INCREASING awareness of artificial insemination (AI) as a tool to advance the genetic potential of northern Australian beef herds will be the main topic of a Queensland researcher's address at the Abbotsford Beef2U information day.
Dr Sophia Edwards spent six weeks earlier this year working with a trial group of about 1200 Brahman heifers across four western and Central Queensland properties.
She carried out a trial at Tara, Fort Constantine and Elrose stations near Cloncurry, and Camboon Station in Central Queensland.
The trial focused on non-hormonal synchronisation in fixed time AI, which addressed the 'no steroid' debate that had particularly swirled through the dairy industry, Dr Edwards said.
It then assessed how part of such a program would eliminate 'one-handling', negating the necessity of the current four musters required to synchronise for timed AI.
Dr Edwards said while Queensland's vast grazing region presented different suitability levels for AI, there were big benefits for bull breeders in particular.
"Realisticall y, in the Top End, for those guys interested in breeding bulls for their own use or for sale, AI is a wonderful way to produce a relatively cheap, genetically superior sire," she said.
Dr Edwards said once information was gathered, researchers could move forward in the untapped area of AI in tropically adapted cattle in northern Australia.
Trial results are expected to return in May, which will then be analysed by researchers.
Dr Edwards said "excellent, forward-thinking" cooperators and a favourable season had created good conditions for the trial.
It was a team effort with fellow vets Ian Braithwaite from Mount Isa, Peter Atkinson from Allora and Dr Brian Burns from DAFF, Rockhampton, and funded by MLA, and supported by Bayer Australia and Bioniche Animal Health.
Dr Edwards said there were research ideas ahead of the next breeding season, but they were yet to be confirmed.
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