BREEDPLAN is a modern genetic evaluation system for beef cattle breeders
BREEDPLAN offers all breeders the potential to accelerate genetic progress in their herds and to provide objective information on stock they sell. Developed in Australia, BREEDPLAN is now used in many of the world’s prominent beef producing countries. BREEDPLAN is the national beef-recording scheme in Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and the Philippines. Its use is increasing in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, South Africa and South America.
A WIDE RANGE OF TRAITS
BREEDPLAN provides for estimation of expected performance for the following production traits:
Birth Weight Scrotal Size
Milk Days to Calving
200, 400 and 600-day Weight Gestation Length
Mature Cow Weight Calving Ease
Carcase Weight Net Feed Intake
Eye Muscle Area Docility
Meat Yield %
The figures for these traits are expressed as Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs). Included in the calculation of EBVs are the animal’s own performance, the performance of all known relatives, the heritability of each trait and the relationship between the traits. EBVs are expressed in actual units of measurement and reported as being ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ relative to the breed base for each trait.
Only Red Angus GROUP BREEDPLAN EBVs or Interim EBVs with Accuracy (Acc) can be validly compared between herds. Red Angus GROUP BREEDPLAN EBVs cannot be validly compared to the GROUP BREEDPLAN EBVs for other breeds (including Angus).
Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs)
An Estimated Breeding Value EBV is an estimate of the genetic value of that particular animal for each trait measured.
An accuracy is presented with every EBV and gives an indication of the amount of information that has been used in the calculation of that EBV. The higher the accuracy the lower the likelihood of change in the animal’s EBV as more information is analysed for that animal or it’s relatives. Accuracy below 75% should be considered low.
EXPLANATION OF EBVS
GL: Gestation Length EBV (days) is based on AI records. Lower (negative) GL EBVs indicate shorter gestation which is associated with lower birth weights and easier calving.
BWT: Birth Weight EBV (kg) is based on the measured birth weight of animals, adjusted for dam age. The lower the value the lighter the calf at birth and the lower the likelihood of a difficult birth. This is particularly important when selecting sires for use over heifers.
SS: Scrotal Size EBV (cm) is an indicator of male fertility in regards to semen quality and quantity. Higher (positive) EBVs indicate larger scrotal size. SS is also positively associated with female fertility.
Milk: 200-Day Milk EBV (kg) is an estimate of an animal’s milking ability. For sires, this EBV is indicative of their daughter’s milking ability as it affects the 200 and 400 day weight of their calves.
200: 200-Day Growth EBV (kg) is calculated from the weight of animals taken between 80 and 300 days of age. Values are adjusted to 200 days and for age of dam. This EBV is the best single estimate of an animal’s genetic merit for growth to early ages.
400: 400-Day Weight EBV (kg) is calculated from the weight of progeny taken between 301 and 500 days of age, adjusted to 400 days and for age of dam. This EBV is the best single estimate of an animal’s genetic merit for yearling weight.
600: 600-Day Weight EBV (kg) is calculated from the weight of progeny taken between 501 and 900 days of age, adjusted to 600 days and for age of dam. This EBV is the best single estimate of an animal’s genetic merit for growth beyond yearling age.
MWT: Mature Cow Weight EBV (kg) is an estimate of the genetic difference in cow weight at 5 years of age. Moderate EBVs are generally more favourable.
CWT: Carcase Weight EBV (kg) estimates the genetic difference in carcase weight at a standard age of 650 days.
EMA: Eye Muscle Area EBV (cm2) estimates genetic differences in eye muscle area at the 12/13th rib site of a 300kg dressed carcase. More positive EBVs indicate larger eye muscle area and therefore higher retail beef yields.
RIB: Rib Fat EBV (mm) estimates the genetic differences in fat depth at the 12/13th rib in a 300kg dressed carcase. More positive EBVs indicate more subcutaneous fat and earlier maturity.
RUMP: Rump Fat EBV (mm) estimates the genetic differences in fat depth at the P8 site of a 300kg dressed carcase. More positive EBVs indicate more subcutaneous fat and earlier maturity.
RBY%: Retail Beef Yield Percent EBV (%) represents total (boned out) meat yield as a percentage of a 300kg dressed carcase. A more positive EBV indicates higher percentage yield for the 300kg carcase weight.
IMF%: Intra-muscular Fat Percent EBV (%) is an estimate of the genetic difference in the percentage of intra-muscular fat at the 12/13th rib site in a 300kg carcase. For some markets, larger more positive values are more favourable.
For further information on BREEDPLAN http://breedplan.une.edu.au
Selecting Animals Using Red Angus Selection Indexes
The Selection Index value for an animal is effectively an EBV of the animal’s profitability in a defined commercial production system and market. Ranking seedstock animals on their Selection Index value sorts them based on their progeny’s expected profitability for the targeted production system.
Red Angus Selection Index Descriptions
Supermarket (SUP) – Estimates the genetic differences between animals in net profitability per cow joined for an example commercial herd targeting the domestic supermarket trade. Steers are either finished on grass or grain (e.g. 70 days). Steers are marketed at 450 kg live weight (250 kg HSCW and 12 mm P8 fat depth) at 15 months of age. Daughters are retained for breeding. In response to industry feedback regarding eating quality and tenderness, a small premium has been placed on marbling.
Vealer (VLR) – Estimates the genetic differences between animals in net profitability per cow joined for an example commercial herd targeting vealer production. Vealers are finished on grass and are marketed at 320 kg live weight (180 kg HSCW and 4 mm P8 fat depth) at 9 months of age. Daughters are retained for breeding. No marbling is required
Northern Steer (NTH) – Estimates the genetic differences between animals in net profitability per cow joined for an example commercial herd in Northern Australia with Bos indicus cows targeting grass finished steers for export. Steers are marketed at 600 kg live weight (330 kg HSCW and 10 mm P8 fat depth) at 27 months of age. Daughters are retained for breeding. In response to industry feedback regarding eating quality and tenderness, a small premium has been placed on marbling.