LIC is combining its DNA parentage testing and genomic evaluation services into one convenient service to help farmers identify their highest genetic merit animals to improve their herd.

Available to farmers from June this year, GeneMark® Genomics will replace the co-op’s existing DNA parentage testing and genomic evaluation services. Every eligible sample for female animals sent to LIC’s GeneMark lab will receive parent verification and a confirmed genomic evaluation (GEv).

LIC Chief Executive David Chin says the new service will offer significant value to dairy farmers and the wider sector, marking an exciting milestone in the co-op’s genomic journey.

“GeneMark Genomics will allow farmers to take the guesswork out of matching calves to their parents, while also confidently selecting the highest genetic merit animals to join their milking herd.

“Rather than relying on parent average alone, genomic evaluation gives a more reliable indication of an animal’s performance based on which genes it has received from its parents. Combining this service with DNA parentage into one solution is a win-win for farmers.”

Chin says this new solution is very cost-effective and is backed by the co-op’s strong investment in genomics to provide farmers with reliable genomic evaluations.

“Over the last 30 years we have invested more than $80 million into genomics to support the profitability and efficiency of the New Zealand dairy sector well into the future.

“We’re excited to be offering yet another tool for farmers to improve their herds and breed better cows faster,” says Chin.

Find more information about GeneMark Genomics here or farmers can reach out to their LIC Agri Manager.