INDEPENDENT NEWS

Sheep And Beef Sector Boost With Genetics Investment

Published: Wed 29 Jan 2014 04:25 PM
The announcement today that the Government will invest $15 million into sheep and beef genetics research over next five years has been welcomed by Beef + Lamb New Zealand Chairman, Mike Petersen.
The Government has said it will contribute funding for genetic research to allow the sheep and beef sector to further improve genetic gain and the development of new traits that can be farmed on hill country.
Petersen said the Government’s funding commitment was a pleasing show of confidence in the New Zealand sheep and beef sector, with the potential to significantly boost farmer profitability and that of the New Zealand economy.
“This investment supports a whole range of research, identifying new breeding traits that will produce more efficient animals and those that meet consumer preferences in our valuable export markets.
“We’re especially interested in further developing the traits that thrive on hill country, as this is where an increasing proportion of New Zealand sheep and beef production is based these days with changing land use to dairy.”
Petersen said speeding up genetic gain and finding desirable genetic traits will keep the New Zealand sheep and beef industry ahead of the game and its competitors.
It’s intended that the Government investment will match contributions from farmers and other commercial companies through Beef + Lamb New Zealand Genetics. This entity will bring together existing sheep and beef genetics research by consolidating Sheep Improvement Ltd, the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Central Progeny Test and Ovita.
A proposal to continue investing in genetics research and innovation via Beef + Lamb New Zealand will be put to sheep and beef farmers in the coming weeks ahead of the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Annual Meeting on March 14. Farmers will be asked to reaffirm their current annual investment of $2.9 million through a vote.
Other private sector funds of $1.5 million a year for the next five years have been secured by Beef + Lamb New Zealand Genetics and a further $1.4 million a year will be sought from other sources to take the total funding to $44 million over five years.
ENDS

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