Genetic benchmarks at your fingertips

NMR and AHDB Dairy have developed a secure link from NMR’s dairy management system Herd Companion to the Herd Genetic Report on AHDB’s website. This provides users of Herd Companion, that is used free-of-charge by NMR customers to manage the herd’s milk recorded data, with easy access to their herd’s national genetic ranking and the genetic merit of their cows within the herd for key traits.

Herd Genetic Reports have been available online from AHDB for the past 10 years, accessed with a user name and password. Despite a recent surge in uptake, only a third of producers take advantage of this report.

“The link from NMR’s Herd Companion site is really valuable,” says AHDB Dairy’s head of genetics Marco Winters. “It brings herd performance and breeding data under one roof and makes the Herd Genetic Report much more accessible for  recorded herds, irrespective of calving pattern and breed.”

Mr Winters estimates that the value of identifying and then breeding from the best females in a 150-cow herd can add between £10,000 and £15,000 to the bottom line.

Access to these breeding tools, at trait and index level, for spring and autumn block calvers, as well as all year-round calving herds, will enable NMR users to take their breeding plans to a new level, according to NMR’s genetic manager Richard Miller.

“Irrespective of breed and system, producers can get breeding benchmarks directly from Herd Companion,” he says.

Reports are based on milk recording results and driven by independent AHDB data that is updated three times per year. Youngstock and inbreeding reports are included which are both important considerations in a progressive breeding programme.

“The easy access to accurate genetic data will improve breeding choices and help producers to reap some of the financial gains at stake,” adds Mr Miller.

Online training on the Herd Genetic Report is available. Producers can contact NMR Customer Services on 03330 043 043 or access the information from the NMR and AHDB websites.



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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.