Young bull usage in dairy herd up fourfold on 2009
Demand quadrupled this year for semen from young bulls. The surge in demand was fuelled by the confidence farmers placed in the latest DNA technology that provides young bulls with 'genomic proofs'.
As a result, up to 40pc of all AI so far this year used genomically proven bulls. This compares to 5-10pc in previous years, according to the ICBF's Andrew Cromie.
And support for the latest in gene technology appears to be staying strong despite debate raging within the New Zealand dairy industry about the reliability of breeding data based on genomic information.
NZAEL, who is the equivalent of the ICBF in NZ, stated recently that it was "working urgently" to change the situation where the "breeding worth" of young bulls with genomic proofs was overestimated.
"Farmers should discount all young bull teams without progeny test daughters by 15-25 Breeding Worth units," the NZAEL stated in NZ's Dairy Exporter magazine.
Currently 50pc of a young bull's predicted breeding value is based on the genomic data sourced from DNA analysis. The rest of the breeding value is based on the parental breeding values or EBIs.
However, the ICBF is now planning to move to a system that will base the predicted EBIs for young bulls solely on their genomic data.