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Genetics and herd profitability in northern Australia

Project start date: 01 January 2000
Project end date: 30 June 2006
Publication date: 01 December 2006
Livestock species: Grassfed cattle, Grainfed cattle
Relevant regions: Northern Australia
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Summary

This project targeted a pivotal issue in Australia's beef genetic improvement dilemma: Can we change carcass and beef quality attributes of beef cattle without unduly compromising key fitness traits like reproductive performance and adaptation to harsh environmental stressors? Industry outcomes targeted multiple traits and multi-faceted strategies including carcass and beef quality, feed efficiency, female fertility and tropical adaptation using a range of tools such as EBVs, DNA tests, ultrasound scanning and meat processing and cattle management strategies planned to impact on most sectors of the beef industry. Project results are globally unique. In the short to medium term, they will allow beef producers in tropical and sub-tropical environments to precisely target the specifications of premium beef markets, whilst simultaneously maintaining or improving female reproductive performance, without compromising adaptation to harsh environmental conditions. Within five years, it is realistic to expect the project will have achieved major economic impacts in northern Australian beef herds, with significant spin-off benefits for feedlotters, beef processors and southern Australian beef producers. Flow on benefits will also have accrued to cattle breeders worldwide.

More information

Project manager: Mick Quirk
Contact email: reports@mla.com.au
Primary researcher: CRC for Cattle & Beef Quality