Australian Shorthorns to join global genetics evaluation

Australian Shorthorns to join global genetics evaluation

Beef
Breed Improvement: Australian Shorthorns will be part of an international multi breed genetic evaluation program.

Breed Improvement: Australian Shorthorns will be part of an international multi breed genetic evaluation program.

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Australian Beef Shorthorn breeders will be part of a global genetics evaluation aimed at herd improvement.

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Australia's Shorthorn breeders are confident access to a global genetics information and evaluation database will lead to improvements in the national herd's productivity.

Shorthorn Beef Australia has finalised its collaboration with International Genetic Solutions.

Started in 2010 as a joint venture between the US Simmental, Red Angus and Gelvieh associations, IGS now has 17 breed associations in the US, Canada, and Australia, providing genetic information which is used in multi-breed evaluations.

The president of Shorthorn Beef Australia Matt Ashby said after three years of investigation the board had decided there were real positives in being able to benchmark Australia's herd globally.

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"It's a decision which hasn't been taken lightly, but it was decided unanimously that we now go down this path for the sake of the improvement of our cattle," he said.

Mr Ashby said the decision was aided by the data and feedback which flows from the animals processed as part of the JBS Thousand Guineas Shorthorn brand.

Kill data: Since 2015 the JBS Thousand Guineas Shorthorn Beef brand has been providing kill data to producers involved.

Kill data: Since 2015 the JBS Thousand Guineas Shorthorn Beef brand has been providing kill data to producers involved.

"The data that we're getting out of those animals we can link back to top sires," he said.

"We've got all this information they're giving us out of the kill data, and this is a way to be able to use that and link it back."

The executive vice president of the American Simmental Association Dr Wade Shafer is one of the driving forces behind IGS, and he told the World Shorthorn Conference in Wagga Wagga data is what generates genetic improvement.

"We're not going to make progress unless we have data, and I think it's fair to say that no one has more of it than IGS," he said.

"We have almost 19 million animals in our database and over 370,000 new animals come into it each year."

Since deciding to be involved with IGS Australian Shorthorns have been involved in trials of the software used to evaluate the genetics.

So far one member has already provided their genetic information to the service and Mr Ashby said the World Shorthorn Conference was used to officially signal the start of Australia's collaboration with more data being made available for future evaluations.

"To be able to use the top genetics, the top five per cent in the world, and put them into herds is going to be a massive benefit," he said.

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The story Australian Shorthorns to join global genetics evaluation first appeared on Farm Online.

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