Gene pool goes on Net

New Zealand farmers will soon be able to select 'almost perfect' sires over the Internet.

New Zealand farmers will soon be able to select "almost perfect" sires over the Internet.

The Charolais Cattle Society, Massey University and Colorado State University are working together to produce a database containing details of sires for Charolais cattle.

Charolais Cattle Society genetic consultant Barrie Ridler says the Internet-based sire selection system is a world-first and will make it quicker and easier for farmers to find the best bull for breeding.

The database, housed at Massey University, will contain "economically relevant traits" such as how likely calves will survive and what their slaughter weight will be when aged 18 months.

Already some 1000 cattle have been sold over the Internet this year, though data for bull selection is still being processed.

Ridler says the system will be ready in November for bull selection next April. It will also sell semen.

Though the database and Web site is aimed at New Zealand farmers, Ridler says there has been interest in our Charolais bulls and semen from the US.

Technology New Zealand also helped fund the project.

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