Australian Angus breeders who have not yet completed, or who have only partially completed the online survey being facilitated by CSIRO Agriculture and Food, in collaboration with Angus Australia, to determine current industry preferences for different traits within Angus breeding programs are encouraged to do so as soon as possible.
To ensure that feedback from as many producers as possible can be taken into consideration, the closing date by which surveys can be completed has been extended until April 30th.
The online survey is a critical part of a project being conducted to review the selection indexes that are calculated within the Angus BREEDPLAN genetic evaluation, with survey outcomes helping to shape the future selection indexes that are calculated for Australian Angus animals.
Facilitated by CSIRO Agriculture and Food, in collaboration with Angus Australia, the online survey uses the internationally recognised 1000minds conjoint analysis software to determine industry preferences for not only traditional production traits, like calving ease, fertility, growth rate and carcase quality, but also traits that are not currently considered in the selection indexes, such as structural soundness and temperament, and newer, more novel traits like immune competence, and the acceptable trade-offs between these groups of traits.
The survey achieves this by proposing a range of hypothetical scenarios using the traits under consideration and asking participants to choose between the scenarios or rate them as being equal. This allows for determination of the preference or trade-off survey participants would be willing to accept to make changes in the traits that are most important to their operation.
The survey is seeking input from all Angus breeders and producers across Australia to find out how they value different traditional and novel traits within their breeding program. This information will help to better understand how the value placed on each trait differs between different operations, climatic regions or target markets, and will enable the tailoring of selection indexes that best meet the needs of industry.
For further information please contact Andrew Byrne, Breed Development & Extension Manager, Angus Australia on firstname.lastname@example.org or (02) 6773 4618 or Amy Bell, Research Project Officer, CSIRO Agriculture and Food on Amy.Bell@csiro.au or (02) 6776 1455.