The key to making progress, both as an individual farmer and for the overall industry, is to invest in technology that "makes the boat go faster."
Ovita and Beef + Lamb New Zealand board member and industry advocate Leon Black believes the latest genetics testing services Ovita offers has the ability to make a real difference in the sheep industry.
"The SNP technology we're now using significantly speeds up the rate of development in sheep, ensuring we continue to be world leaders. Our farmers are not aware of just how successful they collectively are on a global scale, but you only have to look at how the rate of production continues to rise from a decreasing base number of sheep to see success. The leading edge science that is now helping farmers to achieve that is really pushing the boundaries" the Western Southland ram breeder said.
"Anything that can help farmers do their job better, smarter and improve returns is worth investigation."
Mr Black, who is the third-generation of his family to invest heavily in genetics, sees dual benefits for continued industry involvement in Ovita's genetic identification research and commercial application.
"The first is learning and engagement for the individual farmer. The sheep we breed now could well be different in 10 years time, but engaging with science at a farm level ensures we each can be in on the ground floor with new technology. This interaction lifts our skills as operators, raises our enthusiasm and it also makes it easier to respond to shifts in consumer demands and to changing breeding objectives."
The other benefit is to the entire industry over the long-term, the collective investment lifting overall performance in a way individual famers could never afford to do.
This technology is a result of New Zealand farmer investment in Beef + Lamb New Zealand and Ovita.
The new technology phase will reduce the gene discovery process from 10 years to potentially 18 months, revolutionising the generation of DNA marker predictions for key economic traits. Read more
Genetic selection tools help to realise the productive potential of our animals. Read more
The key to making progress, both as an individual farmer and for the overall industry, is to invest in technology that "makes the boat go faster." Read more
One of the Ovita-funded research projects that continues to attract considerable support from farmers New Zealand-wide is its Lamb Survival Programme. Read more
Ovita's research programme is about piecing together the pieces of the genomic puzzle that affect sheep production. Read more