GIPPSLAND is home to some of the best dairy herds in the country, with several herds ranking in the top 5 per cent in Australia for their breed, based on genetic merit for profit, which is expressed as the Balanced Performance Index (BPI).
In Holsteins Trevor and Tracy Henry from Tinamba have Australia’s number four herd for BPI.
Gippsland is also home to Australia’s number five herd which is owned by Brian and Bill Anderson at Kongwak.
In Jerseys, the Moscript family at Leongatha South has Australia’s seventh ranked herd.
The Leppin family at Bena have the third top Australian Red Breed herd in the country.
Daniel Abernethy from the Australian Dairy Herd Improvement Scheme (ADHIS) congratulated the herds on their achievement.
“It takes a sustained focus over many years to breed a herd of this calibre,” Daniel said.
This year, for the first time, herds receive three breeding indices – profit (BPI), health (HWI) and type (TWI) – see box.
The three breeding indices were introduced following a review last year which found that while profit is important to all farmers, some place more value on traits such as mastitis, longevity, fertility and udder conformation.
“Having three breeding indices gives farmers the ability to choose the index that best reflects their individual breeding priorities,” Daniel said.
“Every unit gained in each trait is associated with a financial gain. But each index places slightly different emphasis on traits and this changes the rankings of bulls, cows and herds.”
For more information contact Michelle Axford at ADHIS 8621 4240 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Australia’s three new breeding indices
1. The Balanced Performance Index (BPI) is an economic index that blends production, type and health traits for maximum profit. It reflects most farmers’ preferences.
2. The Health Weighted Index (HWI) allows farmers to fast track traits such as fertility, mastitis resistance and feed efficiency.
3. The Type Weighted Index (TWI) allows farmers to fine tune type traits.