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Medical Care



acusBio er Winter 2014
> In this issue <
• Updates for Alliance Group
• Partnering with European
experts could be key to
improving dairy cow fertility

• How can dairy farmers be
green without going red?
Photo source: Christine Moeller Preparing for battle: breeding towards
disease resistance in honey bees
The infestation and reproduction of varroa mites within bee hives is killing bee larvae and increasing adult bees'
susceptibility to diseases. AbacusBio intern, Gertje Petersen supported Betta Bees in their quest to develop
breeding bees that are resistant to varroa.
Varroa mites infest bee hives and use
beekeepers to treat their hives with anti- same type of statistical or mathematical brood cells, where larval bees develop, mite chemicals. Current research revolves approaches that are used in New as incubators to raise their own young. around breeding for resistance to varroa. Zealand for cattle and sheep breeding. They attach to the bee larvae and adult Betta Bees Research is a Dunedin- bees, and suck their hemolymph (insect based company owned by a number of "Great progress has been made using ‘blood'). Apart from killing larvae and beekeepers from around New Zealand. a strict system of progeny testing, with weakening adult bees, this process They have been developing a strain of focus on tolerance to the presence of increases the bee's susceptibility to a bees that detect the mite larvae in the varroa in the hive", said Professor Kaspar number of other diseases. brood cell – the hygienic behaviour.
Bienefeld, Director of the Institute for Bee Health in Berlin, where an effective In order to deal with varroa, some bees Gertje (who hails from Germany) has breeding programme towards mite have developed remarkable strategies, been conducting research, capitalising resistance has already been established.
known as hygienic behaviour, where the on knowledge from around the world worker bees open up infested brood where there have been several attempts Programmes like Betta Bees and the cells and remove mites and dead larvae. to establish populations of honey bees German breeding programme, hold the Some bees also groom other bees, that are resistant to varroa. The baseline key to improving New Zealand bees' detaching and killing the mites in the for ideas is selection for resistance in an resistance to varroa mites – before they existing population or cross-breeding bring colonies to their knees – and preserve the nation's honey supply. Varroa is a relatively recent arrival in with more resistant strains. New Zealand. The feral bee population "Germany is one country where there has virtually disappeared in the face is interesting work going on", Gertje of varroa, resulting in the need for said. The German researchers use the

Interdisciplinary approach to reduce spinal
defects in Chinook (king) salmon
Overseas research (carried out on
king salmon. "The project has three main programme, are involved in determining different salmon species) has shown that goals: to diagnose spinal deformities, whether genetics play a role in the environmental conditions, such as water measure incidence and look at causes", deformity issue by investigating whether temperature during incubation, nutrition Jon Bailey said.
deformities are an inherited trait. at critical times, and genetics can all play a part in causing spinal defects. A diverse team with members from Determination of whether there is a Deformed fish increase production costs, NZKS, NIWA, Massey University, genetic relationship between deformities have poorer performance, and cannot be Skretting, Brightwater Consulting, and and production traits is also carried sold as a premium product.
AbacusBio was involved in the project – out with the development of accurate adopting an interdisciplinary approach methods for detecting and diagnosing Led by Jon Bailey from New Zealand combining epidemiological, anatomic changes in the spine. X-ray data from King Salmon (NZKS), and Jane Symonds and genetic data, including data on two-year cohorts of family fish will from National Institute of Water and husbandry, nutrition and environmental provide a platform to perform a genetic Atmospheric Research (NIWA), the conditions tested in replicated on- parameter analysis on a range of three-year project aims to determine farm and tank based trials. AbacusBio deformity traits. the primary factors involved in the consultants, Fiona Hely and Peter Amer, development of spinal deformities in in alliance with the NZKS breeding NIR technology improves selection efficiency
for desirable consumer traits in salmon
AbacusBio and New Zealand

"The integration of NIR
King Salmon (NZKS) are working
and X-ray technologies
closely to incorporate technology
into trait recording for the
– in the form of Near Infra-Red
NZKS breeding programme
Spectroscopy (NIR) – into the
provides robust data
salmon breeding programme.
from which good genetic
Well known for its accuracy and decisions can be made.
precision, NIR also saves time, money Ultimately, it is about
and analytical resources when it comes ensuring the salmon
to the annual trait recording of salmon delivered to both domestic
breeding stock.
and overseas tables are of a
The NIR machine, bought earlier consistently high standard"
this year, uses a spectrometer – that measures light intensity as a function of wavelength – to indirectly measure NIR testing crude fat in salmon fillets. samples in two forms: one that involved fat content, he found that the fat content As part of the set-up, the machine selecting 12 set points from a whole could be accurately predicted from was first calibrated using 120 salmon fillet; and the other where fillets were a subset of four points out of the 12 samples that were taken during harvest. minced, homogenised, and selected at measured on the whole fillet. This will The fat was chemically measured, and five points. It was found that sample reduce the NIR sampling time for each calibration equations were developed homogenisation was an accurate fish at next season's evaluation harvest.
for the NIR machine, where fat content is method, but the fillet is wasted in the Mark and AbacusBio consultant Fiona predicted from the NIR spectral data.
process. Also, homogenisation is highly Hely, will be attending the World time consuming, with the need for Chemical analysis is still the most Aquaculture Society Conference in equipment cleaning between sampling. accurate at measuring total lipids, Adelaide this year to identify other Other concerns of this method include however, it is relatively expensive and technologies that can be used in the possible introduction of unwanted time consuming. NIR technology is rapid advancing the genetic improvement products (like water) during handling. and low-cost, allowing fat content to of New Zealand salmon. Fiona will also become a routinely recorded trait for AbacusBio consultant Mark Teviotdale, be presenting an overview of NZKS's was trained in the use of the NIR selective breeding programme. machine software and spectral output. The team at NZKS led by Jon Bailey Using the spectral data collected and recorded NIR spectral data using salmon calibrating against chemically measured Breeding objectives for intensive dairy
feeding systems
A team of AbacusBio consultants,
led by Peter Amer, are working
together with DairyNZ and its
subsidiary New Zealand Animal
Evaluation Ltd (NZAEL) to optimise
genetic improvement in the
national dairy herd.
New Zealand dairy farms can be
classified into five production systems based on the feeding practices adopted: System 1All grass, self-contained; no supplement feed purchased; no cows grazing off the milking platform.
System 2Dry cow feed purchased; approximately 4-14% of total feed imported and fed to Relative distribution of farms operating in different dairy production systems dry cows, including those grazing off the in New Zealand milking platform.
System 3 Katarzyna Stachowicz, Peter Amer The changes to economic Dry cow feed purchased; approximately and Tim Byrne are involved with, values when applied to existing 10-20% of total feed imported for use at revolves around understanding breeding values have a modest the platform to extend lactation (usually the impact of developing and impact on the rankings of bulls autumn feed).
implementing specific breeding within breeds and minimal objectives for each of the varying impact on relative breed Dry cow feed purchased; approximately The project objective is to formulate There is evidence that differences 20-30% of total feed imported for use at a potential selection index, targeting between high and low milk yield both ends of lactation.
intensive feeding system farms genotypes for milk production (i.e. breeding worth for high-input traits are much greater for a high systems) and predict its impact on -input system than for a low- Feed purchased for year-round feeding; bull rankings, response to selection, input system; this means that at least 30% of total feed imported all and predicted genetic progress for high milk production genetic year round including for dry cows.
traits included in the index.
merit cows are better able to The initial phase of this project reflect their genetic potential There is variation in milk-solids has been completed and the main with better feeding, and this production and profitability within findings show that: justifies a greater weighting on each production system, according to milk yield traits for high-input DairyNZ studies. A farm can be profitable Economic values for traits that operating any of the systems. The best are directly affected by feed drivers of profitability are management costs and reliant on grass A number of aspects still remain to be of milk-solids production and their costs production tend to have higher assessed, but there is potential that within the production system.
weightings in intensive systems, the more intensive feeding systems reflecting the high impact of feed would benefit from specific breeding Currently, pastoral dairy production costs, which must be coupled objectives. The extent to which the systems in New Zealand are intensifying. with high milk production in whole industry would benefit will be The increased use of supplements order to maintain profitability; evaluated as part of a future study and feeding-out has led to high- focussing on deeper data analysis input production systems which may Economic values for milk and a more complete understanding eventually require specific management, production traits in System 4 and of the factors affecting genetic resources and breeding policies.
5 herds were slightly different to relationships among traits under values obtained based on inputs intensive pastoral production systems One of the projects that AbacusBio and assumptions relevant to the and their genetic environment consultants Bram Visser, Bruno Santos, average intensity system herds;

P tnering with European exper
tnering with Eur
ts could be
oving dair
y cow fertility
AbacusBio is working with DairyNZ to improve cow fertility through better genetic selection. AbacusBio consultant
Nicola Dennis travelled to Ireland, France and Switzerland to work on this with fertility and modelling experts.
In New Zealand's seasonal and pasture-
of the breeding worth evaluations (the The AbacusBio team and their based farming systems, most dairy cows genetic ranking system used for dairy collaborators will be building a computer need to calve in early spring. Cows are cattle) and is currently measured as the model, simulating the genetic, farm required to get in-calf during a finite proportion of cows that calve within management and environmental factors mating season to meet their calving the first 42 days of the calving system. that influence cow fertility, in order to deadline for the following spring. The "This is a good start," Nicola explains, tease out better ways to evaluate, and earlier a cow gets back in-calf, the more "but is a bit of a blunt instrument ultimately speed up the rate of genetic productive she is to the farmer.
because the calving rate is influenced improvement in cow fertility. Cow fertility is already an important part by many management decisions and environmental conditions". Dairy diary: Are "cull" cows worthy of
Now that we have the cows into winter mode, it is a good time to reflect on the season past
and plan for the season ahead. Often we make decisions with minimal information during a
busy day. So now that you have a bit of time to ponder, while the cows have a holiday, think
about the question AbacusBio farm consultant Kevin Wilson has posed.

cost benefit analysis on the supplement to fertility. Therefore, autumn and winter (in table below), but also a question of management of your herd will have a whether that supplement would benefit strong influence on seasonal production the business through increasing body and fertility. John Roche of DairyNZ condition score (BCS) of the main herd published that milk yield increases Kevin Wilson for the following season. If it is assumed linearly with increasing calving BCS up to The answer to this is not always we need a margin over feed costs of $2 BCS 5. This would suggest that farmers straightforward and will depend on per cow/day to cover variable costs, and need to focus on improving average BCS pasture cover, supplements on hand, milk declining value of cull cows, then we at dry off to help meet industry target production, milk payment and setting up would need to produce over 1.4kgMS/ BCS at calving. Cows calving at less for the following season. Milk production cow/day before there was a true than BCS 5 will also have an extended response to supplements will depend monetary benefit from feeding silage to postpartum anoestrus period, reduced on how hungry the cow is. In situations culls/empties at $7.00 pay out.
potential number of breeding events, where cows would be underfed if not reduced milk production and increased supplemented (i.e. residuals less than Based on the table below, there can be vet and artificial insemination costs.
1600kgDM/ha), milk solids responses are monetary gain from milking culls/empties consistently 6g to 8g MS/MJ ME fed. With provided you are utilising pasture As indicated, we can make gains from good quality silage, this means you would and supplements offered, and that feeding supplements to cull cows during expect about 75gMS/kg supplement, or milk production is at a sufficient level. the autumn period, provided we do However, there can be significant indirect the basics well and are aware of the benefits from culling these animals early associated cost/benefit, but this should This also raises the debate about when (start of April). Studies from New Zealand not occur at the expense of capturing to ‘offload' empty and cull cows; are we and overseas consistently show that BCS the full indirect benefits for the following better to milk them to the end or use has an important role in influencing cow that feed to set up cows for the following reproduction, with BCS at calving being season? This question is not simply a the most important BCS measure relating kg Silage
Margin with
cost per cow/
no Lwt gain/
MJME eaten
Margin from feeding silage to cull cows gaining zero lwt/day at $7.00 pay out (based on 11 MJME/kg DM silage costing 38c/kgDM and 80% utilisation)

Review of dairy breeding objectives
The Australian Dairy Herd
In Australia, the selection index that helps there are differences in trait improvement Improvement Scheme (ADHIS) is
farmers to make their decisions is the priorities for different feeding and calving reviewing the National Breeding
Australian Profit Ranking (APR). systems, is one of the key outcomes of the survey". Thirteen traits were included Objective (NBO) in Australia's dairy
AbacusBio consultants are working with in the survey, including production, industry and in doing so, is working
ADHIS to gather views and priorities of dairy farmers. During March and April, health, and type traits. with AbacusBio consultants Bruno
farmers from around Australia completed As well as analysing the survey data, Santos, Daniel Martin-Collado, Tim
a 1000Minds® survey that asked them AbacusBio will be working with ADHIS Byrne, and Peter Amer to determine how they select bulls, feed their cows and and Australian geneticists on economic
the best path for future progress.
what traits they regard as important.
analyses, to calculate economic values in the NBO. The outcome of this work will ADHIS is charged with maintaining Michelle Axford, of ADHIS, said that be that the NBO and final formulation of the national database of performance "understanding what traits farmers see the associated selection index will rank and pedigree records, and providing as important for dairy cow performance, cows and bulls to reflect the priorities genetic evaluation and extension services efficiency, and profitability will help guide of Australian dairy farmers. Ultimately, (amongst other things) for the Australian further economic analysis and selection breeding objectives and indexes set the dairy industry. They are looking for index development work".
direction of genetic improvement for guidance from dairy farmers on what Dairy farms in Australia have diverse the industry. The formulation of the APR makes a functional and profitable cow, feeding systems and calving patterns, will lead to more informed decisions and suited for Australian production systems. due in part to the variable climate within increased profitability for Australian dairy The NBO underpins the selection indexes the states where dairy cows are farmed. farmers in the future.
used to rank bulls and cows for breeding. Michelle said that "establishing whether Moving towards better efficiency in oestrus
detection and insemination timing in cows
There are currently four methods, with varying degrees of accuracy and automation for oestrus detection, which
remains a challenge for improving reproductive and economic efficiencies in dairy farms.
Accurate oestrus detection is vital
to the sacrum (top of tail) of the cow, been shown from inseminating 11-16 for improving fertility rates in dairy indicating if a cow has been mounted. hours after the onset of active oestrus, operations. AbacusBio consultants Renata Detection rates are reported to vary from therefore, devices which can monitor the Green and Bruno Santos review the latest under 50% to over 85%. Devices vary oestrus cycle in real time are more likely technologies in this article: from non-electronic (tail paint, EstroTect), to result in higher conception rates.
to commercially available electronic radio Visual detection is currently the most
frequency data communications, such as Although visual detection is the widely used mechanism for oestrus the HeatWatch® system. The detection predominant mechanism used for heat detection on New Zealand dairy farms, efficiency using electronic devices will detection on NZ dairy farms, there is the but is time consuming, and requires be affected by the threshold set for opportunity for an increased adoption of diligent attention by staff to be accurate. identifying oestrus, and the way the more accurate and less labour intensive Visual detection efficiency varies from device is attached to the animal. devices. Renata said, "these devices will become more mainstream as the Progesterone test (milk or blood
technology becomes more accurate and Pedometry measures the number of
plasma). Recent advances in biosensor
reliable than visual detection".
steps taken by a cow in a given period, technology, together with the advent requiring real-time data transfer in order of in-line automated milk sampling to identify oestrus onset and accurate and processing systems, make on-farm insemination timing. Pedometer detection automated real-time monitoring of rates are reported to vary between reproductive status (using progesterone 80-100%, depending on the threshold measures) a realistic proposition. The used to define an increase in activity as decrease in progesterone concentrations an oestrus period, and the time period in blood or milk is a very accurate used to account for the number of steps. predictor for heat detection, with Furthermore, cow and environmental experimental data showing 90%-95% factors can affect efficiency of activity.
accuracy on a consistent basis. Studies Mounted detection devices are attached with conception rates of 87% have
Photo source: Dairymaster NZ Updates for Alliance Group hoofprint 3.0
AbacusBio has been working
with Alliance Group and
sheep and beef farmers to
add a new range of features
to hoofprint 3.0.
In addition to sheep and cattle,
Alliance Group suppliers can now monitor the performance of deer using hoofprint. New features have been introduced to the software to assist users in tracking key performance indicators, such as the number and average weight of stock sold. The latest additions are a deer module that allows suppliers An example of the hoofprint report interface showing total farm products generated in to record venison and velvet a range of sheep, cattle and deer farm enterprises between the 1 July 2013 and data, and a ‘date picker' to allow 1 March 2014 comparison of growth rates and farm products sold at any stage throughout the year.
Changes have also been made within the reporting menus, allowing users to see the full range of reports available on each farm at a single glance. Enhancements to the existing reproduction, growth and environmental outputs ensure that when farm data are added, additional reports become available, allowing users to compare what is happening on their farm this year with the same date in prior years.
Hoofprint has also been changed An example of the sheep products report interface, allowing users to compare the to allow users to run multiple number of products sold off-farm, according to product type enterprises. This is particularly useful for producers who run separate venison and velvet herds, effectively allowing them to manage separate lines of animals. For example, users can now get a stock reconciliation and a full set of reports for their beef breeding and store dairy grazing herds, whilst deer farms can separately record Red and Elk/Wapiti herds. Another great feature is the ability to reconcile stock numbers at any stage throughout the year. Stock reconciliation is often one of the hardest things to do, with users required to identify the correct stock classes for all of their Alliance Group transaction data, as well as entering all of their other livestock movements The farm reports menu allows users to select from a range of deer key performance

on and off farm, including stores, grazing and home-kill. By upgrading hoofprint to allow stock reconciliations to be run at any time throughout the year, users can easily identify where any issues are, and ensure that their data are accurate and truly reflect what has happened on-farm. Future planned developments will see the introduction of an "auto-balance" option, where the user will be able to select from a range of options to resolve stock reconciliation issues. The practical use of hoofprint was demonstrated recently at the Beef + Lamb New Zealand field day held at John and Mary Lindsay's property at Dipton, focussing on "early lamb finishing". Using the carcase data collected by Alliance Wakefield farm stock manager Lindsay Dawson, left, discusses lamb growth rates with Group, hoofprint was used to farm owner John Lindsay, right. Photo courtesy of Diane Bishop, The Southland Times track the growth rates of all lambs slaughtered in the 2012 and 2013 to a discussion around the potential for "While the latest release is
seasons to date. Excellent early additional reporting outputs to assist season growth rates resulted in mainly about deer, we have
suppliers in reviewing what is happening some lambs being killed prior added new features to the
to weaning, with growth rates sheep and cattle modules
of up to 600 grams per day. The Red Meat Profit Partnership initiative as well. One of the most
The average growth rate of all raises the question of how best to capture, exciting features is the ‘date
2012 born lambs slaughtered integrate and report farm data. Alliance was around 280 grams per day. Group hoofprint has taken a step in picker' that allows users to
AbacusBio consultant Jude Sise this direction, with both new and future interrogate the system at any
demonstrated how average developments focussing on collecting given date throughout the
growth rates change throughout and presenting farm data in a way that the season using the hoofprint is intuitive and able to assist suppliers in date picker function. This led evaluating farm business decisions. Jude Sise
Canadian beef industry project with a
touch of kiwi
John Crowley, from the University of Alberta, visited AbacusBio in February and
March 2014 to conduct work pertinent to the Canadian beef industry.

Hailing from Ireland, John has been in "There are three major challenges for beef Canada for the past three years where production in Canada compared to New he works with Livestock Gentec, at the Zealand," John said, "such as selection of University of Alberta, as an Industry R&D the right animals when there are hugely Associate. Livestock Gentec is a research varying environments within one country, a centre that the university set up to carry disjointed value chain, and sheer scale". out and capitalise on world-class genomics research and deliver solutions to industry While these challenges exist, John was delighted with his time at AbacusBio, and goes back to Canada with real solutions During his time at AbacusBio, John's both elucidated from the specific tasks as main focus was on developing economic well as "chats over coffee". Ever the worker, selection indices tailored to Canadian beef John also managed to enjoy himself outside John Crowley. Photo source: production. He also investigated a couple the workplace with trips to Queenstown and Livestock Gentec of side-lines such as trying to understand mountain biking in Naseby. John is set to the variation in sensitivity in selection for return to Dunedin next February for ‘round residual feed intake. AbacusBio sponsors Polytechnic BIT Awards
As an international leader in agribusiness consulting – well known for our agri-tech services – it is important for AbacusBio to actively contribute to the IT sector. This year, we are very proud to be the main sponsor of the Otago Polytechnic IT awards, as part of our continued commitment to students at the University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic.
AbacusBio consultant Mark Teviotdale, was recently a guest speaker at the 2013 graduating class of the Bachelor of Information Technology. Mark (who himself was a BIT graduate) also presented two new AbacusBio-sponsored awards: Award for Best Student in Programming in the BIT (awarded to Tim Miller), and Award for Best Graduating Student in the BIT (awarded to Logan Mabbett). Congratulations Logan and Tim! (Top right) Tim Miller receiving his award from AbacusBio Consultant Mark Teviotdale, for Best Student in Programming in the Bachelor of Information Technology (Bottom right) Logan Mabbett receiving his award from AbacusBio Consultant Mark Teviotdale, for Best Graduating Student in the Bachelor of Information Technology Armidale animal breeding summer course
The 2014 annual genetics summer course saw
AbacusBio consultants Bram Visser, Bruno
Santos, and Daniel Martin-Collado travel to
Armidale, Australia – home of the University
of New England, one of the most prestigious
universities worldwide in the field of animal

Organised by Professor Julius van der Werf and his team, the one-week course aimed to introduce updates on the latest developments in breeding programme design and genomic selection. With over 40 attendants from all over the world, the summer course also provided a platform for networking, and learning about current issues and opportunities in different countries.
The course was co-presented by Julius van der Werf and Dr AbacusBio consultants Daniel Martin-Collado and Bruno Jack Dekkers, Professor of Animal Science from Iowa State Santos enjoying the view of the Dangars Falls University. Dr Dekkers is a world leading expert in utilising molecular and genomic information to enhance animal fields of breeding and genetics: Rob Banks (Meat and Livestock breeding, a topic that was a large and interesting part of the Australia), Andrew Swan (Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit), and Alison van Eenennaam (University of California Davis). Bruno said that "it was a privilege to hear from two of the Of course there was time for some well-deserved relaxation leading scientists in the field of animal breeding, who are after days of intensive studying. Here Daniel (left) and Bruno also very skilled and passionate teachers". The course also (right) are standing in front of the 120 meter Dangars Falls. included presentations from invited guests working in various Note the lack of water; it had not rained for almost a year! How can dairy farmers be green without
going red?
How do our southern South Island dairy farmers reduce their impact on the environment while continually
improving production and profit? This is one of many questions being addressed by the DairyNZ Southern
Wintering System programme (SWS).
AbacusBio consultants, Jo Kerslake and
stall barn; loose-housed barn; Kevin Wilson are working with lead wintering pads and crop-based scientists, Drs Dawn Dalley and Ina wintering. Initial on-farm visits Pinxterhuis of DairyNZ and Miranda were undertaken to understand Hunter of Roslin Consultancy Ltd, to farm goals and objectives, and understand how wintering is managed collect farm system data required to in the southern region. They aim to develop the model in Farmax Dairy review how different management Pro® and Overseer®. The personal approaches can improve farmers' goals and objectives of each farmer, production and profit outcomes, as well a description of their current farm as their environmental impact.
system, and its impacts, were "With the current drive from the dairy presented at the SWS Community sector to be more competitive and of Practice. Strengths and environmentally responsible, it is vital weaknesses, and latest research that scientists, consultants and farmers findings were then discussed, Photo source: DairyNZ work together to explore various resulting in the development of three running since 2010. More information wintering system approaches that not to four alternative management only reduce the environmental impact, approaches for modelling. Developing but are cost effective, practical to these scenarios with a multi-disciplinary implement and provide a reliable source team approach is vital to ensuring of high quality feed," Dawn Dalley said.
suggested management changes are innovative, well-grounded and able to As part of the SWS programme, a address key issues and concerns. number of case studies have been "The case study approach
developed to quantify and understand The results from this modelling work and modelling farms from a
the effect of farm system change on will provide an interesting and useful milk production, operating profit and resource for farmers who want to whole farm system perspective
nitrogen leaching. understand the impact that different was a strong approach. This
management practices have on "Case study approaches (that are production, profit, and the environment. allowed us to obtain a clearer
chosen for assessing the practicality of The key results from this project are understanding of the trade-
implementing a farm system change due to be presented by Dawn Dalley offs that occur on-farm when
and its impact) are more meaningful at this year's South Island Dairy Event certain management decisions
when considered within the context of in Invercargill. Future developments in are made. It paints a much
an individual farmer's goals, objectives this programme – following up on the and resources," Miranda Hunter said.
key results – will address the potential clearer picture than assessing
one issue in isolation"

As such, one to two farmers were management implications of the selected from the following SWS suggested changes.
Jo Kerslake
Community of Practice groups: free- The SWS Research Programme has been AbacusBio PhD student recipient of the
Brenda Shore Award
Congratulations to Natalie Howes who is investigating the role of genetics and the 2014 recipient of the Brenda Shore diet in producing premium red meat Award. The award recognises women products. Her PhD is run through the who share Brenda Shore's passion and Botany and Food Science departments energy for the natural sciences and who at the University of Otago, with the are conducting postgraduate research in support of Alliance Group Limited's this field within the Otago, Southland or Postgraduate Scholarship. Natalie will Antarctic regions. put the $6000 award towards personal Based at AbacusBio, Natalie is one year development programmes associated into her three year PhD programme with her career.
Natalie Howes Summer interns made their mark
AbacusBio took on four
interns over summer, with
funding from Sexy Summer
Jobs, the Dunedin City
Council's successful summer
intern programme. The
interns brought vitality to our
team, coming from different
backgrounds and working on
diverse projects.
Jonathan Chuah
joined AbacusBio
in September 2013 as an intern, while he completed a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Food Science at the University of Otago.
After finishing his honours research project – investigating the effect of age and gender on fatty acid profiles of New Zealand grass-fed lamb – Jonathan began a full-time summer AbacusBio interns (left to right) - Jonathan Chuah, Gertje Petersen, Sammy internship. Jonathan worked with Wong, and Daniel Murphy AbacusBio consultants Anna Campbell and Grace Johnstone as part of the degree lies in its diversity. Daniel enrolled in the BIT programme Grand Alliance and lamb meat quality Her work over summer reflects this in 2011. At AbacusBio, Daniel worked projects. He reviewed literature sentiment, as she worked on projects closely with Mark Teviotdale on the associated with market trends, ranging from vaccination for reducing hoofprint application, where he was entry legislation, and food labelling methane production, through honey mainly converting its programming regulations. Jonathan also undertook bee breeding, to evaluation of genetic language, updating report appearance, statistical analysis and wrote scientific and improving the database to reports on agricultural systems and optimise speed.
meat quality.
Sammy Wong joined AbacusBio in
November 2013 as an intern software Daniel is currently in his final semester Originally from Singapore, Jonathan developer, having completed and of the BIT programme and plans is enthusiastic about the study of recently graduated with a Bachelor of on heading to Melbourne when he food, having completed a Diploma in Information Technology from Otago finishes to kick-start his career in the IT Applied Food Science and Nutrition back home prior to his study at Otago. Jonathan is continuing to Brought up on a market garden in work with AbacusBio, researching the South Otago, Sammy possesses a technological aspects of producing strong farming background, having value-added meat based products.
worked on a dairy farm for a year before enrolling in the polytechnic's Gertje Petersen joined AbacusBio over
BIT course. Sammy's passion for summer 2013/2014. Having recently agriculture has seen her working on graduated with a degree in Veterinary the hoofprint application during her Medicine from the Freie Universität time at AbacusBio.
Berlin, she came to Dunedin to explore the opportunities within a pasture- Sammy has now been employed based production system, completely full-time by AbacusBio as a software different from the one back home.
developer, enhancing AbacusBio's technology expertise. She is currently Gertje grew up in the far north of involved in several DairyNZ projects. Germany, where her family farms span approximately 900 hectares, Daniel Murphy joined AbacusBio in
breeding German Angus, Dorper November 2013 as an intern software sheep and Norwegian Fjord horses. developer, while studying towards a With both of her parents veterinarians Bachelor of Information Technology at themselves, she realized early on, Otago Polytechnic.
that the full potential of a veterinary Intrigued with the growing IT industry, The 2nd Queenstown Agribusiness
Symposium 24th to 27th March 2015
Once again, AbacusBio proudly offers a
professional development programme,
unique in the Southern Hemisphere,
designed to enhance the leadership
capacity of agribusiness executives.
The symposium will be led by two well
renowned global agribusiness experts: Mary Shelman and Prof. Damien P. McLoughlin. Both are known as pathfinders in the food and agricultural business sector.
For more information, and to register your interest, visit the symposium website: 2013 Queenstown Agribusiness Symposium "Fantastic event. A learning experience like nothing I have attended before with exposure, "It was an excellent, insightful few days and definitely worth understanding and insight into risks and strategies of some of my time and investment. It shows how powerful, skilled global the world's great food and agribusinesses". academics can be to advance your thinking". Guy Blundell, MD, Compass Agribusiness
Wayne Mulligan, CEO, Fomana Capital
Comings and goings
Bruce McCorkindale has recently joined AbacusBio as a sheep and beef farm consultant.
Bruce brings with him a wealth of practical, scientific, and management expertise, including his most recent position as a rural banking manager. He has well developed skills to understand and identify opportunities to modify and improve farm businesses, and to anticipate and communicate the sometimes unforeseen implications of change. Bruce is also a skilled facilitator of farmer group projects such as monitor farms, field days and discussion groups. At AbacusBio, Bruce will offer clients farm consulting services, ranging from systems analysis and development planning, to farm management, and succession and governance. An adept user of Farmax, Bruce is also involved in the evaluation of new technologies for agriculture, and on-farm project development and management.
Jason Archer has recently joined AbacusBio as a consultant. Jason brings with him a wide
range of experience in agricultural research and management, having recently held senior leadership and governance roles in research and development.
Jason has worked in animal breeding and applied agricultural systems research in Australia and New Zealand, with special expertise in beef cattle and deer. Jason has also designed and managed progeny test programmes in both species, and was instrumental in setting up DEERSelect, a genetic evaluation programme in New Zealand's deer industry.
At AbacusBio, Jason will be working with agribusiness clients right across the value chain, both on-farm and post-farm gate, identifying opportunities for new approaches to add value to their businesses.
Sammy Wong joined AbacusBio as a software developer after completing her summer internship. See full profile on
page 10 ("Summer interns made their mark").
Josh Lowry recently left AbacusBio, after almost four years as a software developer, to pursue academic study at the
University of Otago. We wish him all the best in his future endeavours.
MD's corner
AbacusBio has always been about measurement of consumer traits) and have become more delivering practical technology and more involved in the day-to-day running of the breeding solutions to our clients. A quick programme. Having a good understanding of the company scan of the articles in this edition and working at multiple levels has allowed us to better of "The Breeder" gives a great understand the challenges faced on the ground (or in the sea cross-section of the types of cage), and therefore to work on systems that are practical.
projects that we have on the go. Most of these projects are for Likewise with Alliance Group: our involvement began with the clients we have been working then Alliance Central Progeny Test (now the B+LNZ Genetic with for most, if not all, of our Central Progeny Test) in 2002. As our relationship has grown, 14 year history. We really value we have become involved with on-farm research around long term relationships, as these pasture species and management practices like tail lengths, eating quality research, consumer preferences, and work in partnerships allow us to gain deep insights into the challenges new and emerging markets on new product development. and opportunities in the clients' business and work and deliver This range of activities allows us to help deliver an integrated long term science outcomes. programme across a large part of the value chain, and with it, Two great examples of this are New Zealand King Salmon hopefully deliver much better outcomes to Alliance Group.
Ltd (NZKS) and The Alliance Group. AbacusBio began Contracts with our long-term clients are some of the working with NZKS in 2001 on the design and delivery of a most rewarding projects we work on. They are more like salmon breeding programme. As the relationship with NZKS partnerships than consultant/client relationships, and we has grown, AbacusBio not only continued to develop the have the pleasure of seeing our research being used and breeding programme, but become involved in the use of new adding value, which is after all what AbacusBio is all about.
measurement techniques (see the article on NIR technology for AbacusBio Racy Reads
Tim Byrne
To meet increasing global demand, companies can now improve It's time for farmers to engage in social media. Social media resource productivity with technological advances and five gives farmers a chance to network and share industry distinct approaches: substitution, optimisation, virtualisation, knowledge. It gives farmers a voice on issues, and it allows circularity, and waste elimination. businesses to engage with their customers in an authentic manner. Take a ‘felfie' (a farmer selfie) and get online! Peter Amer
Small teams need social sensitivity and conversational turn- If you think you are having trouble keeping up with taking to be most effective, rather than being dominated by one technological developments in the food world, read on for the or more smart people., Collaboration & Group
China, as the second largest global economy, is rapidly charging ahead as the world-leading market, with a sharp rise in its middle class that now drives the global food market place.
AbacusBio is pleased to announce its relocation to a newly renovated office premises at the ground level of the Public Trust Building. The new development will enable AbacusBio consultants to accommodate its clients more effectively and efficiently.
Ground Floor, Public Trust Building
Phone +64 (0)3 477 6375
442 Moray Place
Fax +64 (0)3 477 6376
New Zealand


La Patera School Tiger Talk From the Principal's Desk… Smarter Balanced Testing All students in grade 3-6 will be taking the Smarter Balanced test during the month of April. As you may be aware, test results will not be shared with schools and parents this school year. The purpose of this assessment is to "test" the implementation of the Smarter Balanced tests. The computer lab will be utilized to administer

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report May 28, 2010 / Vol. 59 U.S. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, 2010 Adapted from the World Health Organization Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, 4th edition department of health and human services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Early Release