Milk testing with genomics
GenoCells is an innovative herd management and herd improvement service centred exclusively around genomic testing.
The main innovative feature is the ability to get individual somatic cell counts (SCC) for cows from a bulk milk sample rather than having to individually sample each cow during the milking, this simplifies the whole process of managing sub clinical mastitis, bulk somatic cell counts (penalty bandings) and selective dry cow therapy.
Because of the simplification, testing could be done on a higher frequency than current SCC management services but, however it is deployed, GenoCells is completely flexible in respect of when it is used so the farmer can use it when most convenient or when results are required.
The ability to complete the SCC test is reliant on all cows contributing to the sample having been genotyped. An important outcome of this is that, in herds with suitable breeds for UK genomics, the service also delivers highly detailed, reliable AHDB evaluation data for all animals, allowing optimal breeding programs to be deployed which will improve profitability, sustainability and the environmental impact of these herds, hence why this is a true herd improvement service also.
The initial UK implementation is tailored towards herds that currently do not record so where the opportunities for improving breeding and milk quality are at their greatest. The development roadmap leads towards GenoCells services integrated into standard milk recording packages over the next few years, having the effect of reducing costs and simplifying the on farm experience for all UK dairy farms.
An additional part of the service offer is delivered through a collaboration using a national specialist team to assist farms in maximising the value of this breeding data through in depth genetics and genomics consultancy, including sire matching.
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