In today’s post, we’re looking at some brand new Dairy Australia-funded research which is examining crossbreeding – exciting news for those of us who are looking for real answers behind the practice. Crossbreeding is often a topic that raises a great deal of passion amongst farmers and service providers – it seems like you’re either for it, or against it, with little in-between. Researcher Dr Jo Coombe (University of Melbourne) strides the rare middle ground very well. I had a chat to her to see what she’s doing to improve our understanding of its use in Australian systems.
In the last post, we covered two basic concepts about crossbreeding and how it works – the ideas of complementarity and hybrid vigour. So, what do we have to keep in mind when we implement a crossbreeding program, and how do we address drawbacks while maximising the benefits?
Crossbreeding has been used to great effect in other industries to maximise desirable production traits – and we’re increasingly seeing it gain traction within the Australian dairy industry. So what exactly is crossbreeding, how does it work, and how can you use it to your advantage?