Genetics: New Breeding Index launched for Angus

Jon Condon, 02/12/2014

ANGUS beef producers now have a new tool to assist with the selection of animals with the launch of the Angus Breeding Index.

The Index is a general purpose selection tool that is suitable for use when selecting Angus animals for use in the majority of commercial beef breeding programs.

The selection index is not specific to a particular production system or market end-point, but identifies Angus animals that will improve overall profitability in the majority of commercial grass and grain-finishing beef production systems.

Andrew Byrne

Andrew Byrne

Angus Australia’s education, extension and youth manager, Andrew Byrne, said the Angus Breeding Index was particularly suited to commercial producers who sell progeny into different markets, or to seedstock producers supplying bulls to commercial clients who produce for a range of different production systems and market end points.

He said the launch of the new Index coincided with the introduction of new selection indexes that will now be calculated for animals within the Angus BreedPlan genetic evaluation.

“In addition to the Angus Breeding Index, three additional selection indexes will be calculated for Angus animals, being the Domestic Index, Heavy Grain Index and Heavy Grass Index,” he said.

“While the Angus Breeding Index is a general purpose selection tool, the Domestic, Heavy Grain and Heavy Grass selection indexes are specific to beef operations targeting a defined production system and market endpoint.”

The new selection indexes replace the Short Fed Domestic, Heavy Grass Fed Steer, Long Fed / CAAB and Terminal selection indexes that were previously calculated within Angus BreedPlan.

Mr Byrne said the launch of the new Index followed the completion of a comprehensive review by Angus Australia of the selection indexes that are calculated for Angus animals within Angus BreedPlan.

“The selection index review has involved comprehensive industry consultation, including a nationwide series of nine workshops across Australia, an online survey, and individual one on one consultations,” he said.

The consultation process, carried out under the working title, ‘Setting the Breeding Direction of the Angus Breed’, included liaison with beef producers running Angus seedstock and commercial cattle, feedlots, processors, artificial breeding companies, researchers and private consultants.

“More than 300 beef producers provided feedback as part of the consultation process, representing a seedstock and commercial breeding herd of 105,000 females and 17,500 bulls sold annually,” Mr Byrne said.

Based on feedback from industry on the importance of the MSA market, considerable emphasis had been placed on eating quality and tenderness within the Angus Breeding Index to favour animals with superior meat quality, he said.

Significant emphasis has also been placed on maternal attributes, reflecting the importance of the female breeding herd in self replacing beef enterprises.

Further information regarding the new Angus Breeding Index can be accessed here.


Source: Angus Australia






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