Elite bull Noah's semen is discounted for wet Taranaki and Manawatū farmers

Sodden Taranaki and Manawatū farmers are being offered a special discount price for a bull aptly named Noah by a dairy genetics company.

The discount for the elite dairy bull, named presumably after the biblical figure and his ark, has gone out to the farmers, who have been hard hit with ongoing wet winter and spring weather.

World Wide Sires' General Manager, Hank Lina said extreme wet conditions had challenged dairy farmers across the country.

"They could do with a break, and while we can't do anything about the weather, we can give them access to some elite dairy bulls specifically selected to provide the traits needed by Kiwi farmers."

Dairy farmers say the rain and overcast conditions has compromised mating with fewer cows than expected coming into season. Mating is soon to start.

Christchurch-based World Wide Sires New Zealand is an importer of US dairy genetics and has seen a 42 per cent increase in semen straw sales over the past year.

Lina said New Zealand farmers were increasingly interested in different genetic options to produce more profitable dairy cows and heifers.

"[We have] bulls which will correct a lot of the conformation and production issues we're increasingly seeing on New Zealand dairy farms.

"Our breeding consultants are talking with farmers frustrated that breeding worth is not delivering commercial dairy cows."

He said they were working with clients who had to cull up to 20 per cent of their replacement heifers because they had conformation traits which affected production.

"Such as sickle and cow hocks [which restrict room for the udder], poor legs and feet, high and narrow pin bones [impacting on calving ease] and narrow muzzles [affecting their ability to graze]."

Lina said Taranaki and Manawatū farmers could find out more about the wet winter relief offer by contacting one of the regions' breeding consultants.

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