Over ninety people attended the recent Angus Research Update and Cohort 6 Steer Viewing day at Tullimba Research Feedlot, Kingstown NSW on Thursday the 30th of November 2017.
Prior to the inspection of the steers, attendees listened to Angus Australia’s Strategic Projects Manager Christian Duff as he provided an overview of the Angus Sire Benchmarking Project (ASBP) and gave an update of where each cohort is currently at.
Dr Linda Cafe from the NSW DPI gave a presentation on the Retail Beef Yield Project (RBY), a project that aims to collect yield data on 1000 Angus steers, with the first 154 collected earlier this year. Direct bone-out retail beef yield data from this project will be invaluable for providing higher accuracy RBY EBVs through the use of the direct phenotypes and genomic associations in Angus BREEDPLAN.
Andrew Byrne, Angus Australia’s Breed Development and Extension Manager provided an update on the new products and services available to Angus members in the breed development area. Being the day after Angus Australia implemented the single step analytical model for Angus BREEDPLAN to incorporate genomic or DNA information into the calculation of Estimated Breeding Values, this was the perfect opportunity for members and industry representatives alike to hear about this implementation.
Following the presentations, a tour of the Tullimba facilities took place, with attendees given the opportunity to see the 3D cameras that assess muscle score and rump fat on a live steer and to hear about how the GrowSafe feeders work and measure net feed intake.
Also on display were over 300 Angus steers from cohort 6 of the Angus sire benchmarking program that are identified to their individual sire and currently undertaking net feed intake testing. A number of the steers on display were also a part of the retail beef yield project.
The field day was a great opportunity for people to not only view the cohort 6 steers, but to also hear about the many varied research projects that the ASBP is becoming a part of.
ASBP Consultative Committee member Steve Chase from Waitara Angus, Tottenham NSW believes that the project is achieving beyond what everyone probably thought was initially possible.
‘The project is allowing for the development of immune competency and the amount of data that has been collected has helped greatly with the implementation of the single step analysis,’ he said.
‘But most importantly has been the ability to generate data on hard to measure traits and generate some really solid data’, said Steve.
James Laurie from Knowla Angus Moppy, NSW reiterated Steve’s comments saying that he believes that the ASBP plays a big role in the beef industry.
‘The ASBP really gives us some good data and in particular the carcase data we get allows us to see how each sire stands up in the industry,’ he said.