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Breeding Programmes

Rissington supports crossbreeding to leverage hybrid vigour and optimize beef breeding. We work with various breeds, making crossbreeding simple for farmers to implement while delivering uniformed cattle.

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Angus - Est. 1936

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Angus 

Global Analysis

Our Angus herd was founded by great uncle Will Masefield at Ellerton in Kekerengu, Marlborough. The Angus females still retain the original Ellerton prefix. The herd was moved North to Rissington in the mid-1990s and has seen rapid accelerated genetic gain through utilizing the best available sires globally through AI, ET and, since 2010, TVR, IVP and sexing technologies. The herd is renowned for its calving ease, moderate mature size, maternal attributes, breed-leading carcass merit & feed efficiency.

 

Our herd is recorded with Angus Australia, enabling us to leverage the investment going into the breed across the Tasman. This includes being part of the World Angus Evaluation, which combines phenotypes, genotypes & pedigrees from American Angus and Canadian Angus. As with all our cattle, the Angus are also part of the $Profit Global Multibreed Analysis. This analysis importantly includes large numbers of phenotypes for important traits like feed intake, where there are over 40,000 individual animals with actual intake records, the result being significantly more accurate.

 

At the heart of all our breeding decisions are the Leachman Indexes which we believe give us the most accurate ranking of our cattle on profitability.

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Simmental - Est. 1972

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Simmental

Global Analysis

The Rissington prefix is synonymous with the breed since its introduction into NZ in the early 1970s. Simmental is among the oldest and most widely distributed breeds globally with over 40 million cattle. Only a small proportion of any generation is truly genetically superior. The larger the population base, the greater the potential for selection of superior individuals. The herd is unrivalled for performance in the breed, calving ease, rapid early growth, carcass merit and polled genetics, and has come with a disciplined commercial focus since the early 70’s. Our Simmental are recorded with Simmental NZ and part of exciting development with IGS (International Genetic Solutions) in 2024, which will combine & analyse phenotypes, genotypes & pedigrees from Australia, USA & Canadian Simmental. The herd is also part of the Leachman $Profit Global Multibreed Analysis, a global analysis of over 1.5 million animals.

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Charolais - Est. 2023

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 Charolais

 Global Analysis

Our Charolais have been established in a JV with Leachman Cattle by sourcing the best available donors from the Leachman herd that has developed a world-class elite polled, calving ease, early maturity high carcass merit herd over the last 20 years. These donors have been bred to the best available US Charolais sires using sexed male semen to generate male embryos for importation. The primary interest in Charolais was for use in the dairy industry, where the colour marking of the progeny is a significant advantage to dairy farmers. The bulls are recorded with Charolais NZ and on breedplan & also part of the Leachman $Profit Global Multibreed Analysis Global Analysis of over 1.5 million animals. The advantage of $Profit is much more accurate data from all the additional phenotypes, genotypes & pedigrees from this analysis.

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Profit Maker® - Est. 1994

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Profit Maker®

  Global Analysis

The Profit Maker® breed is a multi-breed composite developed by Leachman Cattle Company. The breed is based on research done by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) at their Animal Research Service (ARS) at the Meat Animal Research Center (MARC), at Clay Center, Nebraska, and consists of a blend of British and European breeds, including Angus, Simmental, Gelbvieh & South Devon.

Their research showed several advantages that come from crossbreeding. Most importantly, they showed that hybrid vigour greatly impacts beef cattle productivity.

 

The research demonstrated an 8% improvement in weaning weight when a purebred cow is mated to a bull of a different breed. The research also showed that crossbred cows are far more productive than purebred cows. The benefits came in multiple areas, including more milk production, better body condition, faster re-breeding, and a longer productive lifetime. In total, the crossbred cows weaned 23% more weight than the purebred cows. Historically, scientists designed rotational systems using three breeds. However, such systems were found too complicated to implement on farms. Furthermore, they resulted in wide swings in breed composition and prevented breeders from having a uniform.

 

As an alternative, the researchers at MARC developed multi-breed composites. Their study confirmed that such composite breeds retain hybrid vigour in proportion to the number of breeds used – using more breeds generates more retention of hybrid vigour. The Profit Maker®, with four breeds, retains 75% of the F1 hybrid vigour. Thus, commercial farmers can breed composite bulls to composite females and keep most of the available hybrid vigour without the complexity and loss of uniformity associated with crossbreeding.

The breed is polled and either Black or Red in colour and is also popular and growing globally in the USA, Australia, UK, France and South America. Since 1995, we have sold over 5,000 Profit Maker® bulls throughout New Zealand.

Our Profit Maker® is fully recorded and part of the Leachman $Profit Global Multibreed Analysis, a global analysis of over 1.5 million animals.

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