New tools to make better breeding decisions

Monday, 28 October 2019

Two new online tools will help dairy farmers choose bulls that better match their requirements and improve the accuracy of semen order volumes.

Our ‘Breeding Trait Selector’ enables farmers to identify and prioritise the best genetic traits for their herd and a ‘Breeding Season Semen Calculator’ works out a herd’s requirements for conventional, sexed and beef semen.

Farmers can learn more about the tools at one of our Breeding Blocks workshops which are helping farmers select the right sires to meet their breeding goals.

Marco Winters, AHDB head of animal genetics, said: “Genetics can have a huge positive impact on farm performance and profitability. The new tools speed up and simplify the process of shortlisting the best bulls for your herd.”

The Breeding Trait Selector is designed to assist farmers to think about their own specific breeding requirements. It recommends the traits to focus on based upon their answers to a few simple questions; such as calving patterns, contract and breeding strategy, alongside any areas for improvement e.g. yield, health, fertility.

The Semen Calculator uses details about the number of breeding females, conception rates and the split of conventional, sexed or beef semen to work out the number of straws needed to meet a herd’s requirements.

“The tools should be used alongside our existing herd genetic report and bull selector, so you breed the traits into your herd that are best your own situation and long term goals,” added Mr Winters.

Find out more about the tools and workshops