Two companies specialising in genomic testing services, Zoetis and NMR, have joined forces for a webinar on Wednesday March 3, at 1:00pm.

NMR’s Richard Miller and Zoetis vet Josh Batterham will discuss the merits of genomic testing of heifers using Clarifide Plus.

Titled 'Should you be the judge?’ this webinar will demonstrate the improved accuracy of genomic testing compared with using parent average data and visual assessments of young dairy stock.

It comes in the wake of results from the NMR Zoetis competition ‘You be the Judge’.

Ranking heifers

Entrants were asked to rank six heifers based on their parent average, ancestry data and an image and these were compared with the genomic ranking of the animals.

None of the 450 entries achieved the correct genomic ranking, illustrating that the traditional means of assessing dairy youngstock cannot compete with accuracy gained from genomic test results.

Early identification of heifers with the best genetics for health, fertility and production allows better selection and breeding decisions to be made.

Richard Miller and Josh Batterham will describe how genomic testing can be used to increase the odds of making the best selections and improve the rate of progress in dairy herds.

What is genomic testing?

Using genomic testing in beef cattle operations allows early prediction of genetic merit and increases the value of young breeding stock.

Some of the traits of interest are expensive to measure in the live animal (e.g. reproductive traits, feed efficiency, or tenderness).

For seedstock producers, genomics are said to be the way of the future, and the adoption of this technology is said to have already begun to determine success in the market.