by rotation this year are Garry McCorkindale and John Hammond. Both have offered themselves for re- election. If you are interested in guiding the future of Simmental NZ or think that somebody would be good on Council put some pressure on them to stand. Enclosed is a nomination form.
- Remember that you cannot register progeny from bulls that have not been registered and DNA profiled. Contact the office if unsure.
- We have some semen listed on the website – we want more.
- Get those records in as soon as possible, especially calf entry sheets.
- 6th- 8th April for AGM/Puketawa Sale/Tour.
- Consider Beef Expo 2011 – increase your studs exposure.
- Who do you want to represent you on council.