Based in Nelson, Denise says the Top of the South Island is, “facial eczema country” and she’s urging local dairy farmers to use genetics to breed FE tolerance into their herds.
“If farmers have one animal in the herd with visible FE symptoms there will be 10 whose symptoms can’t be seen. Farmers traditionally use Zinc to treat the disease, but the solution could be as simple as including one FE tolerant sire in your bull pack this season,” says Denise.
“Before CRV, I worked in a number of roles in Far North and the Waikato that included educating farmers on the best ways to manage FE. However, I firmly believe the simplest approach is to breed dairy herds that are tolerant to the disease.”
CRV has been selecting bulls for FE tolerance for the past decade. This work is part of the company’s commitment to providing healthy and efficient genetic solutions to the New Zealand dairy industry.
CRV’s lead scientist Phil Beatson says dairy farmers should be considering FE tolerant sires as part of their mating programme so their herds are resilient to FE should the use of zinc become disallowed.