Angus GROUP BREEDPLAN is an advanced genetic evaluation system that provides a genetic description of Angus cattle for a comprehensive range of traits influencing fertility, growth and carcase performance.
It provides predictions of the genetic merit of individual animals called Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs). These EBVs are used by Angus breeders and bull buyers to assist in selection decisions and purchase of breeding stock. EBVs are now accepted by most beef producers as an essential tool in the breeding and marketing of seedstock.
EBVs are based on all available pedigree and performance records provided by breeders in Australia and New Zealand, along with available overseas genetic information. EBVs provide the best means for comparison of the relative genetic merit of animals across the breed for those traits included in the analysis. EBVs obviously cannot be used in isolation in any selection or purchase decision. Visual assessment is still necessary for those characteristics not adequately described by EBVs.
GROUP BREEDPLAN EBVs have been proven to be more accurate than raw performance measurements for assisting in the selection of breeding stock. Research results and industry experience has shown that that more rapid genetic gains can be achieved in herds which make use of EBVs in their selection decisions. In the calculation of EBVs all available pedigree and performance information on each animal and its relatives (parents, ancestors, siblings, progeny, etc.) is combined to provide a single best estimate of an individuals genetic merit for each trait. In addition, allowance is made for environmental differences between properties, seasons and management groups on each animal’s performance. Differences in heritabilities between traits and genetic associations between traits are also accounted for in the calculation of EBVs.
The analyses of the Angus pedigree and performance database to generate GROUP BREEDPLAN EBVs is conducted by the Agricultural Business Research Institute (ABRI), using software developed by the Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit, a joint institute of NSW Agriculture and the University of New England. Ongoing BREEDPLAN research and development is supported by Meat and Livestock Australia