The season, as we’ve experienced, has shown some challenging times. Especially with the higher than normal spore counts, and the prolonged period of time livestock were exposed to this challenge. I say ‘livestock’, as reports have come in of beef cattle succumbing to this disease, in our district.
We know that a .6 mg/kg Dose Rate, which Hinenui has been testing at for 10 years, shows us the level of Tolerance the Flock can sustain. Like the RAMGUARD test, we put our sires through annually, we find the odd reactor, this would align with the ewe flock under a high challenge.
Even after a season as such, physical symptoms are hard to see. But with the advantage of SIL FEBV – Facial Eczema Breeding values, we can identify lower tolerant animals within our population, with this and failing production through recorded traits, we can eliminate these individuals, plus we can observe relatives through their pedigree lines. We feel this is more important to our program than elevating the current dosage.
Our commitment to maintaining the high level of dosing, with emphasis on eliminating the more susceptible animals, will in future strengthen the Breed Tolerance. This along with good husbandry and management practice, shows that this disease is BEATABLE!!!
Our Waikato breeders hosted our Conference this year based in Taukau. Kate Broadbent treated us to a wide range of on farm and science practises and a new experience for Brett and I, scaling the beautiful Nikau Caves, (highly recommended).
Hinenui continues to field interest from the Australian Ram Breeders. This year we hosted a number of interested parties throughout the Autumn, viewing our genetics looking to enhance their breeding program. Also received an enquiry from the USA.
A snippet from the B & L Conference:-
“Avoiding the Commodity Trap”
A heartening and thought provoking talk by Jacqueline Rowarth. A lecturer at Waikato University. Her repeated message was:
‘GREEN’ ‘ NEW ZEALAND’
We are one of the cleanest, greenest, countries in the world. THIS SHOULD BE OUR STRONGEST MARKETING TOOL! Avoid other countries dictating to us, as we already have the edge on the world!
MAKARETU has undertaken, in conjunction with the GDC, to fence off our main waterways.
This has been a major undertaking, re: fencing the actual river, tapping natural springs to feed the lines, laying piping and installing troughs throughout the flats.
It certainly helps to have a son in the business of irrigation!
‘Thanks goes to’ WATERFORCE SOUTHLAND’
Phil and Deana travelled down to Dunedin to take part in the annual Breeders Forum – run over two days. The forum covered a number of interesting topics, including a talk on ’Body Condition Score’ – BCS has 20% heritability and has proven to be highly repeatable. We will be entering a BCS alongside our ewe mating weight, which will in turn improve the accuracy on the adult size index, by giving SIL more information to make a better estimate on the Ewes efficiency.
Day 2 -A trip out to Invermay Agricultural Research Centre, where a trial was being conducted on Feed Efficiency in sheep. Feed intake, time feeding and weight gain were being measured. Research was being carried out whether some animals were better converters and if there was a genetic trend accordingly. (Work in progress).
Hinenui Genetics continues to Sponsor the Novice Event in the annual Charity Sheep Dog Trial.
Congratulations go out to Jay Mutton of Otara Station who took out 1st and 2nd Prize.
‘Hinenui Genetics’ supported the Gisborne Boys High ’Gateway’ program and took on Fraser Eddowes.
Fraser went on to win the top Gateway student – Fraser is now attending Massey to complete an Agriculture and Commerce Degree. We wish him the best.
On the first of January 2016 in GORE
Brett and I travelled down South to welcome the arrival of – Emily Margaret TEUTENBERG – a wee Daughter for Ryan and Claire.
(Not Christmas Day as planned, but a fantastic start to the New Year).