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BREEDPLAN Technical Officer for the northern beef industry

Project start date: 01 July 2002
Project end date: 04 September 2006
Publication date: 01 December 2005
Livestock species: Grassfed cattle, Grainfed cattle
Relevant regions: Northern Australia
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Tropical Beef Technology Services (TBTS) has played an important role in extending a range of messages relating to beef genetics and selection to the northern beef industry. Communication activities over the term of the project included 43 workshops/field days with an estimated audience of 2,139 producers, 194 on property visits and numerous articles in rural press and breed association publications. An interactive CD titled Superior Selection was also developed and distributed to over 1000 members of the TBTS stakeholder breeds, 50 Queensland DPI & F extension staff, and 250 schools/colleges teaching agriculture in QLD, NT & WA The TBTS project has contributed to there being a significant number of animals (43% - 2006 drop), within seedstock herds and bulls available to commercial herds having accurately described genetics through EBVs.
This information is being actively accessed (as measured by high page hits) on the internet databases of the tropical breeds. This has and in the future will allow more selection intensity and selection differential for traits of economic importance and greater profitability via genetics for the northern beef industry. BREEDPLAN EBVs are more accessible today than ever before via an internet system known as Internet Solutions.  
At the time of this report, this system was available to seven tropical breed associations. TBTS played an integral role in introducing this information technology. The current trends in both number of page hits and unique users was outstanding. In the 07/08 financial year there were 1,910,311 pages hits on the tropical breed Internet Solutions systems. This indicated that producers were accessing both pedigree and performance data for use in their selection decisions.
Genetic gain in dollar ($) terms for the Brahman breed was estimated through the trends for the BreedObject Selection Index for a Grassfed Jap Ox production system. The average rate of increase between the 2006 and 2007 calving year reached a high of $1.50.  The total increase in the Selection Index between the 2004 and 2007 drop calves was $2.30. With the assistance of TBTS Selection Indices have also been introduced to the Santa Gertrudis and Belmont breeds.
Over the term of this earlier project (August 2002 to August 2005) TBTS has directly assisted the tropical breeds to increase the number of BREEDPLAN recorded calves from 47% (2000 drop) to 49 % (2003 drop). Over the same period the number of herds performance recording with BREEDPLAN has increased from 231 (2002 calendar year) to 250 (2005 calendar year).   This has been achieved through a range of communication events including 45 workshops/field days, 210 on farm visits and numerous articles in rural press and breed society publications.
The improvement in profitability via genetics was estimated using the Braham BreedObject $Index trends. The net dollar ($) gain to the northern beef industry via Brahman genetic improvement (over the term of this project) is estimated to be $41.4 million.

More information

Project manager: Rodd Dyer
Primary researcher: Agricultural Business Research Ins