New app to help improve NZ sheep flock

New Zealand’s sheep farmers and consultants have all the information they need at their fingertips for improving their flocks.

Beef + Lamb NZ (B+LNZ) Genetics has developed a smartphone application that allows easy access to information on leading ram breeders.

Called “FlockFinder”, users can search for ram breeders who are recording animal performance and conducting genetic evaluations using the powerful Sheep Improvement Ltd (SIL) genetic engine. Search can be on the basis of breed, geographical location, flock name, owner name or on traits being recorded.

Graham Alder, general manager B+LNZ GeneticsB+LNZ Genetics general manager Graham Alder says the handy app will be helpful to both farmers and rural professionals supporting New Zealand’s sheep farming sector.

“One of B+LNZ Genetics’ core strategies is to enable farmers to make the most of new and existing genetic technologies  – so they can breed the animals they need for their individual operation into the future. This app is our first step down that path. It will benefit farmers by quickly identifying ram breeding flocks that are selecting for traits a farmer wants to improve in their own flock

“B+LNZ Genetics is working on developing a range of tools that will make adoption of genetic information as easy as possible. Apps and other innovations are part of this strategy, streamlining the information and delivery of genetic information to farmers.”

Stock agent Graham Sidey of PGG Wrightson Genetics says he is already a fan of the app. “It’s fantastic. I got a call from a client the other day and they were looking for a particular composite cross. I looked up the app and found exactly the information they were after.

“It’s a great tool for people in the industry, especially with lots of different crosses of rams available – it’s good to see who’s got what. Even within the traditional breeds, it’s useful to see who is selecting for which traits within SIL.”

Sheep map from Flock Finder

Consultant Jansen Travis of AgPartners says the app works as a convenient register of breeders. “It’s like an online phonebook or contacts list. It will be great when making decisions around breeding objectives – identifying who is active in that field and might be of interest, whether that be breed, geographical area or attributes recorded for.”

Sheep breeder Matt Holden of Hawke’s Bay’s Kelso stud says the app is an innovative move on the part of B+LNZ Genetics. “It’s utilising the technology that surrounds us. This is where the future lies.”

The app can be downloaded at either the Apple App store or Google Play.

Supplied by B+LNZ.

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