Breeding and Genetics Play Crucial Role in Improving Farm Efficiency and Reducing Environmental Impact
According to Dr. Debbie McConnell, the new principal group scientist at AI Services, breeding and genetics have a crucial role to play in helping farmers address the challenges of improving farm efficiency and reducing their environmental footprint. Dr. McConnell brings a wealth of experience to her role, having previously held senior research positions in the agriculture industry.
AI Services, based in Northern Ireland, emphasizes the importance of genetics in improving herd performance and achieving future sustainability in the milk sector. The company, which is farmer-owned, believes that genetic improvement will play a significant role in meeting the demands of the industry.
Dr. McConnell’s role will involve working across the AI Services Group to introduce and adopt new science and technology within the group and on farms. She is excited about the range of breeding indices, traits, and tools available to farmers, thanks to advancements in our understanding of genetics and data capture from animals.
Effective breeding policies have always been key to improving herd performance, and AI Services recognizes their importance. By leveraging the latest developments in genetics, the company aims to ensure that farmers can maximize the value of these advancements and build herds that are more resilient for the future.
In her position as principal group scientist, Dr. McConnell looks forward to collaborating with the team at AI Services to support farmers in adopting and benefiting from the latest breeding and genetic technologies.
– Breeding indices: Mathematical values that combine multiple traits to estimate an animal’s breeding value.
– Traits: Observable characteristics or features of an animal that can be used to assess its performance or genetic potential.
– Herd: A group of animals, typically of the same species, kept and managed together for breeding, production, or other purposes.
– AI Services
– Lakeland Dairies
– Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute
– Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board