Genetics—A tool to improve productivity and profitability


*Author for correspondence. E-mail: donagh.berry@teagasc.i.e


Until recently most international breeding programmes in dairy cattle have focused solely on milk production and have made large contributions to the rate of improvement in milk production but to the determinant of reproduction. Improved statistical techniques and computing resources as well as better phenotypic measurement tools have increased the ability to identify genetically superior animals. ‘Omic’ technologies have huge potential to offer in the near future to further improve genetic gains in productivity and profitability. However, maximum exploitation of these technologies can only be achieved if the basics of the most pertinent breeding goal and breeding programme are correct.