Breeding for Environmental Traits
The National Breeding Objective (NBO) in New Zealand is to breed dairy cows that are able to efficiently convert feed into profit. Breeding Worth (BW) is the index that is used to rank cows and bulls according to their ability to meet this objective. However conventional genetic progress for traits in the NZ dairy industry’s Breeding Worth (BW) index contribute to only very modest environmental gains at best. AbacusBio worked with DairyNZ to exploit variation in other key traits that affect the amount of Nitrogen (N) excreted/leached by dairy cattle, utilising genetics to contribute to environmental gain.