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New genetics hub demystifies breeding values

25 June 2019

Commercial cattle and sheep producers now have new tools to help them start using breeding values in their bull and ram buying decisions, following the launch of new genetics resources by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA).

This includes a new genetics hub – – which provides a one-stop-shop of tools and resources, aimed at demystifying genetics and breeding values.

MLA General Manager – Producer Consultation and Adoption, Michael Crowley, said the hub is part of a broader approach being taken by MLA over coming months to inform producers about the role of genetics in achieving business productivity targets.

“A suite of articles, producer case studies, advertisements and videos have been developed and will be showcased in MLA’s Feedback magazine, Friday Feedback e-newsletter, social media channels and in rural media,” Mr Crowley said.

The resources will be accompanied with the tagline: ‘Accelerate your productivity with genetics: Better breeding values. Better progeny. Better performance.’  

The hub itself is designed for tropical and temperate cattle producers and Merino and prime lamb producers, who either under-utilise or haven’t adopted breeding values, but are open to learning about them in order to understand the role genetics can play in improving their business performance.

On the hub, producers have access to:

  • ‘Pick the performer’ ads demonstrating the value of investing in quality breeding values
  • Videos of commercial producers demonstrating how breeding values have helped increase profit in their herds and flocks
  • How-to animated tutorials outlining the basics of breeding values, setting a breeding objective and picking a high-performing sire. 

Mr Crowley said the hub provides a clear, jargon-free look at how better breeding values can help producers boost productivity and profitability. 

“There’s a clear link between genetics and the commercial profitability of the Australian livestock industry,” Mr Crowley said.

“While it’s not a ‘silver bullet’, genetic improvement is among the tools available to commercial producers to help address the key drivers of industry profit including improved market compliance and eating quality, and improved fertility and livestock productivity.” 

Despite the link between genetic gain and profit, the uptake of the use of breeding values by commercial livestock producers is low in some sectors. 

“Key reasons for this include the lack of ‘proof of profit’ and the genetics language and resources being too complex to understand,” Mr Crowley said.

“MLA has established the new genetics hub and other resources to help producers overcome these barriers and either get started with using breeding values or use them more effectively.”

The hub and broader communications seek to contribute to the National Livestock Genetic Consortium’s goal of doubling the rate of genetic gain in the commercial livestock value chain by 2022.