Genetics will play a key role in helping protect waterways
Genetics will become an increasingly important tool for farmers in their efforts to reduce nitrogen loss and protect our waterways, says CRV Ambreed managing director Angus Haslett.
Haslett’s comments come on the back of the Government’s Essential Freshwater Package announced today. One of the Government’s proposals focusses on improving farming practices to reduce nitrogen loss.
“Our dairy farmers have already made great strides over the last 10 years to mitigate the effects of their farming operations on the environment and protect water quality.
“Many dairy farmers understand that they need to make an investment in new innovations that will enable them to farm sustainably. We’re excited about the part that genetics will play in this solution.”
In 2017, CRV Ambreed launched LowN™ Sires, whose daughters excrete less nitrogen. Hundreds of thousands of calves have been born from LowN™ Sires over the past two seasons.
“For the 2018 season, over a quarter of all genetics ordered by our farmers were for LowN™ sires,” says Haslett. “This is a sure sign that many farmers are keen to use genetics as another way of minimising the effects of their operations on the environment.
“With the latest LowN™ progeny now being reared, hundreds of farmers are well on their way to building a herd of cows that excretes less nitrogen in their urine. Plus, we are providing an environmentally friendly solution that also helps protect the viability of farming business and the rural communities in which our farmer customers live.”
CRV has identified and promoted to farmers a team of bulls whose daughters will have lower Milk Urea Nitrogen (MUN). These daughters are expected to excrete less N in their urine resulting in a reduction in N leaching.
Farmers who start a breeding programme for low MUN now can expect potential nitrogen leaching reductions of 10-12% by 2025.
“Many dairy companies already require their farmers to have farm environment plans,” says Haslett. “With the potential reduction in nitrogen our LowN™ sires can deliver, it makes sense for farmers to consider it as an option.”
As an industry leader, Haslett believes CRV has an important role to play in recognising farmers who are making a difference and giving them a voice to influence future generations.
“We have just become a strategic partner of the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust. We’re excited about promoting leadership across the primary sector and giving farmers a platform to share their success stories with their peers and a wider audience.”