Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Dairy farm sets sights on Asian market

A major Goulburn Valley dairy business, Coomboona Holsteins, is shifting its focus from milk production to genetics in a bid to extend its international reach.

GEOFF ADAMS January 8, 2013 4:05am

Coomboona Holsteins will be open for inspection during International DairyWeek.

The company, already the biggest importer of embryos in Australia, is planning to downscale its milking herd and move to a more prominent location on Mooroopna-Echuca Rd a few kilometres away.

While drawing on bloodlines from North American females, the business — owned by Hong Kong businessman Alex Arena — is now selling overseas into China, Japan, the United States and Canada.

Marketing and livestock manager Michael Boyd said they had sold cattle on the same international export market as other farmers, but were now concentrating on providing elite bred animals for developing Asian countries which wanted to improve their genetics.

‘‘Many farms have been exporting just their excess cattle. We are looking at providing top seed stock for developing countries through world class genetics,’’ Mr Boyd said.

The Undera property runs about 2500 cattle on 2400ha and in recent years has milked up to 800 cows producing an average of 9000litres/cow. The business employs 20 people.

It includes an embryo transfer laboratory facility, separate calf raising business employing two people and is building a 1000-bed free-stall facility.

Coomboona Holsteins genomically tests every heifer going through its custom heifer program. The process uses an animal’s DNA to screen for key traits.

Coomboona Holsteins will showcase its female progeny as part of International Dairy Week on Tuesday, January 22. Visitors can inspect the facilities and select from any of the 70 lots in the tag sale.

See next week’s Country News for a 16-page dairy week feature.

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