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.