Pastoral Genomics is working towards 5 targets selected by the meat, dairy and velvet industries of New Zealand as of maximum benefit:
1. Minimum 25% increase in forage biomass from cultivars, providing more ryegrass and clover leaf to stock
2. More pasture condensed tannins to increase animal production, improving the quality of protein recieved by stock
3. Improved drought tolerance in forages, including better performance under and more rapid recover from New Zealand droughts
4. Increased persistence of clovers, allowing them to survive in swards alongside competitive ryegrass and under grazing pressure
5. Increased quality of forage, improving palatability, energy content, and use of nutrients and water
Capture the broadest possible benefits from the genetics of New Zealand's key forage species, using genomics and germplasm and international expertise.
Find the molecular landmarks in clover and ryegrass that will allow breeders to broaden and accelerate the creation of cultivars with maximum agronomic performance.
Determine the underlying genetic causes for traits of importance and apply that knowledge using breeding techniques that do not require regulation.
Cultivars: Forages from our research will be delivered to market as soon as research and testing confirm their ability to deliver our targets. Biotechnologies of all kinds take time; by working directly with New Zealand’s two largest commercial breeders we are looking to minimise the time it takes to deliver cultivars to farmers.
Tools and technologies: Our breeding tools, including the world's best microsatellite maps for white clover and perennial ryegrass, have been developed to improve the genetic gain of forage breeding programmes in New Zealand. We are working with various partners to bring the technologies and applications from our work to bear on our industry.
Publications and patents: Our research is for direct application and is of world standard. We protect the intellectual property where this will ensure delivery to New Zealand farmers and we also publish finding in the scientific literature when this course of action will maximize gains by New Zealand farmers.
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