LEONGATHA South farmers Les, Dianne, Russ and Amy White and family at Dilee Holsteins last week hosted a group of 42 Brazilian dairy farmers from the Federation of Agriculture and Livestock of Minas Gerais State (FAEMG).
The state of Minas Gerais is located in the north-east of Brazil.
The representatives from FAEMG participating on the tour are rural union directors and large milk producers.
“After touring New Zealand they attended our farm at Hillgroves Road before heading to Bundoora Agriculture College in the afternoon,” Les said.
“The next days were dairy farms in Shepparton and New South Wales.
“South Gippsland turned on a beautiful day for their visit to Dilee Holsteins to view and hear about our dairy operation.
“Although the language barrier was hard we certainly gauged their reaction to the difficulties we are having with the low milk price!”
Michelle Axford from the Australian Dairy Herd Improvement Scheme explained how information collected through herd recording, classification, workability scoring, mating and health records is used to produce Australian Breeding Values for cows and bulls.
Australian Breeding Values are then used by farmers to select the best animals for their breeding program.
An easy way to find bulls is using the Good Bulls App that is available for smart phones and tablets from www.adhis.com.au.
Michelle also explained how genomics is now regularly used by farmers to select which heifer calves will be kept for replacements and which ones will be sold.
Genomics uses DNA information from young animals to predict its performance against large reference populations of animals with known performance in Australia.
The reliability of genomics in a calf is equivalent to a cow with eight lactations worth of information or a bull with 35 daughters.