Angus Breeders Continue to Embrace Genomic Technology

March 22, 2019 11:50 am

Having led the Australian beef industry with the adoption of various reproductive and genetic technologies, Angus breeders across Australia are continuing to embrace, genomics, or DNA testing, in increasing numbers.

Over 17,500 animals were genomically tested through Angus Australia during 2018, with over 50,000 Australian Angus animals now having genomic information analysed within the Angus TACE genetic evaluation.

Angus Australia’s Breed Development & Extension Manager, Mr Andrew Byrne, said that “Of the 2017 born animals recorded with Angus Australia, 17% have been genomically tested, and this number is expected to further increase when more bulls are genotyped in the lead up to the spring bull selling season”.

“The proportion of Angus animals being genomically tested has more than doubled in the last two years, with only 8% of 2015 born animals having been genotyped”, said Mr Byrne.

The widespread investment in genomic testing is a major point of difference for the Angus breed and highlights the commitment of Angus Australia members to utilising the latest technology within their breeding programs.

“Importantly, the genomic information being gathered, in association with the ongoing commitment of Australian Angus seedstock producers to collecting pedigree and performance information, is enabling Angus animals with superior genetic merit to be identified and used widely in Angus breeding programs”, explained My Byrne.

The adoption of genomics by Angus breeders is not limited to the seedstock industry, with an increasing number of producers running commercial Angus breeding operations opting to genomically test their replacement females with the Angus HeiferSELECT product.

Angus HeiferSELECT is a genomic selection tool to help inform the selection of Angus replacement females in a commercial beef breeding operation who have been sired by registered Angus bulls.

“Over 4,000 commercial Angus females have been genomically tested with Angus HeiferSELECT since the product was launched in late 2017”, said Mr Byrne.

With Angus animals already well regarded for superior performance and productivity, the investment of Australian Angus breeders in making genetic improvement will ensure Angus genetics continue to deliver improved profitability and remain in high demand within the Australian beef industry.