New Zealand red meat genetics sector takes a step forward

By Georgi Gyton contact

- Last updated on GMT

B+LNZ Genetics has secured government investment of NZ$15m
B+LNZ Genetics has secured government investment of NZ$15m

Related tags: Meat, Cattle, Beef, Lamb, Livestock

Genetic investment and its uptake have the potential to add NZ$845m to the New Zealand sheep and beef sector over the next 20 years, according to Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ).

The organisation has revealed its ‘Genetics’ arm is now officially in business, following the signing of a contract with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, securing government investment of NZ$15m over the next five years.

B+LNZ Genetics will attract NZ$44m in total, with the remainder coming from sheep and beef farmers and the wider red meat industry, the association has said. It combines the previous investments in Ovita, Sheep Improvement, and the B+LNZ Central Progeny Test.

Graham Alder, general manager of B+LNZ, said the money would be invested primarily in three areas, and that there would be a renewed focus on beef genetics.

"This investment will power up the genetic gains for New Zealand sheep and cattle, so they are more profitable and better-matched to consumer demands,"​ he added.

"There will be an upgrade to the software that runs the SIL database, so it’s capable of dealing with increased flows. There will be research into new genetic traits relevant to sheep and beef profitability – such as the longevity of ewes and cows, particularly on hill country. And the third area is making the genetic tools and information easier to understand and use."

Related topics: Meat

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