10 Dec 2010

Livestock genetics operations to merge

7:05 am on 10 December 2010

The companies behind a livestock genetics merger are hoping to achieve the same scale of breeding gains for sheep, beef cattle and deer that the dairy industry has seen.

Landcorp and Rissington Breedline, a livestock breeding company based in Hawke's Bay, propose to amalgamate their genetics operations.

That will mean combining forces on breeding programmes that have already produced new composite sheep and cattle breeds, designed to improve meat yields and other qualities.

Landcorp chief executive Chris Kelly says the superior genetic gain in the dairy industry is mainly due to the development of a large scale, co-ordinated breeding programme,

He says that sort of approach is needed in other livestock sectors.

Rissington Breedline says both companies are already working together and a merger would formalise that.

Chairman Rick Bettle says Rissington Breedline's overseas livestock breeding businesses will be transferred to the joint venture, but it won't include either company's farming operations.

The new entity still has to go through due diligence, but is expected to be operating by May next year.