Sustainability Index – A Breeding Tool for a Greener Looking Future

May 5, 2023

Introduced in August 2022, the Sustainability Index (S.I) is a breeding tool to help dairy farmers fast track genetic gain for reduced emissions intensity. This indices places a greater emphasis on the traits that contribute to reducing emissions intensity (production, survival and feed saved). Breeding decisions will complement a range of on-farm management practices to reduce emissions.

“We all have a responsibility in varied ways to work towards an improved environmental position‚ Breeding a sustainable cow for tomorrow will not limit your profitability today or into the future whilst doing our part to look after the environment. Genetics Australia can assist you and your needs inbreeding the Australian cow that is compliant and “Future-Ready”
– Greg Tiller, Territory Manager Northern Victoria.

The Sustainability Index is a relative ranking of animals expressed as a unit against a base of 0. The higher the Sustainability Index number, the more efficient the animal for emissions intensity.The unit of emissions intensity used in the Sustainability Index is kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilogram of protein equivalent produced (kg CO2-eq/ kg protein-eq). The Index is a desired gains index and cannot be directly compared to the BPI or HWI.

Trait Contributions to Indices

“On closer inspection you will find the Sustainability Index (S.I) is strongly correlated to the BPI index with some minor differences and re-rankings between bulls for BPI and S.I. Traits such as milk production (in the form of protein), Survival, Feed Saved are all traits that have been researched and demonstrate greater genetic gains towards a more sustainable cow for the future.”
– Gerard Brislin, Territory Manager Tasmania.

The Index is one of many tools dairy farmers can use to achieve the industry commitment of a 30 per cent reduction in the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions on-farm by 2030.

Genetic Australia’s Top SI Ranked Bulls

The Sustainability Index ranks bulls according to their ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase milk production while also considering other vital profitability traits.

Genetics Australia is pleased to present our team leader PILBARA, the #1 ranked Holstein sire on the Sustainability Index. He is an impressive high BPI bull, at $567 BPI. He excels for BPI, HWI, ASI (Production) and SI.

YOLO is another impressive Sustainability Index bull sitting at 1,037, he sits in the top 1% for breed for BPI, HWI and SI. He is a high production bull with outstanding conformation sourced from Jetstream Genetics USA. (Only available in Sexed 4ML).

Talk to one of our sales representatives today about how the Sustainability Index can be used to improve your herd.

Datagene Sustainability Index Factsheet

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