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Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture

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Published: 12 Apr 2019

Carpenter

DataGene

DataGene is on the look out for dairy farmers who keep meticulous records to join Ginfo, the industry's national reference group for genetic information.

Participating herds will have their 2-year-old heifers DNA tested (genotyped) and classified for free and have the option to test young female calves at a discount. They also receive a year's free subscription to the HerdData app and early access to DataGene' s reports and tools under development.

To be eligible, herds need to be regularly herd-testing and recording information such as calvings, joinings, sires and dams, pregnancy test results and health events such as mastitis.

DataGene CEO, Dr Matt Shaffer, said Ginfo had enabled Australia to lead the world in genomic breeding values for traits that are difficult to measure such as feed saved and heat tolerance.

"Ginfo is a critical data set in the genetic evaluation system for the Australian dairy industry. It's enabled us to develop new breeding values and to improve the reliability of existing breeding values, especially fertility," Dr Shaffer said.

Over the next couple of years, DataGene plans to double the number of herds in Ginfo to about 200. Ginfo herds are located across Australia's eight dairying regions.

"Ginfo has benefits for the broader dairy industry as well as the individual farm so I can't understand why more people aren't involved. The more information you have, the better armed you are to make the right decisions. Ginfo helps us identify which heifers to keep and rear and which ones to sell and then join the best cows to better bulls." Bev Carpenter, South Riana, milking more than 900 Holsteins across two herds.

DataGene manages Ginfo on behalf of the dairy industry, in collaboration with Holstein Australia, Jersey Australia, DairyBio, Agriculture Victoria and Dairy Australia.

Dairy farmers can express interest in joining Ginfo by filling in the form on https://datagene.com.au/node/1183 or contact Erika Oakes at DataGene 0427 995 248 or eoakes@datagene.com.au