Neogen Corporation (Nasdaq: NEOG) announced today the development of a new genomic test that offers the dairy cattle industry an unprecedented level of information on the genetic potential of replacement dairy heifers.
Neogen’s new Igenity Dairy Heifer Program reveals a heifer’s genetic potential well before breeding. The test can be performed soon after a calf is born, and is another tool in the decision-making process for breeding and heifer selection.
“Many commercial dairy operations are finding a great return on investment with genomic screening of their herds. Dairy producers have a large pool of replacement heifers to choose from as dairy cattle reproduction has become more efficient,” said Neogen’s Dr. Stewart Bauck. “The use of the Igenity Dairy Heifer Program can help producers make decisions on the female side of the pedigree, while previously, most genetic progress has been made through bull selection.”
Results from the genomic test can deliver highly reliable genomic data on several different traits, including health traits such as net merit, pregnancy rate, productive life in months and somatic cell score; and yield traits, such as the animal’s milk in fat pounds, fat percentage, protein pounds, and protein percentage. The test contains information on over 19,000 genetic markers for the bovine animal.
“It may be relatively easy to select the top 10% or the bottom 10% of the heifer group, but detecting the potential of the intermediate group will benefit from genomic information,” said Dr. Bauck. “In the past, dairymen have utilized sires that meet their selection criteria and every female in the herd was bred to create a potential replacement. Now every dairy has an affordable way to select superior females. Genomic information can be used to achieve the breeding goals for every farm.”
Neogen also offers the dairy industry a comprehensive line of animal health products and diagnostics, including veterinary instruments, unique, detectable D3 needles, rapid beta-lactam and tetracycline antibiotic detection tests, and disinfectants, cleaners and rodenticides to enhance a farm’s biosecurity.
Neogen Corporation develops and markets products dedicated to food and animal safety. The company’s Food Safety Division markets dehydrated culture media, and diagnostic test kits to detect foodborne bacteria, natural toxins, food allergens, drug residues, plant diseases and sanitation concerns. Neogen’s Animal Safety Division is a leader in the development of animal genomics, along with the manufacturing and distribution of a variety of animal healthcare products, including diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, veterinary instruments, wound care and disinfectants.