Genetics conference a lead-in to Beef Australia 2012

26 Feb, 2012 01:00 AM
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BEEF producers from Australia and across the globe attending Beef Australia 2012 have the chance to arrive in Rockhampton early and enhance their cattle breeding knowledge by participating in the Bayer & Bioniche International Beef Cattle Genetics Conference.

The conference will be held at the Rockhampton campus of CQ University Australia on May 6 and 7, as a lead-in event to the national cattle industry exposition, Beef Australia 2012, which runs from May 7-12.

The conference features an exceptional program of international experts and Australian industry pioneers, who will outline the tools and strategies to increase genetic improvement, as well as permanently and sustainably increase productivity of the national herd.

Leading beef producer Kara Knudsen, of Mundubbera, Qld, was one of the first to register to attend the conference, as the latest in genetic technology was the key to staying ahead of the game.

“As a commercial producer I believe knowledge and embracing new technologies as they become commercially available is a key to long-term success,” Ms Knudsen said.

“We’re heading to the conference to find out first-hand what is happening at the frontier of genomics and what is available to us now.

“We are investigating the use of embryo transfer technology. Currently this is only economical for stud producers, but new research and better techniques now mean these sorts of processes are in reach of the average producer and genetic progression can happen at lightning speed.””

Among the keynote speakers will be Professor Mike Goddard, who will release the Beef Cooperative Research Centre’s (Beef CRC) updated accuracies for the blended genomic breeding values, which will be an invaluable tool for producers in selecting the best breeding stock to improve the productivity of their herds.

The new breeding values will include hard-to-measure genetic traits like carcase and meat quality, net feed intake and male and female reproductive performance in tropical cattle.

Among the international experts speaking at the conference will be Professor Raysildo Lôbo, from the University of São Paulo, who is also President of the Brazilian Association of Cattle Breeders and Researchers (ANCP).

He has 40 years of experience in developing applications of Animal Breeding and Reproductive Biotechnology, has written more than 200 scientific papers for international journals, and will offer an insight into the genetic developments in the world’s largest beef cattle herd.

“The Brazilian beef industry is committed to improving the efficiency of the national herd of nearly 204 million cattle,”” Dr Lôbo said.

“Breeders of our national breed, the Nellore, that represent around 80 percent of the herd, are putting a huge effort into improving fertility using genetic selection for breeding values for fertility traits integrated with genomic tools.”

Other major topics to be covered at the conference include: International Market Opportunities for Beef; Opportunities for Import and Export of Superior Genetics; the international launch of the MateSel Mate Selection Technology; and case studies of how genetics can add value throughout the beef supply chain.

After the conference a number of international delegates will be also attend the Bayer Genetics and Reproduction Technologies Marketplace during the week of the exposition.

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