Dispelling the myths about DNA
Open Day at Dorcorsllwyn, Machynlleth, SY20 9AB
1pm, Thursday, October 11th
Cattle breeders across Wales will have the opportunity to unravel the myths about DNA technologies at an open day hosted by Limousin breeder Glyn Vaughan at his Machynlleth farm.
The open day, organised by Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales, is the first of a series of meetings that will enable sheep and beef breeders to learn about the opportunities that genetic markers currently offer to breeders.
The afternoon will feature talks and discussion about genetic technologies and how they can be applied to beef breeding programmes.
There will also be an opportunity to see the current crop of Dolcorsllwyn bulls and to hear about the flagship project that is being undertaken by the British Limousin Cattle Society, together with Anglo Beef Processors and the Scottish Agricultural College, to explore the use of the latest genetic and imaging technologies to improve carcass traits in cattle.
Genetics expert Professor Will Haresign of IBERS Aberystwyth said: “Beef breeders are able to use range of selection indices such as terminal sire index, maternal index and lean index to identify animals with superior breeding potential.
“While performance recording is the mainstay of genetic improvement schemes for the foreseeable future, the genomic revolution is opening up other possibilities for enhancing breed improvement.
“A number of commercial gene marker tests have been developed and validated in specific populations of farm livestock in defined regions of the world, and have generated considerable interest among beef farmers in the UK.
“There are, however, a number of misconceptions surrounding their use. This meeting hopes to help breeders understand the opportunities and limitations of these tests so that they can use them with confidence and with realistic expectations of their cost benefit,” said Professor Haresign.
The meeting heralds the start of a series of farmer meetings and information packages that will be delivered over the winter months as part of a project which is supported by The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.
HCC Project Executive Dewi Hughes said: “Improving the performance of the Welsh beef sectors through genetic improvement is vital to the long term sustainability and competitiveness of the red meat industry.
“Breed improvement is a key strategy for improving livestock performance and it is important that we understand the role that new genetic technologies can play in helping us to achieve this.”Back to news listing