Territory Stories

Katherine rural review



Katherine rural review


Northern Territory. Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries


Katherine rural review; E-Journals; PublicationNT; Katherine rural review






Date:2012-11; Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).; This publication contains may contain links to external sites. These external sites may no longer be active.




Agriculture; Northern Territory; Katherine; Periodicals; Animal industry; Rural industries; Periodicals

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Northern Territory Government

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Katherine rural review


no. 311

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Northern Territory Government



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Page 3 of 20 Katherine Rural Review, Issue 311 New project demonstrating the practical use of the Polled Gene Marker Test Trisha Cowley, Pastoral Production Officer, Katherine Research Station The Polled Gene Marker Test can be used to speed up a move towards a polled herd through identifying homozygous polled (PP) sires which carry 2 copies of the polled form and pass on the polled form to 100% of their progeny. Heterozygous polled (PH) sires carry both the horned and polled form of the polled gene; therefore pass on horns 50% of their progeny. Both PP and PH cattle can look polled, so the Polled Gene Marker Test allows producers to identify the true polled (PP) animals. This Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) funded Producer Demonstration Site (PDS) aims to demonstrate the practical application of the Polled Gene Marker Test and best practice in fixed time artificial insemination (FTAI). The PDS has 2 major parts. Part A of the project will demonstrate the practical use of the Polled Gene Marker Test in breeding home grown polled bulls on both Lakefield and Avago Stations using FTAI. Part B will demonstrate the value of the Poll Gene Marker Test by comparing the proportion of polled, scurred and horned progeny from PP versus PH bulls over horned cows at Avago Station. A big thanks goes to Landmark and Pfizer who have also sponsored the project. Lakefield Station Garry and Michelle Riggs of Lakefield Station, about 30km south west of Mataranka on the Sturt Plateau have been investing in polled genetics for the last 6 years. The Riggs decided to move towards a polled herd for a number of reasons; better welfare for the animals, better production through minimising the post-weaning growth setback and to meet future animal welfare expectations of the broader community. The ultimate goal is to produce a polled Brahman breeder herd. This herd will be used in a terminal cross-breeding program to produce progeny that have higher growth performance. It will also open up their market options through cattle that can go north or south. They currently only have a small bull breeding herd to produce polled bulls due to the limited availability of polled Brahman bulls. Garry explained that We went through our 2010/11 bulls the other day and found 8 PP polled bulls and 24 PH grey Brahman herd bulls, so we are progressing well. In recent years Garry has tried to source only polled or scurred Brahman bulls. He has intentionally not purchased horned bulls for six years. He has had some difficulty in finding polled bulls, There arent a lot around and it is difficult to source true polls sometimes people either dont know, or just arent honest. So Garry really sees the value of the Polled Gene Marker Test in identifying PP sires. I wont purchase a bull now unless it has been Poll Gene Marker Tested and it is PP. He also plans to use the Polled Gene Marker Test to make selection decisions in his own bull breeder herd. So far they have tested 63 bulls and have found 11 PP sires, 47 PH sires and 5 HH sires sold as polled bulls. They still have another 30 bulls to test. We Poll Gene Marker tested the sires before putting the bulls out, so we used the information to decide which bulls went where. Superior PP bulls were preferentially mated to his stud herd, while PH bulls that had previously been mated to his stud herd were placed in the commercial herd. While the Riggs are seeking polled Brahman bulls, the shortage of PPs is making it difficult. They plan to purchase Senepol weaner bulls this year for use in the 2013/14 breeding season. These Photo 1: A homebred bull at Lakefield. Visually he is polled, but the Polled Gene Marker Test revealed that his is a PH, so will pass on a horned copy of the polled gene to 50% of his progeny.

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