13 Oct 2011

Call for dairy industry database talks to resume

8:30 am on 13 October 2011

A dairy farming representative is urging two industry bodies in deadlock over negotiations for a new integrated cattle-breeding database to resume their talks.

Dairy NZ and the livestock improvement co-operative LIC have been discussing implementation of the recommendations of a herd improvement database review.

The recommendations include shifting control of the core database from LIC to Dairy NZ, but the sticking-point is the latter's wish to expand it to include large amounts of other breeding information held by LIC - information that LIC says is commercial intellectual property it is not willing to let go of for little or no return.

Federated Farmers Waikato president James Houghton wants both bodies to get on with creating an integrated data system that's available for the whole dairy industry.

As an LIC shareholder and user of its services, he says, he has no problem with its making commercial breeding information available to the rest of the industry.

"Farmers have basically paid over the years for those services and paid for the development of that," Mr Houghton says, "and it would be good to see LIC just believe that it's got a sound business model that can endure the change - and hopefully farmers will remain loyal if they behave themselves."