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Project Summary

The data from the ASBP has provided us with a treasure trove of information that, when mined, can reveal some exciting insights. This project, “Lessons from the ASBP”, has analysed some of the ASBP performance data to provide validation that EBVs are an accurate genetic evaluation tool that breeders can use to make better selection decisions, and when used correctly, EBVs will help predict the future performance of an animal’s progeny and guide the direction of a cattle herd.

Specifically, the “Lessons from the ASP” project examined the data from the first 3 Cohorts of the ASBP with the aim of finding answers to the following 4 questions:

  1. Does significant genetic variation exist across a Cohort of animals?
  2. Do EBVs actually work? i.e. Will EBVs provide a reliable prediction of how progeny from bulls will perform?
  3. If the accuracies of a bull’s EBVs are low, can the EBVs still be relied on?
  4. As a bull has more progeny and more data is collected and analysed on his progeny, will his EBVs change? If EBVs will change as more progeny are recorded, does that mean that initial EBVs can’t be relied on?

These are important questions that are asked by many breeders, especially those first starting out in using genetic evaluation technology.  The “Lessons from the ASBP” project has provided clear answers to these questions. Check your understanding of the project results in the following activity.

ACTIVITY