Female DNA testing gives genetic insight

Female DNA testing gives genetic insight

SA
YOUNG GUN: Angus Australia SA branch chairman and Upper South East beef producer Trent Walker with his registered Angus cow herd and newly-sown lucerne paddocks at Culburra, SA.

YOUNG GUN: Angus Australia SA branch chairman and Upper South East beef producer Trent Walker with his registered Angus cow herd and newly-sown lucerne paddocks at Culburra, SA.

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Keringa Angus recently became one of few studs in the country to DNA test its entire female herd through Angus Australia and Zoetis.

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KERINGA Angus recently became one of few studs in the country to DNA test its entire female herd through Angus Australia and Zoetis.

“From 2016 onwards, our progeny will be fully parent-verified,” Keringa stud owner Trent Walker said. 

“Willow Fields DNA tested before they dispersed, so a percentage of our cattle were already parent-verified for a number of years, so having that base we decided to do the rest of our cows.”

While quite the outlay, at $50 a test for parentage, Mr Walker says the investment will give assurance to his clients that his progeny are registered and it is of quality. 

“It will also help us to identify the genetic potential of younger animals earlier, so we can be more efficient with breeding decisions,” he said.

Yearling heifers not kept as stud replacements are either sold locally or sent to China, through Austrex or Frontier.

Mr Walker says it is a lucrative bonus, but one that is not budgeted on. They sent about 60 head last year.

Surplus stud cows are kept as recipients or sold.

“We cull the bottom off the herd and use them as recipients to increase the quality and consistency of our herd,” he said.

Mr Walker says the business is having one of its best seasons ever and expects cattle prices to remain strong for the next three to five years.

“But it is all seasonal,” he said.

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