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NSW Northern Rivers News

Streamlining Genomic Testing for Cow-Calf Producers

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Streamlining Genomic Testing for Cow-Calf Producers
A Gateway to Confident Decision-Making

Streamlining Genomic Testing for Cow-Calf Producers

In the intricate world of cattle ranching, every producer faces their strengths and weaknesses. However, with the evolving landscape of technology and resources, there are now viable options available to bridge these gaps effectively. Whether it’s delving into research, embracing technological advancements, outsourcing tasks, or delegating responsibilities, the journey to improvement is multifaceted.

Streamlining Genomic Testing for Cow-Calf Producers

Streamlining Genomic Testing for Cow-Calf Producers

Navigating the myriad variables of cow-calf production can often pose challenges, leaving producers grappling with decision-making uncertainties. Yet, in 2024, ranchers find themselves armed with an array of tools to bolster their confidence in managing their operations, with genomic testing emerging as a pivotal asset. Nick Hammett, Key Accounts Manager for Neogen®, sheds light on how genomic testing, such as Igenity® Beef, is revolutionizing decision-making processes for commercial cow-calf producers, as highlighted in Season 7, Episode 11 of the Casual Cattle Conversations podcast.

Traditionally associated with seedstock operations, genomic testing has now transcended its boundaries, proving to be invaluable for operations of all sizes. “I think that’s maybe one of the biggest values of genomics is that you don’t have to be a seedstock operator,” notes Hammett. With a mere tissue sample from the animal’s ear, genomic testing unveils a wealth of information by scrutinizing the animal’s genome, offering insights into production characteristics and genetic profiles.

A Gateway to Confident Decision-Making

Once the tissue samples undergo analysis, producers receive comprehensive reports encompassing 17 different traits and 3 indexes. While these scores do not constitute true EPDs, they empower producers to make informed decisions when selecting replacement heifers, purchasing bulls, and even marketing opportunities. “The best starting point with the greatest return on investment is testing your potential replacement females to make more accurate decisions on which ones will stay in the herd longer,” Hammett emphasizes.

Moreover, genomic testing extends its benefits to bull selection, enabling commercial cattlemen to make discerning purchases with confidence. By objectively measuring strengths and weaknesses, producers can hone in on areas requiring improvement and align their breeding decisions accordingly. Seedstock producers, in turn, play a pivotal role in guiding their commercial counterparts towards sounder purchasing decisions.

While genomic testing may not feature prominently in operational budgets, its impact on efficiency and productivity cannot be overstated. By selectively breeding heifers with optimal maternal traits, performance, and feed efficiency, producers can mitigate input costs and enhance overall profitability. Hammett draws a parallel to variable rate application in farming, underscoring the transformative potential of genomics in driving down costs and optimizing resource allocation.

As the spring calf crop arrives, producers are urged to contemplate the transformative potential of genomic testing in enhancing herd performance and bottom-line profitability. In an era defined by technological advancement, embracing genomic testing emerges as a strategic imperative for cow-calf producers striving for operational excellence and sustainability.

1. Genomic Testing Revolutionizes Decision-Making: The article underscores how genomic testing, once associated primarily with seedstock operations, has become a game-changer for commercial cow-calf producers of all scales. By providing comprehensive insights into production characteristics and genetic profiles, genomic testing empowers producers to make informed decisions regarding replacement heifers, bull selection, and marketing strategies.
2. Enhanced Efficiency and Profitability: Through genomic testing, producers can strategically breed heifers with optimal maternal traits, performance, and feed efficiency. This selective breeding approach not only mitigates input costs but also enhances overall profitability. The article highlights how genomic testing serves as a key tool in driving down costs, optimizing resource allocation, and ultimately improving the bottom line.
3. Parallels to Technological Advancements in Farming: The article draws parallels between genomic testing in cattle production and variable rate application in farming. Just as variable rate application optimizes input allocation in farming, genomic testing optimizes breeding decisions in cattle production. Both technologies represent transformative tools that enable producers to maximize efficiency, minimize costs, and drive overall productivity.

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Northern Rivers Local News

The Northern Rivers Times Edition 190

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The Northern Rivers Times newspaper

The Northern Rivers Times Edition 190

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Northern Rivers Local News

FLOOD RECOVERY TO SLOW Kevin Hogan MP

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FLOOD RECOVERY TO SLOW

Federal Member for Page, Kevin Hogan has sent a letter to the Prime Minister, Premier, Ministers, Local MP’s, Mayors, and other organisational heads on the 2nd anniversary of the 2022 floods.

Dear Prime Minister,

Currently, our region does not have a clear future and the recovery is not going well. There is great confusion, disappointment, and sadness within the community. I say this with humility and no blame, but blunt honesty on the 2nd anniversary of the 2022 floods.

The Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation (NRRC) began a strategy of removing those in danger from the floodplain. Over 2,000 homes were identified to be unsafe by the NRRC. Less than half of the homes identified by the NRRC will be bought back. Also, some families who accepted a buyback, bought back on the floodplain. This shows the failure of the NRRC plan.

Individuals and families had nowhere to live and had to make decisions about their immediate future. Some people started putting money back into their homes and commenced renovations immediately. Others decided to sell their properties on the private market. The new property owners did not qualify for the buyback.

After the completion of buybacks, maybe 700 to 900 of the 2000 homes identified by the NRRC will have been bought back. This means over 1000 homes will remain on the flood plain. Those individuals and families will be no safer and are still at risk. The CBD, industrial estates, businesses, villages, farmers and the road network are no safer.

The strategy of withdrawing from the floodplain has failed. Flood mitigation is the only strategy that will give the region a sustainable future and safety.

Over $800m has been spent on the Resilient Homes Program. None of this money has lowered the level of the next flooding event. This means no home, CBD Business or industrial estate occupant, on the flood plain is in any safer. They will be unable to get affordable insurance. Credit finance for buyers looking to invest will also be difficult. It will become a low socio-economic area.

The path ahead must include a public commitment to flood mitigation. The CSIRO report is crucial to this. If the community knows a metre or more will be taken off future flood events they will invest and live in confidence in the Northern Rivers. A feasibility analysis could be done to identify some of the findings the CSIRO hydrology report would support to speed the mitigation works.

A vision document focussing on economic recovery, economic development, regional workforce, housing, water security, residential and industrial land development is also needed. CSIRO have been identified by the Northern Rivers Joint Organisation (NRJO) to be best place to deliver this.

The McKell Institute, The Cost of Extreme Weather Report, has found that between 2005-2022 the Federal Government spent $23.99 billion on disaster recovery and relief and only $1.51 billion on disaster prevention. This needs to change. Flood mitigation is the best prevention option for the Northern Rivers to grow and prosper. It will also save future Governments therefore taxpayers billions of dollars by mitigating future disasters. The 2022 disaster alone is measured as a $15 billion event.

The Government on all levels must act. You as decision makers will determine whether the next major flooding event in this region kills people, destroys people’s lives financially, or the region has been made safer. Mistakes have been made and significant amounts of public funds have been spent with marginal return. This can be rectified with a commitment to flood mitigation and a vision strategy for the region.

Kind Regards

 

 

 

Kevin Hogan MP

Federal Member for Page

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Northern Rivers Local News

Byron Shire’s Mayor elected to lead the Northern Rivers’ peak local government organisation

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Byron Shire’s Mayor elected to lead the Northern Rivers’ peak local government organisation

Byron Shire Mayor Michael Lyon has been elected as the chairperson of the Northern Rivers Joint Organisation.
Ballina Shire Mayor Sharon Cadwallader is the deputy chairperson.

“I would like to thank my fellow Board members for their trust and confidence in electing me to lead the Northern Rivers Joint Organisation,” Chairperson Lyon said.
“As the peak body for local government in the Northern Rivers, we represent a region spanning more than 20,000 square kilometres from the Tweed in the north, to the southern reaches of the Clarence Valley and to Kyogle in the west.

“We enable our member councils to work together at a regional level to achieve better planning, economic, infrastructure and service delivery outcomes across our communities.
“Whether it’s seeking funding support, lobbying for policy change, raising shared local government concerns, or generally advancing the region’s interests, we are committed to advocating on behalf of our member councils and facilitating collaboration with other levels of government.

“There remains no higher priority than supporting our communities in every way possible as our region continues to tread the long road to recovery after the devastating natural disasters of 2022,” he said.

The Northern Rivers Joint Organisation’s Board consists of the current Mayors of Ballina, Byron, Clarence Valley, Kyogle, Lismore City, Richmond Valley and Tweed local government areas.

“I thank Mayor Cadwallader and Mayor Webster for their stewardship as chairperson and deputy chairperson over the past two years,” Chairperson Lyon added.

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