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CLIENT NEWS: Turn your best bull calf into cash

Turn your best bull calf into cash

Dairy farmers in the thick of calving are being offered thousands of dollars for their best bull calves by CRV Ambreed. The company is offering farmers who breed the best bull calves $4,000 if their bull calves are selected for the CRV Progeny Test program. That $4,000 could turn into $11,000 from graduation payments or more if royalty options are taken.

CRV Breeding Program Manager Aaron Parker said with calving now underway, a lucrative source of extra income could be dropping in farm paddocks across the country right now. As well as being welcome income for dairy farmers, delivering their best bulls to CRV Ambreed will contribute to genetic diversity, and thus advancement, across the national herd.

"Farmers know best when it comes to their herds," Parker said.

Elite bull calves are usually sourced through contract mating, stud breeders and CRV Ambreed's embryo transfer programme, but it is through farmers nominating their bull calves on the open market where more unique bulls are discovered. "We're really looking for bulls whose daughters will be efficient and easy to manage for our farmers," Parker said.

CRV Ambreed is building its genetic portfolio to suit the broad range of environments, conditions and farming systems in operation now and in the future.

Okura Stud farmers Luke and Lyna Beehre offered CRV Ambreed a breeding superstar through the open market in 2005. Okura Lika Murmur S3J, who recently retired, came from their Northland stud and contributed to the national dairy herd with almost 500,000 semen doses. He sired 22,464 herd testing daughters in New Zealand and many legendary sons. His genetics were also popular in South Africa, North America and Australia.

"He's bred outstanding sons and daughters with super production, udder and capacity traits," Parker said. "Hundreds of his cows have been contract mated in New Zealand and as a sire of sons he has produced some of country's best jersey bulls." The more bulls like Mumur in CRV Ambreed's breeding programme, the greater genetic diversity feeds though to New Zealand's national herd and the higher the genetic gain. Bull calves from any sires will be considered by CRV Ambreed.

"Farmers we haven't worked with before could potentially have the genetic diversity that we are looking for and could hold the industry's next superstar. We are really keen to talk to these farmers right across the country."