Cattle breeding company, Mastergen, has been transformed for 2024 into a new company with a new name and an increased and more diverse portfolio of genetics.

The company, now called Synetics UK, reflects the joining of forces between Mastergen’s original German parent company, Masterrind, and the French genetics giant, Innoval/Evolution. Through the formation of their export arm, Synetics Export, these two European co-operatives trade more than 8m doses of semen across 80 countries including Synetics UK.

This means UK farmers now have access to a more diverse range of European sires which not only includes a strong line-up of Holsteins, including red and whites, but a total of 20 breeds – both dairy and beef. Amongst these are semen from Limousin, Charolais, Blonde, Normande and Salers breeds alongside the less mainstream, such as Bazadaise, Gascon, Parthenaise, Abondance, and Tarentaise.

Particular strengths are beef breeds specifically developed for use on dairy, most notably the INRA95 and Yperios Excellence, which are currently topping UK beef markets and are unique to Synetics’ breeding programmes.

Seven different dairy breeds are also part of Synetics’ portfolio, including those suited to the increasingly popular extensive systems, while three breeds of goat are part of the package.

Alison Dunphy, managing director of Synetics UK, says: “The entry of the parent company into the domestic market has significantly upped the European genetics offering and diversity of bloodlines for UK producers.

“The formation of Synetics UK ensures UK farmers have access to genetics from the two major European breeding programmes,” she says. “The combined force of Masterrind, (the market leader in Germany), with Innoval/Evolution, (the biggest AI company in France), brings the services and bull portfolio to UK producers, from two major farmer co-operatives working with more than 13m cows.

“The research investment behind these organisations has led to the development of Europe’s most advanced genomic testing facility and its highest standards of semen quality.

“This investment has also allowed unique genetic traits to be developed, including paratuberculosis or Johne’s resistance, which we are already finding enormously popular within herds dealing with this disease,” she says.

Other features include polled bloodlines for every breed and a wide selection of bulls transmitting a high degree of digital dermatitis resistance.

Despite the uptick in the company’s genetic offering, Ms Dunphy says the values of the former company will remain enshrined in Synetics UK.

“As a company, we have built our reputation on value for money, without the overhead of expensive reps on the road, and we will continue with this business model under the Synetics UK banner,” she says.

“Our telephone support is readily available and is growing in popularity amongst the many commercial beef and dairy producers who are looking for cost-effectiveness, while continuing to enhance their herds’ genetics.”