Posted By: Charlie - Farm Vet

Shepton Top10 Winter benchmarking meeting - Genetics

We kicked off our Shepton Top10 Winter benchmarking meetings again this month, opening with Genetics. We used the AHDB Herd Genetic Reports as the basis for our benchmarking; splitting our herds in to All-Year-Round calvers, focussing on the PLI metric and Autumn calving herds, focussing on the ACI metric.

We had a great dataset to work with and compare, with the average for Shepton Vets herds well above the national average. The performance ranged from the bottom 5% of UK average to the top 1% - showing just how well some people are doing in this area, but also what value exists for many others in improving this. Some really interesting points-of-views were given and debated, including the value of genetics and how important genetics is compared with other management – whether the former has much value at all without the latter? I think all agreed that genetics is an important aspect of any other farm, but in order to maximise the value of genetics in our animals, our systems have to optimal conditions for them.


Genetics can certainly be a limiting factor on farm, and those lagging behind will likely be foregoing profit when compared to Top10 performers. With this in mind, I would strongly advise asking your routine vet to bring your Herd Genetic Report to farm and discuss whether there are potential gains to be made in this area, even if there are not, it may well highlight another area that could do with improvement.

I’d like to congratulate Chris Dunn of Higher Farm for being our Top10 Champion for Genetics, showing excellent performance in both the milking herd and the following youngstock, and extend this congratulation to all Top10 award winners also, for also achieving high performance in this area.


We look forward to seeing you at the next meeting on the 16th of January to discuss fertility with Paddy and Rob – please contact the office to book your places ASAP!

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