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Beef business is moving forward: Field Day 2007 

Climate Change & Cost of Capital: Dealing with New Realities: Field Day 2006

Beef Breeding & Business Field day: 2005

Breeding  technology update: 2004

Cattle breeders warned: balance needed in breeding program: 2004 Field Day

Bull technology update: 2003

 

 

 

Beef Business & Breeding Field Day 

Friday July 27th, 2007 at "Belvedere" Eidsvold.  Thanks to our sponsors Elders, ANZ and Queensland Country Life for such a great day.

Beef business is moving forward

It was standing room only at the Beef Breeding & Business Field Day held in Eidsvold recently.  Around 200 beef producers attended the day which focused on Moving Forward.

Event organiser Rick Greenup said there are huge challenges facing beef producers in normal seasons and compounding this is the extended drought. 

“It is common for people to feel paralysed and tempting to put major decisions such as property development and succession on hold.”

“We wanted to offer a program that gave people practical ideas on progressing with their business, properties and family issues immediately and not wait for a good run of seasons to act,” he said.

Speakers: Anthony Coates, Sandi Jephcott, Rawdon Briggs, Bill Anderssen, Jennifer Wainwright, Richard Greenup & Dave McRae

 

Dave McRae , Climate Specialist for the Centre for Climate Change suggested the debate about the cause of climate change was irrelevant, and instead producers need to consider the hard facts in terms of rainfall distribution, temperature change and how they can manage to reduce the impact of these changes or even take advantage of these changes to improve the bottom line. 

Mr McRae’s practical tips included increasing on-farm storage to capitalise on bumper seasons and delay selling onto flooded markets, acquiring land in more reliable rainfall areas, or shifting breeding dates to match calving with more reliable rainfall events.

Nowadays Rawdon Briggs, "Aubern Station" sees himself as a pasture grower rather than cattle grower and this philosophy enables him to turn off more kilograms per hectare per millimetre of rainfall than his previous philosophy of focussing on the cattle. 

“I use strategies such as variable stocking rates and pasture spelling, to maximise water infiltration and the subsequent pasture growth,” Mr Briggs said. 

Assisted by a ‘state-of-the- art’ water medication system he has optimised production and is achieving profitability he previously only dreamed possible, even in these dry seasons.

Bill Anderssen, Solicitor with Anderssen Lawyers was a popular speaker, with most people groaning afterwards “Oh I wish the rest of the family heard that!”  Mr Anderssen emphasized that the older generations needed to protect their assets to ensure a secure retirement.  A viable business opportunity must be identified by the younger generation and if this can’t be achieved then it is unrealistic for them to stay at home. 

He advised that parents don’t allow children to build up family assets, for them to be ultimately shared with siblings who have not contributed to the build up and to not plan your succession around your death. 

Mr Anderssen outlined his main points for a successful succession plan as: Start early; Get specialist legal and accounting advice to avoid incurring unnecessary tax costs; and a facilitator is required in most instances. 

Building off-farm assets as a vital strategy for a successful farming business emerged as an underlying theme of the day.  Well chosen off-farm assets offer an alternative cashflow providing drought mitigation, enabling improved decision making when all the eggs were not in one basket and the off-farm assets are often an integral component of successful succession planning. 

Jennifer Wainwright Beef Business Specialist from the ANZ also espoused the benefits of off-farm assets, in terms of leverage and servicing loans when looking to expand the grazing enterprise.  Ms Wainwright gave some insight into what indicators the banks assess to determine safe debt levels and how producers can maximise their position if some indicators such as equity are low, by improving other indicators such as debt to beast ratios.

Veterinarian and nutritionist Sandi Jephcott had the crown riveted with her constructive advice to get the most out of a breeding herd. Ms Jephcott said cattle breeders must identify their objectives, such as joining age and weights and encouraged identification and monitoring weights to keep track.  She encouraged breeders to look after their heifers in the best paddock while on their first and second calf, and be vigilant about their disease control and nutrition.  Ms Jephcott discouraged the common practice of using low birth weight bulls for heifers and normal or larger birth weight bulls in the cow herd, as those cows will be breeding heifers which will still carry the large birth weight genes.

“Breeders may not need to supplement cows and heifers every year, so they need to understand what’s going on inside the cow and in the paddock - and not just listen to the advice of sales people, who have a motive to sell a product.  If producers use monitoring such as faecal sampling, pasture analysis and budgeting and measure production, then they can determine the correct timing and quantity of supplements needed and avoid unnecessary expense,” Ms Jephcott said.

Anthony Coates concluded the day, demonstrating the genetic progress that could be made with performance recording, as he compared the Eidsvold Station Breedplan data with the Santa Gertrrudis breed average for the last twenty years.  Mr Coates selection program has focussed on weight for age explaining the above average rate of improvement in EBVs.  He pointed out that the more traits breeders select for, the less gain that will be made on any of the traits. 

Commercial breeders attending the event expressed their frustration with all the available data on bulls and wondered how to sort through it all.  This is particularly relevant now with new gene markers and estimated breeding values coming out every year, further confusing producers about what is relevant for their herd. Mr Coates emphasized the need for very clear breeding objectives that relate to the country and target markets and for breeders to stick to their long-term goals and avoid ‘fads’ when purchasing bulls. 

A bull walk and a cold beer signalled the end of a pleasant and informative day. 

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Alice Greenup & Anthony Coates with Arlie Douglas ABC Rural Reporter broadcasting live for the Country Hour Rob, Tess, Ainsley & Andrew McArthur, St. Lawrence with Sally Coates, Eidsvold Station Jim Gray, Gayndah, Jennifer Wainwright ANZ  Ron Atkinson, Mark & Lyle Hasselbach, Murgon
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Jim Tucker, Alan Nock, Richard Reiser, Eidsvold Craig Croker, Rockhampton, Daniel Cheers Glen Innes Keith & Betty Entwistle, Yangan, Kay Bochman, Robyn & Ross Sawtell, Nanango Robert Kirk, Edwy Dent, Gayndah
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Jill McKiggan & James Greenup, Kingaroy, Joanne Markwell, Sally Coates, Rebecca & Riley Dunlop, Bec Postle, Hayley Ahern, Munduberra James Greenup & Riley Dunlop Ruby & James Greenup, Riley Dunlop

 

Future cattle breeders

Please contact Alice on greenup@greenup.com.au if you would like digital copies of these photos

 

 

 

2006 Field Day: Climate Change & Cost of Capital: Dealing with new realities

Industry Speakers:

The New Realities: Moving forward

Margaret Bridgeford, CEO RCS

How have land values changed?

How is climate changing

How should we operate in this new environment?

New data comparing beef businesses around Australia and Internationally.

Who are the industry leaders & what makes them successful?

Alice Greenup, Greenup Pty Ltd

What drives profitability?

 

 

Investing in the genetic future of your beef herd

Peter Parnell, Research Leader, Beef Genetics & Improvement; Director, Beef Industry Centre of Excellence, CRC NSW Ag

How land values & climate change relate to genetic decisions?

What role will genetics play in your business bottom line?

Which animals will be profitable in the future?

Russell Gray, Santa Gertrudis Classifier

Practical demonstration - Balancing selection for constitution, structure, carcase and fertility traits.

Increase profit: Reduce costs & increase returns

David Ginter, Animal Logic Group, Senior Nutritionist & Co-Founder Elders Livestock Management Solutions, South Australia

Nutrition: Dry season feeding; Feeding to optimise conception, feed efficiency & production.

Rick Greenup, Greenup Pty Ltd

Pasture budgeting & herd management, selection decisions for marginal country & optimum production.

 

 

 

 

 

Beef breeding & business field day: 2005

How do genetics affect your business bottom line?   

 

What drives our profitability? Nutritional management, Marketing, Finance, Training, Fertility management, Pasture management …..

 

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Alice shares the 3 secrets of profit Russell Gray & Roger Boshammer Sale bulls being inspected Russell reviews the bulls structure and faults

 

Beef producers enjoyed an uncharacteristically warm winter's day to attend the 2005 annual field day. 

    On display were:

    The 2005 sale teams;

    The Greenup Stud Cows: See the hard working girls in their tough, home environment;

    A selection of yearling Heifers: Pick their faults and features as we run a real-life classifying scenario;

    Greenup Stud Sires: The men behind the men - in their work clothes;

    And sessions on finance and business and how this links with your breeding program.

 

It was a first ever event as our whole business was on display for scrutiny.  The Greenup mating program, herd nutrition and grazing management and how this affects our bottom line was discussed.  We openly showed our costs of production and net price received (c/kg).  The presentation continued with an over-view of the factors that affect and drive profitability and how cattle selection links with overheads, gross margins and turnover.

 

Alan Kohler, ANZ Senior Markets Consultant gave a down to earth, practical presentation on the current status of the interest rate cycle, what producers should consider to manage interest rate risk, how to manage exposure to financial markets and what is in store for interest rates & exchange rates?

 

In response to the 2004 feedback we had more practical sessions assessing cattle, as Russell Gray, Santa Gertrudis Breed Classifier assessed our bulls & heifers and led a hearty discussion about constitution, structure, fertility and carcase traits.

 

If you would like an invitation to future field days, please contact us with your mailing details.

 

 

2004: Breeding Technology Field Day

Cattle breeders warned: balance needed in breeding program

There was standing room only at the recent Breeding Technology Field Day, as 170 beef producers packed into the hay shed to hear industry experts discuss breeding programs and the latest research in genetics and breeding.

The event was hosted by Rick & Alice Greenup, Greenup Santa Gertrudis Stud, Kumbia and the program was designed in response to feedback from their Bull Technology Field Day held last year, which indicated beef producers wanted more training on female selection and breeding programs.

Mr Greenup said the response before and after the event was fantastic, demonstrating that there is still a huge demand for these sorts of training opportunities.

"People came from as far as Gympie, Moura and Ballina for the day. Producers are craving to hear experts give practical advice about breeding cattle. There is so much information out there, it is getting really hard to sift out what is relevant to each person’s business and not get carried away with new technology, just because it is new," Mr Greenup said.

"Genetics is like throwing darts at a dartboard - you need to know where the bullseye is that you are aiming for. But if you make the target too big, you will hit it somewhere, but it won’t get you very far genetically, or you could even go backwards."

Deputy CEO of the CRC for Cattle & Beef Quality, Dr Heather Burrow spoke on beef tenderness, genetic markers and the antagonistic relationships between certain market traits and cattle function traits such as fertility.

"There was a lot of interest in selecting for market specifications and what trade-offs need to be considered in terms of feed efficiency, fertility and environmental adaptation," Ms Burrow said

"For example there is an favourable relationship between yield and feed efficiency (FE), however there is an antagonistic relationship between those traits and fertility, marbling and fat coverage. So if producers are not chasing marbling they can pursue other carcase traits and FE, but they need to balance this with their other breeding objectives to make sure they retain fertility and function."

"The producers are starting to question how much tropical adaptation they need in their specific situation and they are setting breeding objectives for a given area, rather than assuming we all have the same environmental constraints," Ms Burrow said.

DPI Senior Extension Officer John Bertram and Christian Duff from Tropical Beef Technology Services then guided the producers through a series of practical activities to define breeding objectives, specific to each producer’s business and markets.

Mr Bertram gave an overview of the traits that should be the highest priority in all breeding programs such as structural soundness and fertility, recommending that as producers define their breeding objectives that they avoid single trait selection and focus on traits that are most important to their business.

Mr Duff said the producers revealed which traits impacted on their on-farm production and market specifications and what they look for when selecting cattle.

"The more things we try to select for, the less genetic progress we will make. So it is critical to work out what is relevant to each business to ensure it is maximising its potential for profitability and to avoid fads and stick to a long-term plan, that achieves continuous genetic progress," Mr Duff said.

Graeme Hopf, an industry expert in cattle function, challenged the group’s assumptions about what underpins a cow’s milking ability, soundness, longevity & fertility and how this should be applied in a breeding program.

Mr Hopf described an ideal beef cow as one that gets in calf early, calves easily and gives ample milk to rear a good calf.

"Beef producers should breed cows for the country and use bulls for the market. Breeders on light, forest country have different pressures to a herd that is grown on fertile, fattening country, so the cows should be selected for function and managed to match the country, and the bulls used should provide the market traits such as growth and maturity pattern," Mr Hopf said.

"The selection of beef cattle in recent years has resulted in some very large heavy animals and this has placed greater stress on the bones and joints of these animals, this makes selection for proper structure even more critical."

The day’s take home message was for breeders to take a balanced and planned approach to their breeding program, which should be tailored to individual environments and customer requirements, while producing a profitable end product.

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Grame Hopf 

"An ideal beef cow is one that gets in calf early, calves easily and gives ample milk to rear a good calf."

Rick Greenup’s Breeding Objectives

Easy-care cattle that wean a calf every twelve months, and maintain condition in harsh environments, without supplements.
Adequate frame size, heavy weight for age, moderate maturity pattern and the ability to lay down fat to fit both Jap Ox and domestic markets.
Tropical adaptability and longevity, through structural soundness and function.
Cool temperament.

An Ideal Breeding Cow

cowpicture2.jpg (496713 bytes) This diagram discusses some conformation issues and selection criteria for cows.

To view this picture try double clicking on it.  Or you could try copying and pasting into a word document to print it.  

If you are still having trouble please call or email us and we will be happy to send you a hard copy.

 

Breeding technology update: 2004

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Slow roasted blade with gravy was a hit Rick & Graem Hopf discuss the structure of a 12-year old PTIC cow. Standing room only in the hay shed.  

There was standing room only at the recent Breeding Technology Field Day, as 170 beef producers packed into the hay shed to hear industry experts discuss breeding programs and the latest research in genetics and breeding.

The event was hosted by Rick & Alice Greenup, Greenup Santa Gertrudis Stud, Kumbia and the program was designed in response to feedback from their Bull Technology Field Day held last year, which indicated beef producers wanted more training on female selection and breeding programs.

Mr Greenup said the response before and after the event was fantastic, demonstrating that there is still a huge demand for these sorts of training opportunities.

"People came from as far as Gympie, Moura and Ballina for the day. Producers are craving to hear experts give practical advice about breeding cattle. There is so much information out there, it is getting really hard to sift out what is relevant to each person’s business and not get carried away with new technology, just because it is new," Mr Greenup said.

"Genetics is like throwing darts at a dartboard - you need to know where the bullseye is that you are aiming for. But if you make the target too big, you will hit it somewhere, but it won’t get you very far genetically, or you could even go backwards."

Deputy CEO of the CRC for Cattle & Beef Quality, Dr Heather Burrow spoke on beef tenderness, genetic markers and the antagonistic relationships between certain market traits and cattle function traits such as fertility.

"There was a lot of interest in selecting for market specifications and what trade-offs need to be considered in terms of feed efficiency, fertility and environmental adaptation," Ms Burrow said

"For example there is an favourable relationship between yield and feed efficiency (FE), however there is an antagonistic relationship between those traits and fertility, marbling and fat coverage. So if producers are not chasing marbling they can pursue other carcase traits and FE, but they need to balance this with their other breeding objectives to make sure they retain fertility and function."

"The producers are starting to question how much tropical adaptation they need in their specific situation and they are setting breeding objectives for a given area, rather than assuming we all have the same environmental constraints," Ms Burrow said.

DPI Senior Extension Officer John Bertram and Christian Duff from Tropical Beef Technology Services then guided the producers through a series of practical activities to define breeding objectives, specific to each producer’s business and markets.

Mr Bertram gave an overview of the traits that should be the highest priority in all breeding programs such as structural soundness and fertility, recommending that as producers define their breeding objectives that they avoid single trait selection and focus on traits that are most important to their business.

Mr Duff said the producers revealed which traits impacted on their on-farm production and market specifications and what they look for when selecting cattle.

"The more things we try to select for, the less genetic progress we will make. So it is critical to work out what is relevant to each business to ensure it is maximising its potential for profitability and to avoid fads and stick to a long-term plan, that achieves continuous genetic progress," Mr Duff said.

Graeme Hopf, an industry expert in cattle function, challenged the group’s assumptions about what underpins a cow’s milking ability, soundness, longevity & fertility and how this should be applied in a breeding program.

Mr Hopf described an ideal beef cow as one that gets in calf early, calves easily and gives ample milk to rear a good calf.

"Beef producers should breed cows for the country and use bulls for the market. Breeders on light, forest country have different pressures to a herd that is grown on fertile, fattening country, so the cows should be selected for function and managed to match the country, and the bulls used should provide the market traits such as growth and maturity pattern," Mr Hopf said.

"The selection of beef cattle in recent years has resulted in some very large heavy animals and this has placed greater stress on the bones and joints of these animals, this makes selection for proper structure even more critical."

The day’s take home message was for breeders to take a balanced and planned approach to their breeding program, which should be tailored to individual environments and customer requirements, while producing a profitable end product.

Rick Greenup’s Breeding Objectives

Easy-care cattle that wean a calf every twelve months, and maintain condition in harsh environments, without supplements.
Adequate frame size, heavy weight for age, moderate maturity pattern and the ability to lay down fat to fit both Jap Ox and domestic markets.
Tropical adaptability and longevity, through structural soundness and function.
Cool temperament.

 

Bull technology update: 2003

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John Betram & Peter McAuliffe Mick Tierney, Richard Greenup & John Bertram Gary & Sharon Barbour, Don Allen, Kathy & Wayne McLelland Attentive crowd

Over fifty commercial and stud producers attended the Bull Technology Update, organized by Rick & Alice Greenup. Topics discussed included the latest research and developments in the areas of bull fertility, the National Cattle Veterinary Standards, Breedplan, meat quality, bull assessment and selection.

Speakers on the day were John Bertram, Department of Primary Industries, Mick Tierney, Animal Genetics consultant (former DPI Senior Geneticist) and Peter McAuliffe, Livestock Breeding Services.

John Bertram discussed:

Bull selection and use in northern Australia
The National Cattle Veterinary Standards
Selection for temperament
Net feed Intake (NFI) – feed efficiency
PrimeGROTM IGF and its role in beef cattle

Mick Tierney provided an overview of Breedplan, the system, its principals and ability to compare animals between years and feeding regimes. Peter McAuliffe discussed the practical aspects of semen evaluation and the latest findings from the 2002 National Bull Fertility Conference. A summary of the day is provided below.

Bull selection and use in northern Australia

‘Bull selection and use in northern Australia’ was a statewide project supported by the QDPI, University of Queensland, James Cook University, CSIRO, NT Dept. of Primary Industries and Fisheries and the Santa Gertrudis Breeders’ (Australia) Association.

Key findings from this project were:

  1. A breeding soundness examination should form the basis of an annual pre-breeding assessment.
  2. No single physical or reproductive trait was consistently related to calf output in multiple-sire herds. Therefore bulls should be selected for a balance of traits ensuring that the bulls meet a minimum standard for each trait.
  3. Semen examination, which includes the assessment of sperm morphology, should be used regularly in bull selection and pre-mating assessments. Bulls should have at least 50% (for new purchases - preferably 70%) normal sperm and that a recommendation on fertility should not be based on semen or sperm motility alone (crush-side examination).
  4. Profiles of heparin-binding proteins are unlikely to help with the assessment of bull fertility.
  5. In a serving capacity test Bos indicus (tropical) bulls express different sexual behaviour to Bos taurus (British) bulls, particularly the number of serves. As an assessment tool the serving capacity test is important to identify whether a bull is capable of serving, rather than as a tool to predict calf output in multiple-sire herds.
  6. Social dominance behaviour has a significant impact on calf output in multiple-sire herds. Bulls that expressed more territorial behaviour tended to sire more calves.
  7. Multiple-sire mating Bos indicus bulls which are reproductively and physically sound at a rate of 2.5% (1 bull to 40 cycling females) will not jeopardise herd fertility in most extensive grazing systems.

The National Cattle Veterinary Standards

A bull breeding soundness evaluation (BBSE) is not a guarantee of a bull’s performance but it is an indication of whether a bull meets baseline standards at that point in time.

The new standards offers a consistent national reporting system that provides assurance that bulls have a high probability of being fertile at the time of testing. The five aspects of bull fertility are listed on a standardised bull report and they cover scrotal size, physical structural soundness, semen, morphology and serving ability. Semen morphology assessment will only be considered valid if provided by an AACV accredited laboratory

For further information contact the Australian Association of Cattle Veterinarians on (07) 3378 7944 or email aacv@ava.com.au

Bull fertility

The following notes are from Peter Chenoweth’s paper presented at the 2002 National Bull Fertility Conference held in Darwin.

The Bull Breeding Soundness Examination (BBSE) does not predict fertility, however it establishes thresholds and is useful in identifying the bulls with poor potential fertility. The examination will not identify bulls with superior potential fertility.
Some of the thresholds are scrotal circumference - 34 cm at 24 months; sperm morphology – 70 % normal; sperm motility – at least 30% with good motility.
The BBSE should be a pivotal part of management to improve herd fertility, genetics and profitability.
A typical BBSE costs approximately $1-2 per breeding female
Bulls passing the BBSE get females pregnant earlier than unselected bulls.
Every 21 days that a cow is ‘open’ represents 10-20 kg loss of calf weight at weaning.
Using bulls that have passed a BBSE means that fewer bulls are needed, thereby saving money, which can be re-invested into superior genetics.
USA data has shown that consistent use of BBSE improved returns $3-$50 per breeding cow.

Selection for temperament

Temperament is proving to be a significant trait for commercial reasons as well as a farm safety issue. Temperament or docility can be measured three ways ie Flight time, Crush score and as a Yard test. Each measurement method is correlated with each other with about medium heritability. A temperament score measured using flight-time has a heritability of 32%. This means that 32% of the variation in temperament can be attributed to genetic differences.

Temperament is most effectively measured by a flight-time test. Flight-time has been genetically correlated to tenderness and eating quality. Feedlot performance is affected by temperament, as animals with good temperament (slow flight times) grew faster to higher final weights, had heavier carcases and had better feed conversion ratios. Flight times are affected by previous handling. However, within the same management practice, flight time can separate the differences in docility between animals of the same group.

Net feed intake (NFI)

Net feed intake relates the live weight gain of an animal to the amount of feed eaten. Current research has demonstrated that there is wide variation between animals for feed efficiency, which provides tremendous opportunity for genetic selection. There are significant gains to be made in the beef industry, through identifying animals that are more efficient feed converters.

The problem for the beef industry in the past has been a simple and efficient way to measure the NFI thereby establishing these differences. Previously this has been achieved using feeding pens in which individual feed bins and animal recorders have been installed to identify an individual animal as it enters the pen to record the amount of feed eaten. After the feeding period of about 30 days the live weight gain is reckoned against the feed consumed on an individual animal basis.

The recent CRC for Beef Quality results show that the hormone blood test for Insulin Like Growth Factor -1 (IGF-1) is effective when used in cattle to identify the differences between animals for feed efficiency when all animals being tested are on a similar diet. Whilst this test will be altered by environmental effects eg temperature and the protein quality of the feed, the genetic differences can be calculated similar to any other estimated breeding value. A lower IGF-1 value is desirable. Evidence at this point in time is that the more efficient animals have the higher growth rates and have more muscle than fat.

PrimeGROTM IGF-1 and its role in beef cattle

Selection for lower IGF-1 should improve growth, reduce fatness and improved feed conversion efficiency.

IGF-1 is currently being selected for in the pig industry, with the aim of reducing IGF-1 levels to improve growth and the percent of lean meat and feed conversion ratios. IGF-1 in beef cattle is moderately heritable and is showing useful genetic correlations to P8 (rump) fat measurements, intramuscular fat (marbling), feed conversion ratios and need feed intake.

The test can be conducted using a drop of blood placed on the prescribed sample card. At present this test costs between $15 and $30.00 depending on throughput. The test is currently marketed and conducted by PrimeGRO Limited. The real value in the result is in the genetic analysis that follows as it relates to sire selection.

Breedplan

Breedplan predicts breeding values for animals, using all the information on an animal and its known relatives. The main concern that people have with Breedplan is how it can compare between herds and different years.

The following example explains how Breedplan adjusts for differences between herds run in two different environments. The average weaning weight of calves sired by bulls A, B & C are shown:

 

Softwood scrub

 

Forest ironbark

Bull A – 225 kg

Bull B – 250 kg

 

Bull B – 150 kg

Bull C – 180 kg

Bull B is common, Av wt = 200Kg

   

Environmental adjustment

-50kg due to better feed

 

Environmental adjustment

+50kg due to poor feed quality

 

Without Breedplan to adjust for differences in herds, nutrition and management the bulls would be ranked according to the average weight of their calves.

  1. Bull A - 225 kg
  2. Bull B – 200 kg (250+150 / divided by 2)
  3. Bull C – 180 kg

However with Bull B acting as a "link sire" the herd averages can be adjusted to allow for environmental differences and the ranking becomes:

  1. Bull C - 230 kg ( ie 180 + 50 adjustment)
  2. Bull B - 200 kg
  3. Bull A – 175 kg (ie 225 – 50 kg adjustment)

Recent research is showing that animals that are ranked on EBVs for growth in one environment eg temperate pastures in Southern Australia, will rank similarly given very different nutrition eg tropical pastures in Northern Australia and also pastures versus feedlot.

Breedplan currently determines breeding values for growth traits, fertility traits and carcase traits. EBVs (estimated breeding values) are expressed as a positive or negative difference from a breed base and they are reported in actual measurement units, for example kg for growth and cm for scrotal size.

Keeping it all in perspective

While tests for temperament, marbling, IGF-1, net feed intakes etc are very exciting, the issue remains that producers are still not getting paid for many of these traits and they do add to the costs of production.

While it is important to remain in touch with new technology, a breeding program that underpins a profitable business needs to stick with the fundamentals: selecting bulls and cows for fertility and adaptation to the environment in which they are grazed, structural soundness and current market needs / specifications.

Contact Rick and Alice Greenup is you would like to be invited to future technology updates. This article and other technical articles are available at greenup.com.au.

 

Contact information

You are always welcome at Cardowan & Eidsvold to view the upcoming sale bulls and breeding cows.  Contact Rick & Alice Greenup to discuss your herd's needs on;
Telephone;
617-4164 4260
Facs
617-4164 4419
Postal address
"Cardowan" MS 514 KUMBIA QLD 4610. Australia
Electronic mail
greenup@greenup.com.au